The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Nashville Predators 1-0 behind the 25 save effort of Ryan Miller. Mike Grier scored the game’s only goal with 3:25 left in the game for the Sabres. Pekka Rinne stopped 41 of 42 shots and kept the Predators in the contest with some outstanding work in net in his first start of the year. Many saves were point blank stops, and he was peppered with pucks much of the night.
More disturbingly for the Predators was not so much the number of shots given up, which was unacceptable, but the lack of offensive production from the team last night. Of the 18 forwards and defensemen that played, eight- count ‘em, EIGHT, did not register an even strength shot on goal. Especially troubling was the production of the second line. Rookie Mike Santorelli led that line with three shots on goal; David Legwand recorded two SOG, and Martin Erat, the Predators highest paid player had ZERO SOG! It has been stated by the coaching staff and mentioned on this blog that for the Predators to have a successful season, production has to come from the second line, and specifically from Legwand and Erat. So far, production from this line has been non-existent.
Through three games, all the scoring for the Predators has come from the top line of Arnott, Sullivan, and Hornqvist. Secondary scoring from the second and third lines has to improve for this team to attain the playoffs. So far, that scoring has failed to come close to materializing.
Your best players have to play like your best players. So far, Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne have answered the challenge. The top line has responded. Predator fans are waiting on others to step up. We are waiting on you, Legwand and Erat.
Filed Under: Nashville Predators
About the Author: A native Nashvillian that grew up with minor league hockey, I'm now a devoted Predators fan and NHL follower. I have had the privilege of allowing my children to grow up watching the Predators and seeing the joy on their face when they are at a game. By day, I am a partner in an independent investment management company in the Nashville area. I played collegiate football and graduated from the University of South Carolina and graduated from the LSU graduate School of Banking. So yes, there are real true southern hockey fans in these non-traditional markets.