Tonight our beloved Predators narrowly lost to the [OPPOSING TEAM]. Despite a strong start from Pekka Rinne, Nashville produced too few scoring chances, getting just [PREDATORS' SHOTS] shots to the [OPPOSING TEAM]'s [OPPONENT'S SHOTS]. This shot differential resulted from the Preds' fundamental inability to sustain any type of attack in the [OPPOSING TEAM]'s defensive zone, while simultaneously often getting caught in their own end.
After going down early, the Predators were able to briefly tie the score, when [PLAYER'S NAME] tallied late in the [PREDATORS' ONE HALF-DECENT PERIOD]. Unfortunately [OPPONENT PLAYER] would respond in the third period, giving [OPPOSING TEAM] all the cushion they needed to win.
Now that we got that formality out of the way, here's a gif of Francis Bouillon:
- Despite another overall poor showing, the Predators did show a little improvement. Both Mike Fisher and Francis Bouillon looked alright and were relied on surprisingly heavily. Fisher took 23 faceoffs, by far the most on the team, despite Trotz's earlier suggestion that he would play wing to avoid faceoffs and rest his shoulder. Bouillon played 17:32, although that was due in part to his getting caught out on the ice on several shifts.
- The Predators have sorely needed a top-6 center and solid third-pairing defenseman. Did they get both of those guys tonight in Fisher and Bouillon? Maybe. They'll help, but as tonight showed, some bigger problems persist.
- Craig Smith is the one and only shoot-first player on this team. He lead the team with six shots and looked like he wanted more. Like many Sharks players, Smith isn't concerned with the perfect play. He just gets the thing on net and follows his own rebounds. He was calling his own number that entire power play. Then he reminded us of his nifty hands near the net.
- You know it's a swell season when your head coach's first intermission interview goes, "Yea we got outshot by 10, but we're playing much better."
- Jordin Tootoo was a penalty-drawing ninja tonight. His great forecheck at 2:37 drew a holding. His great hit on Logan Couture at 11:50 drew an unsportsmanlike. He also drew a holding in the first period tonight that I missed, because NHL Gamecenter Live was being shoddy. You can also tell Tootoo is trying to do more offensively, but he's being held back a little by his line.
- Speaking of trying to do more, Colin Wilson was trying to do it all tonight. Sometimes he tries to do a little too much--deking when he should dump--but I appreciate the effort on a team that is, by and large, doing nothing offensively. Hopefully he breaks out with some more scoring too.
- Finally, you know Hornqvist is getting healthy when his face gets washed multiple times in one game, despite limited ice time.