The Nashville Predators were on a streak of six consecutive wins entering their home tilt vs. Dallas on Thursday night. Unfortunately, their run ended with a final score of 4-1, favoring the Stars.
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The Preds were yet again missing many big names from their roster, including the likes of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Matt Duchene, and others. Even so, the Predators played hard but still came up short.
In Comedy And Hockey, Timing Is Everything
From the opening puck drop, the Predators struggled to find cohesiveness on the ice. Passes weren’t connecting, and players were out of position.
Dallas took advantage and scored less than three minutes into the game to put the Preds at an early deficit.
Later in the 1st period, Colton Sissons took a slick pass from Yakov Trenin, then slithered through four Stars defenders to score the equalizer. Though the lone goal of the game for the Predators, it was a thing of beauty!
The Predators then fell back into a non-rhythm, turning the puck over, failing to create opportunities on offense, and leaving goaltender Juuse Saros out to dry on several instances.
The Predators failed to take advantage of any of their three power-plays but did give up a goal on the penalty kill to Dallas. The Stars out-shot the Preds 31-22, out-hit them 26-21 and won more faceoffs. However, the real reason the Preds lost was due to their 14 turnovers compared to Dallas’ four.
The score looks a bit lop-sided, but one of Dallas’ goals ricocheted off of multiple players’ skates, and the final goal of the game was an empty-net goal. Saros looked solid for the most part, even though he was facing some very high-danger shots from Dallas at a fairly frequent rate.
Were We The April Fools?
Many fans may be asking if we’re “back to normal,” i.e., the earlier part of the season where the Predators couldn’t scrape together more than one win every ten days or so. Were we kidding ourselves, thinking that the Preds had turned a corner?
I don’t think so. Obviously, winning eight out of the previous nine games was amazing! But I don’t think anyone believed that this was sustainable. And it was fun while it lasted.
However, I think that we have learned that even though the Preds aren’t as great as we want them to be, they aren’t bottom-dwellers like they seemed early in the season. Sure, against Dallas on Thursday night, they looked sluggish at times and just generally lacked much of the chemistry that we’d seen building for the past few weeks.
However, with Forsberg, Ellis, and Duchene out of the lineup entering the game, Alexandre Carrier sustaining an injury and being taken to the locker room during the game, one can understand why the Predators looked uncomfortable.
Let’s Not Be (Impractical) Jokers, Nashville Predators
Ok, so we got that nonsense out of our system. Sometimes you need a bad game to keep you grounded.
Additionally, there may have been some reluctance to move some players prior to the trade deadline had the Predators kept winning at that ridiculous pace.
Looking at the short-term future, the Preds have four out of their next five games against bottom-half teams in the division, including one against Chicago. The next handful of games should prove an ideal time to put some distance between themselves and those bottom half teams, namely Chicago and Dallas.
There will be a good bit of pressure for the Predators to come out of these five games with at least seven points, in my opinion. And, of course, Forsberg can’t possibly return soon enough.
The Predators will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at 2:00 pm CST.