Reacting to a fowl defeat in Game 4

A lack of connectivity kept me from sharing my thoughts on last night's debacle while it happened, so I thought I'd toss out a few nuggets for your consideration as we await Game 5 on Friday night. So follow after the jump and feel free to react to the good, the bad, and the ugly...

  • The crowd certainly did their part - the arena was packed for the opening faceoff, and was thoroughly boisterous and engaged until the wheels came off the proverbial wagon in the 3rd period. The TV Timeout Standing O that occurred was a perfect reaction to the team's play at the time, and was as good as any of them.
  • Is immaturity the price of all this youth on the Nashville roster? It just appears that the Ducks are dictating the tempo and tenor of these games, devolving into a special teams battle which places even more emphasis on the star players, which is where Anaheim has the advantage.
  • The more I watch Mike Fisher, the more I like his game. Patric Hornqvist's score last night came off a wonderful pass by Sergei Kostitsyn, but if Fisher doesn't drive the net hard and draw the attention of both the Ducks defense and Ray Emery, there's no goal.
  • I shudder to think what the Preds' record must be when both Joe Biddle and David Climer attend a game. Once again, with the eyes of Nashville upon them, the Predators failed to take advantage of an opportunity, allowing Biddle and Climer to file nearly identical columns (here and here).
  • I love Shane O`Brien as a hockey player - he's tough, and is an outspoken leader on and off the ice. However, the discipline issues which I was worried about when he was first acquired have really been a problem in this series. He's heading to the box 3 times as more often now than during the regular season, and that simply has to stop. He's currently tied with Buffalo's Tyler Myers for the most minor penalties in the playoffs, with 6.
  • Preds fans may crack on the 3 Hour Lunch guys as football-first, but give full marks to Brent Dougherty, who was sitting right behind me. When the Preds scored on a power play early in the second (initially credited to Cody Franson), right away he thought Joel Ward got a piece of the puck on the way in, and sure enough, a scoring change later on confirmed that.
  • After the game, Randy Carlyle talked about shuffling his defense a bit and changing the look of his lineup. Barry Trotz has no easy options on that front - the Predators are not carrying any extra defensemen currently, and if they did have to make a recall from Milwaukee, the only guy who's played at all in Nashville is Teemu Laakso (1 game this season).
  • My reaction to the Ruutu/Erat hit (and all I've seen so far was the reply shown in the arena last night) was that it was definitely late and deserving of the interference call, but I don't think it warrants suspension. Playoff hockey is nasty business, and Erat has to be more aware. A large part of the skill that goes into being an NHL player is simply the routine of surviving a regular shift out there, let alone actually play hockey and try to score a goal.
  • We're all waiting for Pekka Rinne to steal a game, so tomorrow night would be great, m'kay?
  • If Erat can't go in Game 5, I think I'd go with J.P. Dumont in a nail-biter over Colin Wilson. This team needs more experience and maturity on the ice, not less.
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