As if skating without two regular centers and a top-pair defenseman weren't difficult enough, the Nashville Predators went into last night's game in Detroit without Jordin Tootoo and Francis Bouillon as well, due to a dreaded and unspecified "upper body injury". Against a talented, deep team like the Red Wings, the Preds just couldn't keep the pace and dropped a 5-2 decision on Devil's Night. Apparently this year instead of torching abandoned houses, Detroit celebrated by lighting the lamp over and over again.
At 5-2-3, the Predators can still be satisfied their results from the first 10 games of the season, especially given the challenges they're facing on the injury front. Still, losing a lopsided game to a division rival always stings.
Follow after the jump for the video highlights, reaction, and your advanced even-strength statistics...
First, the video highlights...
- The roster decisions heading into this game certainly evoke some head-scratching. If Francis Bouillon was known to have an issue (he missed a few shifts Thursday after getting dinged), then why wasn't a defenseman recalled from Milwaukee? Skating with 5 D against Detroit is just asking for trouble.
- Wade Belak dressed, presumably as the 6th defenseman, but he didn't skate a single shift all night.
- I know folks were excited to see Linus Klasen play, but remember that since he was injured in that first rookie scrimmage in Florida, Barry Trotz hasn't had the chance to see him in game-action very much. It'll take time before he's comfortable skating him 10+ minutes.
- Speaking of not skating 10+ minutes, Colin Wilson got just 9:48. I suspect the Preds are being patient with his development, but given the circumstances, it might make sense to at least get him some more PP time (just 44 seconds last night).
- It seemed like J.P. Dumont had some jump to his game, which was sorely needed. He led Nashville forwards with 4 shots.
- Martin Erat played for 15:53 and had one shot. Where does the criticism go here? If he's healthy, we can say he's failing utterly as an offensive leader on this team. If he's hurt, we have to question why he's out there at all.
- Alexander Sulzer led all skaters with 28:18 of ice time, including almost 6 minutes of power play work.
- That power play is sputtering, going 0-for-5 and putting just 5 shots on net in 10 minutes. The Preds are on an 0-for-12 streak dating back to the October 21 game vs. Pittsburgh. Things aren't totally bleak, however, as Joel Ward's goal was essentially a PP one - Detroit's Doug Janik was just out of the box for one second when he scored.
- With a few days off before skating Wednesday night in Phoenix, we'll have to keep a close eye on who practices Monday & Tuesday. Missing 5 regular players is now way to head out on a West Coast roadie!
And for your advanced even-strength stats...
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
Be sure to "Like" our site on Facebook (now at www.facebook.com/OnTheForecheck)! To keep up with all of our coverage of the Nashville Predators, you can follow us on Twitter (@Forechecker, @predatweeter, @SLakePreds & @AdsRoundtable) and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Joel Ward, goal, +1 rating (20 votes)
Kevin Klein, goal, +2 rating, 4 blocked shots (83 votes)
103 total votes