The Nashville Predators dropped their fourth-straight game 2-0 in St. Louis tonight, suffering their second shutout at the hands of Jaroslav Halak this season, despite putting 32 shots on net to the Blues' 26. The loss drops Nashville's record to 17-12-6 (with more overall losses than wins), while the offense has ground to a complete halt. Without four of their leading forwards tonight, the Preds' scoring drought has now brought them just three goals over the last four outings.
Follow after the jump for video highlights, advanced stats, and more...
The Preds host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, December 28, so make sure to use our coupon code for discount Nashville Predators tickets.
First, your video highlights (might have to wait a few minutes until they become available) and Predators vs Blues boxscore:
As for reaction...
- Yikes, another steep angle soft goal given up by Pekka Rinne to open the scoring. It can demoralize a defense that strives to push puck carriers wide to have a shot like that go in. Outside of that one goal, however, he was outstanding.
- The choir-boy St. Louis Blues made it through this one without taking a single penalty. This is the first time this season the Preds didn't get a single chance on the power play (not like that was likely to be a salvation). The only other time that's happened to the Preds since the Great Lockout was last year against Philadelphia.
- Linus Klasen appeared to fit in alongside Marcel Goc and Sergei Kostitsyn, taking Martin Erat's place. He clearly wants to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given, but I really can't stand the way he plants his feet wide in the offensive zone when he tries to dangle the puck. Barry Trotz commented on that recently to Ads Roundtable.
- In today's NHL, in which overtime/shootout losses count as "half a win", lots of teams look like winners because they're "above .500". After tonight, however, the Preds have lost more games (18) than they've won (17). That ain't good.
- Joel Ward committed another one of those *facepalm* moments midway through the 3rd, leading an odd-man rush with a wide-open path to the net, and opting to make a lame, backhanded pass into the middle of the zone rather than take the shot. Somebody needs to change the terminology used by the team. Start calling shots "passes off the goalie" or something.
- Seth raised a great question on the @Predfans Twitter group: "What 'coaching' or 'philosophy' change will create offense?" I think what frustrates some folks (like myself) is that players will lose ice time or get benched for turnovers or other perceived defensive shortcomings, while offensive blunders tend to get overlooked. While the coaches may say all the right things, perhaps their actions tell players that no matter what, just don't make a turnover, and that mindset leads to overly-conservative offensive play. That's my $0.02, what's yours?
- Jerred Smithson had his moment also, getting a clear shot from about 25 feet out after a St. Louis turnover, but missing the net wildly.
- By the way, has anyone told Ward that he's in a contract year?
- They used to say that putting the Boston "B" on your chest added 15 pounds to a player on those tough teams from the 70's and 80's, and I think the same goes for Francis Bouillon when he dons the "A". The Cube was blasting everybody in sight.
- Wade Belak played 6:59 tonight, the most ice time he's seen since January 21 of last season.
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|
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Marcel Goc (4 votes)
Linus Klasen (15 votes)
Pekka Rinne (31 votes)
Ryan Suter (3 votes)
Shea Weber (12 votes)
65 total votes