The Nashville Predators came into tonight’s game with the St. Louis Blues as banged-up as they’ve been all season, hoping to find some kind of spark among a group of Milwaukee Admirals forwards called up to fill the roster out. But doing so against the strict defensive system employed by the St. Louis Blues proved to be too tough a task as the team fell by a final score of 1-0.
The lone goal of the game came at 16:37 of the second period. Alex Steen entered the zone with possession and feinted pass before loading up a big slap shot. Pekka Rinne saw it coming the whole way and still couldn’t stop it.
Aside from that Pekka and the Nashville defense appear to have regained their form from February. The only problem is that they’ve also regained their offensive form from February, when they couldn’t hit the Zamboni door with a shot. Facing the St. Louis Blues didn’t help that tendency much at all. It often looked like the Blues had instant 3-on-1 advantage any time the puck a Nashville player entered the zone.
Not much more to say about an uneventful game, so here are some observations:
- This was the Nashville Predators’ eighth shutout loss of the season, the most in the NHL. Four of them have now come via 1-0 scores, two of which have been inflicted by St. Louis.
- The Blues outshot the Preds, 26-15. It wasn’t their lowest shot total of the season, though – that came in an earlier 1-0 shutout loss to the Blues.
- Daniel Bång played his first NHL game tonight after being called up on an emergency basis earlier today. He became the eighth Milwaukee Admirals player to suit up for the Preds this season, joining recent additions Austin Watson and Taylor Beck.
- St. Louis has now won five games in a row. The Preds, on the other hand, have now lost three straight.
- Pekka saw that Steen goal the whole way, which makes it similar to a few others he’s given up lately. You know there’s something wrong with the Nashville Predators when he can see the puck coming and still doesn’t stop it.
- The Preds’ playoff chances – go ahead, finish your laughing, I can wait – are now down to 0.4 percent, per sportsclubstats.com. That’s 249-to-1 if you prefer your odds Vegas-style. If you’ve been saving up and waiting to make that perfect life-changing bet…you’d better keep waiting.
- Looking for the glass-half-full interpretation here? Nashville is likely to finish behind everybody but Calgary, Colorado, and the teams in the Southeast Division that don’t end up making the playoffs, giving the highest draft pick the team has had in years. That’s all the optimism I have for you tonight.