Yet another tough night to be a Nashville Predator player or fan. The Predators faced their first loss of the season on the road with a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. This is the third game in a row that the Predators have lost, but what does this mean? What should the coaches now do differently that they should have covered after Thursday and Saturday’s games? This will be answered (hopefully) after tonight’s rough and disheartening loss.
There was a nice reoccuring word that resounded amongst the players after the game. Can you guess what it is?
“We weren’t playing Predators hockey tonight,” spoke a down and out Kevin Klein to Preds announcers, Pete Weber and Terry Crisp. “It was embarrassing out there tonight.”
“This is embarrassing how we played tonight,” stated goalie Pekka Rinne.
“Just embarrassing,” remarked Jerred Smithson about tonight’s game in Edmonton.
As you can see from these three statements, embarrassment was apparent to these players, so do not think they aren’t aware. So why don’t they fight harder against said embarrassments? Sadly, it is not as simple as it sounds.
The Oilers not only out-scored the Predators, they also out-shot (mind-blowing, right?) them 25-12, almost setting a new record with the franchise (lowest amount of shots on the goal. That record is currently 9 shots). Strangely though, the Edmonton Oilers are actually very similar to the Preds: they are young, super faced, a very talented; the exact ploy the Predators were hoping to have with the onslaught of younger players. However, the Predators have been playing more like a minor league (okay, that’s not even a good comparison because the Admirals are doing great) lately than a national league club.
However, Sergei Kostitsyn took charge early in the game and, from an assist from Pekka Rinne (later revoked and given to Kevin Klein), lead the game 1-0 until the 3rd Period. However, this is the 2nd game the Predators have blown a 3rd Period lead.
The Predators also faced many penalties, and were lucky Edmonton wasn’t able to use any of them, up until the 3rd when Ryan Suter was spending two minutes for holding. Believe it or not, the Predators did not use any of their Power Play opportunities.
As fans, we are probably wishing we could be a fly on the wall of the locker room right about now. Would we be glad to see Trotz rip the team apart or would nothing happen at all? After these last three games, fans have began to wonder why Trotzie hasn’t attempted to strike the fear of God into them. Who knows, maybe he has. We aren’t there to see or hear.
What we do know, however, is something must be done about our struggling team, wether that means line changes or kids getting sent to Milwaukee. The how “young blood” team sounded like a great and wonderful idea at first (and looked great in the preseason), but this regular season is hitting the new kids hard. However, all blame cannot be placed on the heads of the young guys.
The Predators continue their Western Canada trek against Vancouver on Thursday. The puck drops at 9PM CT.
Will the Predators be ready to face their playoff nemesis and knock them out for a win? Let’s hope so. We don’t enjoy moping around in Smashville…