The Predators came into tonight’s game with momentum after beating the hated Minnesota Wild, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are a competitive bunch who seem primed for a playoff run this season. It was a goaltenders duel until the Maple Leafs broke the game wide open. The Preds fell 4-0.
Nashville outplayed Toronto for the first half of the game, but couldn’t bury a goal. Not getting those capitalizing on those opportunities hurt Nashville and the Predators picked up their third loss in four games this season. Here are some quick shots from the game.
- Jonathan Bernier is Predator-Proof and he was the difference maker in tonight’s contest. Nashville played a great game, but he was able to hold the Predator attack at bay before Toronto got past Pekka Rinne four times. He deserves major props for this game.
- Phil Kessel’s second period goal was a gamechanger. The Predators really dominated the first period and a half, but Kessel’s goal put a damper on Nashville’s pressure. It was an emotional letdown and it showed in the next few shifts for the Predators. The Leafs’ second goal at the end of the second period was the proof of the momentum change.
- I was surprised Gabriel Bourque was a healthy scratch tonight. Is he the latest victim of Trotz’s doghouse?
- The boys did a fantastic job on not allowing the Maple Leafs many opportunities in the first two periods. Toronto got its first shot on goal with 6:19 left in the first period. Nashville’s defensive effort looked pretty strong in the beginning of the game.
- The power play unit looked impressive tonight. The time in the offensive zone was solid and the puck movement was crisp, especially in the second power play try. However, even though the power play looked pretty, it didn’t produce any goals.
- Mike Fisher boarding penalty punished the result, rather than the penalty itself. There is no doubt that Fisher earned a penalty on the play, but major penalty and game misconduct seemed harsh after watching the replay. I don’t believe that the result of a play should determine how a player is penalized. Cody Franson was hurt on the play and we hope is okay, but the referee sent Fisher off the ice because of the blood on the ice. Fisher said after the game there was no intent to injure. Hopefully, the Department of Player Safety believes that too.
- Nevertheless, Fisher’s penalty kept the Preds from coming back out of the game and allowed the Leafs to score two more goals. I don’t think it warrants a suspension at all, but it wasn’t the right play to make.
Nashville looks to bounce back against the New York Islanders Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena.