The Skid Continues

The Nashville Predators had some good and some bad in their 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. First, the good:

The Predators had a much better defensive effort in the first period, holding Chicago off the board. In their previous two games, the Preds went into the locker room trailing 4-0 after the first.

A goal was finally tallied by someone who isn’t on the top line. Marty Erat notched his first goal of the season in the second period by crashing the net and banging a puck off a defenseman and past Cristobal Huet.

Now, the bad:

The Predators shot the puck 41 times in the game, but only got 13 shots on net. 13 shots on goal in a hockey game is rarely going to lead to victory.

While the defense was better, an egregious turnover by  Kevin Klein led to an easy goal for Chicago’s second score. This turnover occurred right in front of Pekka Rinne and left a wide open net for Tomas Kopecky.

The power play continues to struggle, going without a score in three attempts.

The Predators have now dropped four straight games after opening the season with two wins.

This team has yet to get their offense on track, and when the top line is shutout, as they were in this game, scoring becomes a premium. It is a given that this team needs to get the dirty goals- those that come from throwing the puck at the net and getting rebounds and second chances. The second and third lines have yet to show the productivity that has been expected and needed. The offense has shown an annoying tendency to pass up the shot and make additional passes, and that was very evident in this game. When shots were taken, many were not close to the net.

So now what? Coach Barry Trotz talks about resiliency and playing through the tough times. The Predators have a major dose of tough times and their resiliency is being tested. It’s time for this team to simplify their game- throw the puck on net, crash the crease, and get the ugly goals. Predator fans will take the goals, and we won’t grade them on style points.

The team now departs on a two week road trip. Build on the good that was shown in the Chicago game, do the little things that will lead to success, and get the puck in the net.

Time to end the skid.

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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.

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