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Inconsistency, the Top 3, and the “Man Advantage”: What to take out of Game 2


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Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Talk about a reversal of fortunes, eh? Nashville played a fairly bad game on Wednesday night, and although the players think differently they played just as bad of a game last night against the Red Wings. However, this time they couldn’t muscle their way past Detroit and now the series is even.

Nashville gave up the first goal, gave up a goal 56 seconds after they brought it within 1 during the second period, and were an abysmal 0-6 during the powerplay. Now that the series is tied at one a piece, coach Barry Trotz will have to make some adjustments come tomorrow morning for Game 3.

The age-old quote from coaches around the league of “if you don’t score on the 5 on 3, you’re probably not going to win the game” reared it’s very obvious head last night for the Predators. Nashville lucked out on Wednesday and was able to pull out the win, however Detroit would have nothing of it last night.

6 powerplays (including said 5 on 3) and only 7 shots to show from it. Either Nashville has forgotten how to produce the powerplay results they had during the regular season or Detroit has really done their homework. Granted, Jimmy Howard literally STOLE the game for the Red Wings last night.

Big save after big save, Howard kept the Red Wings ahead and made sure that Nashville couldn’t get the game tied. Albeit the Predators did hit their fair share of posts AGAIN last night, Howard made some increasingly impressive saves as the game progressed on.

As in Wednesday night’s game, there were good…and well ugly things to take out of last night’s game against the Wings:

1) NEGATIVE - Boy oh boy the inconsistency of the officiating in this series for both teams is getting really out of hand. Now, you won’t hear me complain about getting 6 attempts on the powerplay in one evening, however Nashville and Detroit could have easily both had 6 or 7 powerplays each last night.

The 6 penalties that were called on Detroit were probably not the best 6 penalties the referees could have called last night. There were quite a few calls that were not made on BOTH sides of the ice.

Don’t get me wrong, I love good old fashioned playoff hockey, but there comes a point when certain calls need to be made. The referees swallowed their whistles at the wrong time and called the wrong penalties, in my opinion. Although, Nashville isn’t doing much to take advantage of their chances.

2) NEGATIVE - 0 for 12 on the man advantage, yikes. One would believe that regular season success on the powerplay could at least turn in one goal in the first twelve attempts.

Looking back in the regular season, I see 3 stretches of games where the man advantage failed to this level. The first time, they went 0-12 over a 3 game span. They went 5-27 over the next 7 games. The second time, they went 0-12 over a 4 game span. They went 5-22 over the next 5 games. The third time, they actually went 0-16 over a 5 game span. They went 6-17 over the next 4 games.

Nashville IS getting chances on their powerplays, that isn’t the problem at all. Poor shot decisions, too much time setting up their opportunities, and stellar penalty killing has been the problem for the Predators.

The Preds will have to find a way to solve Detroit’s penalty kill if they want to convert even a single powerplay this series.

3) POSITIVE - Shea Weber is a big boy. He took on Todd Bertuzzi at the beginning of the game, in what I would assume was a response to the face-smash on Henrik Zetterberg from Game 1.

He finished the game with 25:23 on the ice, 5 shots, and a goal. The captain leads the Predators up and down the ice. However, the team is going to need his leadership over the remainder of this series if they want to move forward in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

4) NEGATIVE - Something is wrong with Nashville’s top line. 0 points through 2 games for Fisher/Erat/Kostitsyn, 7 shots and a -6 total as well. Erat has most likely hit every single piece of the iron on the goal an Fisher can’t even seem to get his stick on the puck, although the net is wide open every time it’s passed to him.

Whether they are gripping their sticks a LITTLE too hard or not, I have a feeling Trotz will juggle up this top line pairing come game time tomorrow morning.

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Complete reversal of fortunes for the Predators last night against the Wings. All of the lucky bounces that Nashville had on Wednesday went Detroit’s way instead.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly what happens tomorrow against the Red Wings and who will come out on top. Enjoy the game tomorrow, folks! This series is tied 1-1, but not for long