Although the Predators got some much needed help from both Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon, neither one could keep the San Jose Sharks from devastating the team on home ice last night, sweeping passed the Predators 3-1.
It seems the Predators are facing a “home ice curse” this season, losing every home game they have played this season (three games). Are they nervous in front of their own fans? If the Preds have problems on Thursday, we might start wondering who put a curse on the Bridgestone Arena.
San Jose’s Logan Couture struck first, gaining a goal on Peks during the first period. It took until the third period for Craig Smith, with an assist from Mike Fisher, to score on the Power Play. Unfortunately, within seconds, the Sharks struck again, taking the excitement of a possible overtime away from the fans. The game was sealed when Peks was pulled and the Sharks scored on the empty net, ending the game 3-1.
As usual, the Predators lagged behind in shots, only hitting 20 to San Jose’s 36. Unlike normal, however, the Preds did not find themselves in the penalty box as much, with only Nick Spaling and Sergei Kostitsyn being sent to pout.
Colin Wilson took the initiative and looked as if he was trying to cover the entire ice and Craig Smith also fought hard and did some much needed covering and pressure against the Sharks. Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon played well and suffered no injuries, although Bouillon did have a bout with Brad Winchester, who checked him in the head. Bouillon leveled Winchester in the first period, but didn’t think Winchester’s check was intentional.
It is never fun to write a post about a loss, but it has to be done. It is clear that the Predators need to just shoot and not try to set up these “perfect” plays. Now, don’t get us wrong, we used to get annoyed by fans who would just scream “SHOOOOTTT”, but when we just dribble the puck behind the goal, waiting for someone to open up, it gets a little daunting. Maybe we just haven’t been paying attention, but do other teams do that or do they just pressure the goalie? We would like to see the Predators shoot and pressure the goal more, but then again, we aren’t the coaches and surely they know best, right? However, when you continue testing the same criteria and the result is always the same, maybe something new should be tried?
The puck drops at 7PM tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at home. Be sure to stop by Rippy’s before the game for Preds pre-game party with 102.5 The Game and Aaron Solomon! They will be giving away tickets to future home games and other prizes!
Also for Preds fans, the first installment of The Jordin Tootoo Radio Show starts tonight at the Blackstone restaurant on West End at 7PM. Tootoo will be covering everything Preds and Matt Halischuk will be his special guest! Prizes and tickets will also be given away to luck fans!!