Nashville Predators: Faltering Senators Leave Visitors Ottawa-nting More

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 9: (L-R) Erik Karlsson
OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 9: (L-R) Erik Karlsson /

Back to backs are never easy, especially when missing your top scoring forward. The Nashville Predators may have run out of gas, but did collect a point.

If you expected a high flying offensive showdown between these two teams, I’m sorry. A team that employs the trap going up against a tired team on a road trip usually makes for some very dull games. Last night was no different as the Nashville Predators lost to the Ottawa Senators. Seriously, that might’ve been the most boring 4-3 game I’ve ever seen.

The Predators were up to their old tricks last night as they dominated possession, but subjected their goaltender to lots of high danger chances. This was a recipe for a loss that Nashville turned into one point.

On the hunt for Norris #2

P.K. Subban is getting a lot of love for the Norris this season and it’s well deserved in my opinion. Last night was just another brilliant game by the two-way defenseman, although Erik Karlsson didn’t disappoint either. But he’s not a Nashville Predator and so we’ll keep this article to the away team. For reference, I’m using unblocked shots (Fenwick), high danger chances (HDC), goals and zone starts.

As you can tell, Subban’s impact on the ice was positive. He suppressed shots and more importantly generated quite a few of his own. His 9 offensive zone starts certainly helped though, as he received a lot of shelter. You can make the case that he should’ve given up less high danger chances with those lopsided zone starts, but 3 goals for and only 1 against is exactly what you want from a defender.

Subban was clutch in this game as he scored two goals to either tie up the game or go ahead by one. Granted, that first goal was pretty lucky, but as the saying goes, you have to be good to be lucky.

Weber fell back down to earth

Yannick Weber played the game of his life against the Maple Leafs, but unfortunately, that performance didn’t travel to Ottawa. He was on the ice for one goal against but gave up 5 high danger chances. That’s almost half of what the Predators gave up during the entire game.

Weber gave up two of his high danger chances with Alexei Emelin and the other three with Mattias Ekholm. I don’t know what’s going on but Ekholm has not looked like his usual self recently. I wonder if it’s an injury or just consistently switching linemates. Whatever it is, the Nashville Predators cannot afford another defensive liability.

Top line blues

The top line of Pontus Aberg, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson were outmatched last night. They generated more shot attempts but had quite a few of them blocked. The real struggle was on defense. They produced 0 high danger chances and gave up four of their own despite not receiving a single defensive zone start. That’s unacceptable from the top line that’s expected to carry the torch offensively, and while they were on the ice for one goal for, that was Subban’s lucky shot. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because they looked extremely tired and played wonderfully the night before..

Onto the next one

The Nashville Predators take on the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, and Filip Forsberg will be making his return to the lineup. I think they’ll come out better than ever as the roster will be healthy and well-rested, plus Subban will likely want to put on a show for his old fans. That won’t be a game you want to miss.

Next: Fisher May Not Be Ready Until March