Predators fumble away 3-goal lead in Toronto

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 16: The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate a 2nd period goal against the Nashville Predators during game action at the Air Canada Centre November 16 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

"We weren't working hard, we let our foot off the gas. There's no excuse for it, we just took stupid penalties."   - Shea Weber's post-game remarks, per Chris Johnston of the Canadian Press.

Holding onto leads has been a sore spot for the Nashville Predators so far this year, with overtime losses to Washington and Pittsburgh, and a regulation loss to Phoenix all having come after the Preds led in the third period (and no, we won't mention Game Five in the playoffs, will we? Oops, just did). Tonight in Toronto, however, they may have sunk to a new low in this regard.

After leading 4-1 early in the 2nd period against a Maple Leafs team that was mired in an 8-game losing streak, the Predators melted down in spectacular fashion. From that moment (a shorthanded goal by Marcel Goc), they took five consecutive penalties and allowed four power play goals. Within just 12:03, they had turned a 4-1 advantage into a 5-4 deficit, on their way to a humiliating defeat before a stunned Toronto crowd.

Follow after the jump, if you dare, for the video highlights and a whole lot more...

The Preds head out on another long road trip before returning to Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, November 24 against the St. Louis Blues, so use the OtF discount to save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game. Remember, Preds tickets can make a great holiday gift, so look through the schedule, and pick out a game!

Predators vs Maple Leafs boxscore

First, the video highlights...

  • Have you seen a worse period of Nashville Predators hockey than that dreadful 2nd? 6 penalties, 4 PP goals against, and a 3-goal lead given away. Perhaps it was even made worse by the expectation set up over the course of the 1st.
  • Watching the Sportsnet feed out of Toronto is always a hoot. During the first intermission, the studio talk was how Shea Weber probably wants out of Nashville, and that David Poile will need to trade him at the deadline since he can't afford to keep him.
  • There will naturally be complaining about the officiating when the penalty minutes end up 16-4 in Toronto's favor, but the Preds can't blame the refs for this. After all, there was a controversial "no goal" call that could have easily given the Leafs another score.
  • The Predators did have their chance to get back in this game, as they outshot the Leafs 14-5 in the final period and even had two power play opportunities. Even with a cold goalie coming in (J.S. Giguerre suffered a groin pull, forcing Jonas Gustavsson into the game) they couldn't put away that tying goal.
  • I've been very critical of Pekka Rinne's play lately, but wouldn't hang the blame for tonight's game on him. He had no chance on most of those goals.
  • So who does get the goat horns? It's hard to pick just one. There were so many bad penalties, such horrible penalty killing, and the 3rd period PP was often discombobulated. As someone (can't recall who, either in the OtF Game Thread or on @Predfans) observed, during that last PP the fivesome of Sullivan-O'Reilly-Hornqvist with Suter & Weber played the entire 2:00, and I'm sorry folks, but we don't have Kovalchuk or Ovechkin-like talent that needs to do that. A fresher crew on the second half of that PP might have made the difference.
  • Is the sky falling? No, it's an 82 game season, and into each long campaign one of these games is sure to pop up. ONE. That's it, guys, you've used it up. Now make up for this mess Thursday at Montreal.

Here are the even-strength stats, for what they're worth...

 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
 Patric Hornqvist R 16:05 1 1 1 0 7 3 +4 12 11 +1
 Cal O'Reilly C 15:31 1 0 0 1 6 3 +3 10 10 0
 David Legwand C 14:19 4 0 0 0 12 7 +5 18 12 +6
 Steve Sullivan L 13:04 3 0 0 0 5 3 +2 9 9 0
 Martin Erat R 12:44 1 1 0 0 5 5 0 11 11 0
 Marcel Goc C 12:39 2 0 0 0 6 4 +2 11 13 -2
 Jordin Tootoo R 10:55 3 1 0 1 9 6 +3 13 11 +2
 J-P Dumont R 10:54 3 0 0 0 6 6 0 9 12 -3
 Colin Wilson C 10:16 0 0 0 0 5 2 +3 9 5 +4
 Joel Ward R 9:36 1 1 0 0 9 6 +3 12 9 +3
 Sergei Kostitsyn L 8:00 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 9 5 +4
 Jerred Smithson R 6:43 0 1 0 0 1 2 -1 6 7 -1
 Kevin Klein D 18:02 0 0 0 3 8 4 +4 15 17 -2
 Francis Bouillon D 17:04 0 3 1 4 9 3 +6 17 15 +2
 Ryan Suter D 16:14 1 1 0 0 8 6 +2 12 14 -2
 Shea Weber D 15:45 2 2 0 4 8 6 +2 12 13 -1
 Cody Franson D 14:01 2 1 2 0 9 6 +3 16 9 +7
 Shane O'Brien D 12:54 0 0 1 1 8 7 +1 14 11 +3

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