Over the course of an 82-game season, losses are bound to happen. Although the Nashville Predators failed to pick up their sixth consecutive win last night against the San Jose Sharks, the teams’ top players continued their stellar start to the year.
When you sit atop the standings in the NHL, no game is an easy one as each opponent knows they need to put their best effort in to come out victorious.
Last nights game against the San Jose Sharks was a perfect reminder of that.
When the game began, the Predators seemed to carry over the momentum they gained in their shutout victory over the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week.
After one period, the game was 1-1, but, Nashville was the more consistent threat of the two, firing more pucks towards the net and ultimately setting the pace of the game.
In the middle stanza of the game, the Predators seemed to assert their dominance over the Sharks, outscoring them 3-1 in the 2nd period. To add, the Sharks managed only three shots on goal from the faceoff circle or closer during the second 20-minute time frame. The lone highlight for San Jose was a breakaway goal from Tomas Hertl, but this was unquestionably Nashville’s best portion of the game.
Heading into the final leg of the game, the Nashville Predators were leading the San Jose Sharks by a score of 4-2 and their top line had already combined for seven points on the evening.
Another win on the season seemed probable, yet, to the surprise of our players, coaches, and supporters, the Predators managed to let the game slip away during the last ten minutes of the game.
Despite holding a two-goal lead over their foes with only a fraction of the game left, Nashville allowed three goals during the remaining time, while failing to tally another score themselves.
The Result? A tragic 5-4 loss in a game that would have given the Predators sole position of first place in the Western Conference.
Speaking on the matter, Viktor Arvidsson reiterated that the performance was disappointing, to say the least, “We had a 4-2 lead and lost 5-4 – – and that’s too bad”.
Although Arvidsson lead the team in scoring with three points and continued to show fantastic chemistry with his linemates, Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen during 5-on-5 action, one area the teams top offensive unit may need to re-design is the powerplay.
In last night’s game against San Jose, Nashville went 0-4 with the man advantage, bringing their conversion rate on the year to a dismal 9.7%; ranking them 31st in the league.
After one of the best starts in Franchise history, the Nashville Predators blew a lead and failed to close out a game for the first time in the 2018-2019 season. For Smashville, this behavior is one the team absolutely cannot make a precedent out of, giving coach Peter Laviolette the burden of creating a strategy to regain the momentum the team may have lost in this loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Will any drastic changes be seen come Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils? For the sake of the Predators power play, we certainly hope so.