The Nashville Predators have lost their identity as a defensive powerhouse after giving up a franchise record nine goals to Colorado.
Six of these nine Colorado goals were scored in a span of eight minutes. Opponents this season have now scored more than five goals six times in only 16 games. This is a glaring trend that doesn’t seem to be correcting itself.
Let’s Get Down to Business
Let’s keep this short and to the point. The brutal recap of this game starts off with the Nashville Predators trailing 2-1 after the first period.
In the second period, the Predators tallied two goals to go ahead 3-2 with 15:05 remaining in the period. Caution, what comes next may be too much to handle for some readers. Reader discretion advised.
The Avalanche scored six goals in eight minutes to go up 8-3. Yes, you’re reading that correctly. 8-3. This included a goalie change by Nashville after Pekka Rinne allowed five goals, three in the eight-minute span. Most of them due to poor defensive play, especially traffic in front of the net not being cleared out by any defenseman.
Unfortunately, Juuse Saros had to come in relief for Rinne and take the rest of the beating Colorado was putting on Nashville. Saros had no help, as the Avalanche scored three more in the second period after the goalie change.
In the third period, the Predators only allowed one goal, but most importantly they scored one more goal so that the fans could drown their sorrows with free frosty’s from Wendy’s. Final score, 9-4 Colorado.
Hard to Ignore the Lack of Defense
In 16 regular season games the Nashville Predators have allowed five or more goals six different times. In over a third of their games opponents are scoring five or more goals. This team is known for their defensive identity, but where is it? The potent offense is covering for a bad defense.
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The teams who have scored five or more on Nashville are shocking. They include: The Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals, LA Kings, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames and these Colorado Avalanche.
This is interesting, the Red Wings are dead last in the league. The Washington Capitals score plenty of goals and that was an exciting offensive game for both teams. The Kings are in last place in the Western Conference. The Coyotes only average 2.5 goals per game. So not exactly a group full of world beaters on the offensive end.
The Predators were up 4-1 against the Flames and allowed them to score five more goals. The Avalanche are a high-scoring team, but they’re missing two of their top three scorers. They’ve only scored two goals in their last three games, prior to last night’s meeting with the Predators.
This seems to be a trend that can hopefully be corrected. It is too early to panic, but the Predators defense has struggled early on this season, especially to weaker competition. They’re also not holding onto leads and having huge lapses that are allowing opponents to score goals quickly and shift the makeup of a game.
The Bright Side
The bright side is that the game is over. The only real positive note to take away from is that the power play looked good. They even got a goal to show for it. Additionally, Filip Forsberg scored to improve his goal total to seven and his point total to 12 in just ten games.
Other Nashville goal scorers were Ryan Ellis (3), Matt Duchene (5) and Craig Smith (2). Roman Josi tallied an assist to bring his point total to 17, good for an average of over a point per game. He’s firmly in the early talks of a Norris Trophy type season
It counts as one game in the standings even though it feels like the Predators should be eliminated forever after that disgusting performance. Either way, the talent the Predators have on their roster remains the same and will get this team back into the postseason. Another early exit could be inevitable if they don’t fix some serious issues that arose from this bad division loss.