Last night's loss in San Jose could simply be chalked up as one of the inevitable bumps along the long road of the NHL season, but given the tight race Nashville is in with Calgary and Detroit, and the fact that only 15 games remain on the schedule, that missed opportunity still stings.
The question, obviously, is how the Preds will respond tonight at Anaheim. As we've seen in the past, I expect the skaters to come out and play well, but they need to get into playoff mode NOW. With a third-period lead, they need to commit to keeping players on the right side of the puck and focus solid team defense (which has been sorely lacking this season). And it would help if a goaltender got hot, too.
After the jump, we have some surprisingly frank and heartfelt reaction to the loss by Barry Trotz and Dan Ellis, along with the rest of your hockey news...
Predators suffer perhaps worst loss of the season - Nashville City Paper
Here's an eye-popping quote from the normally level-headed Barry Trotz: "Then in the third period they got the two goals to tie it up. Then the fifth and sixth goals were some of the most horrendous things that ever happened to me."
Twitter / Dan Ellis: Nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...
Give full credit to Dan for offering up an honest opinion of last night's game on Twitter.
What The Puck: 3/11/10 - Nashville at San Jose: L 5-8
Rachel celebrates the fact that #split28 finally occurred last night. I noted how well Klein & Bouillon played together in my recap, but I neglected to fully give Trotz credit for breaking up the disastrous Hamhuis/Klein pairing.
Preds fail to play 60 minutes once again, lose to Sharks… | Section 303
Well, at least Jeremy notes that J.P. Dumont had his 500th career point last night.
The View from 111: Preds Embarrassed When They Find Out the Game Lasts 60 Minutes, Not 40, Drop 8-5 Decision to Sharks
Mark hopes that the taste of this defeat sticks with the team, and that it motivates them to play a more complete game tonight at Anaheim.
See Puck City: Preds Forget That Games Are 60 Minutes - Allow 6 Goals In The 3rd: 8-5 Sharks
Perhaps SPC sums up the 3rd period best: "our boys dropped trou, gave San Jose a Sharpie and fell into a coma."
Swiftwick increases their branding commitment with the Predators - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond brings news that the Preds have a new corporate sponsorship that graces one of their two Zambonis.
Around the NHL
McLellan a little sour after 8-5 win - Working the Corners
A play-in for the playoffs - The Globe and Mail
I'm sorry, I love Eric Duhatschek as a hockey writer, but adding any kind of "play-in" to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is dumb, Dumb, DUMB. If 82 games isn't enough to decide who gets in, why is 83? Or 84?
50 Percent On Draft Day - Hockey or Die
Kudos to a number of bloggers who are calling out Edmonton Oilers President Kevin Lowe for his recent statement that he'd like to get to a hit rate of 50% of draft picks becoming solid NHL players. Jonathan Willis points out that no team has done this more than twice in the last 25 years.
Lightning promotion seeks your lines of rhymes - Raw Charge
Now this is a fun promotion... "There once was a coach named Rick Tocchet..."
Free Falling Thrashers Playoff Chances Collapse - Bird Watchers Anonymous
The Falconer is about ready to throw in the towel on another disappointing season in Atlanta.
The Fantastic Freefall of Jonathan Cheechoo - View From My Seats
Matt Reitz chronicles the journey of Jonathan Cheechoo from NHL-leading goal scorer to the AHL in just 3.5 seasons.
How Long is the Olympic Hangover? - Behind The Net
Well, I'm guessing Jaromir Jagr's still pretty groggy after the big hit by Ovechkin...