First off, severe weather hit the middle Tennessee area on Thursday night so I hope all of you stayed safe and didn't receive severe damage. The pouring rain outside symbolizes the mood felt by Predators' fans after this game. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Nashville Predators by a 3-0 score in front of an announced crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena.
The Preds came out of the gate playing good hockey. They were sound defensively and kept putting the puck on net offensively. The first 10 minutes of the game would be close to the last bit of good hockey the Predators played on Thursday night. Tomas Kopecky got the 'Hawks on the board when he rifled one by Pekka Rinne with a delayed penalty coming up against the Predators.
Marion Hossa got the second goal for the Blackhawks on a terrible play by David Legwand. Legwand blindly threw a puck back towards center ice and Hossa caught up to the loose puck and had a breakaway. Patrick Sharp would add an empty netter to ice the game.
I don't know what the hell is wrong here. The Predators have been the most inconsistent team in the NHL all season and are holding true to that once again. It may not be this way in reality, but it appears as if they just don't give one damn about who wins the hockey game. They were outskated tonight, they made fundamental errors, and they turned the puck over way too many times.
The biggest problem that I had about this game is the blatant refusal to shoot the hockey puck. Yes, the Preds had 31 shots on goal. I can remember three shots that had a legitimate chance of going in. That's not going to get it done. Yeah, there where plenty of shots from the point tonight by Nashville. However, those shots don't do any good if you don't have people driving to the net. That used to be a speciality of Patric Hornqvist. He has not done it lately, which probably is why he hasn't scored. He's a below average skater so he has to get his goals in the hard areas. Hornqvist has got to get back to that.
With the loss, the Preds are now currently out of a playoff spot. They sit in 9th place in the Western Conference. What possible reason is there to not give 100% effort in the middle of a playoff race? It's absolutely maddening! I don't think there's one person who can look at the last three games the Preds have had and say that 100% effort was given. That is an extremely alarming sign, and I hope that is not a sign of the character of this locker room. But, you know, I'm starting to think it might be. There's simply no excuse for not caring at this point. Like I said before, maybe they do care but it's not seeming like it from a fan's perspective. That's the main thing that I heard walking out of the arena. One fan said "It looked like they would rather be sitting at home watching the game rather than playing it." Honestly, that's exactly what it's looked like the past week. It's mindboggling.
Jonathan Blum has been the lone bright spot during the past couple of games. He was defensively sound again tonight and really looked like the 3rd best defenseman behind Weber and Suter. Cody Franson and Shane O'Brien had an awful game tonight, and have really had an awful week. O'Brien especially has just lost his game. He needs to find it soon. Oh, and the Predators are now 0-3-0 since Jordin Tootoo has come back into the lineup......just saying.
The Predators are hoping(I think) to right the ship on Saturday as the play a Dallas team that ought to be equally as desperate as Nashville is. Dallas actually sits in 8th place right now, one spot ahead of Nashville. The puck will drop at 1:00 P.M. central time in Dallas.