The Nashville Predators faced off with the Colorado Avalanche for a rare weekday afternoon game. In my game preview I wrote, “If the Preds can keep things strong on the defensive end – and hold their tendency to play down to the competition in check – there should be no upset.” Well, the Preds played down to the competition, all right. As a result there’s really not a lot to say about this game in narrative form. Instead, highlights followed by observations:
- How do you get to be an NHL official if you’re going to miss such a blatant violation of one of the most basic rules of hockey?
- The league apparently told Coach Barry Trotz after the game that Duchene was, in fact, offside on the play. That and four goals will get you a Goo Goo.
- Any team that lets in six goals in a game has bigger problems than whether or not a linesman is, in fact, legally blind. The Preds’ team defense, which has been so great the last 10 games, looked downright awful against the league’s 29th-ranked offense.
Chris Mason got the start so Pekka Rinne could get some rest before the Detroit Red Wings visit Bridgestone Arena tomorrow. Instead Pekka ended up playing almost the entire final half of the game just to give Nashville a chance to win.
- The first goal against Mase was the kind of bad bounce you can’t do a lot about. He was unfortunate to kick that puck in behind himself.
- Three goals were scored in a 29-second stretch of the second period: Colin Wilson (13:17), Paul Stastny (13:33), and Jamie McGinn (13:46). McGinn’s came when he got no less than three whacks at the puck sitting in front of Chris Mason.
- Shea Weber had two points on the night, including a goal with the extra attacker on and a little more than a minute left in the game.
- Paul Gaustad left in the first period with an upper-body injury and never returned. He’s listed as doubtful for tomorrow. Without his services they lost the faceoff battle 39-29.
- For the second straight game the Nashville Predators outshot their opponent, this time 38-28. Once again they failed to win (though part of it tonight was score effects in the third period).
- In every other previous game this season where the Nashville Predators scored a goal, they managed to lose in either overtime or a shootout. Their only regulation losses before today had all come via shutout.