Counseling Session- “The Trap”

January 13, 2011; San Jose, CA, USA; NHL referee Paul Devorski (10) before a face off between the San Jose Sharks and the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at HP Pavilion. Edmonton defeated San Jose 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Hello there. Have a seat. The doctor is in. It’s been a while, but after you blew up my phone during the second period saying your wished bodily harm on Paul Devorski, it was time to meet again.

So it seems your team has fallen victim to the trap game. After a long and ill-timed roadtrip playing some desperate teams, the Preds played the lowly Oilers. And got bushwhacked. Again. Only this time, they actually played decently. Really, they did.

You still don’t believe me? The first goal- it bounces off Klein’s skate and into the net on a casual pass. The second goal- Rinne gets knocked down when Erat checks Sam Gagner. The third goal- well, Rinne misplayed that miserably. The fourth goal- Poor Anders and his positioning. The fifth goal- Poor Anders and his rusty breakaway skills. The Preds outshot, outhit, and controlled much of the game, but were guilty of being a little asleep at the wheel.

Relax. This happens after a long roadtrip and the first game back, especially with the media circus in Nashville right now.

The feeling of nothing going right for the team? They tried to fight through it. Down 4-1, the worst call of the year torpedoes your team… and boy were you mad. You were so mad that Ben Eager didn’t hear the whistle on an offsides, causing the former Blackhawk/current menace to take a penalty. I haven’t seen that building more angry in a non-Kesler moment.

There were some bright spots tonight, if you care to look at them. The David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist chemistry was absolutely rocking tonight- should’ve been good for 4 total goals. Craig Smith and Brandon Yip both had very good games, and Andrei looked better as the game went on.

Ryan Ellis was a -4. (I didn’t say there weren’t any downsides)

Close your eyes, and travel back in time with me back 18 years, to 1994. The San Francisco 49ers were expected to be a title contender that year, and had a downright dynamic team on both sides of the ball. In the early part of the season, the Eagles strolled into San Francisco in the 5th game of the year, and beat the tar of the Niners beyond recognition. After that game, the team met and vowed it wouldn’t happen again. And it didn’t- they team demolished everything in it’s path (except week 17, the “rest your players week”) en route to another Lombardi trophy.

I think I still have my Jerry Rice jersey somewhere. 

The point is- these games happen. (For Nashville, it just happens a lot playing the Oilers) The officials aren’t there to balance out chances, they have to be taken and cashed in. If Devan Dubnyk turns into Terry Sawchuk and stops 40 shots, so be it. But they never gave up. The building wasn’t angry at them. It was just a gold ol’ fashioned trap game.

Tonight was a game your team was supposed to win, and they didn’t. Thursday is a game they likely aren’t supposed to win. Let’s see if this balances out, and cheer for the SoCal teams tomorrow night, okay?

See the nurse on your way out.