Driving in to work today and thinking on the Predators ouster from the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Playoffs, I thought back upon the series against the victorious Phoenix Coyotes and all the activity surrounding the team. For no reason whatsoever, a small word began popping up in several places.
There were several areas where this showed itself, so allow me to expound on what "misses" there were that led to the team's playoff exit.
So many shots. It was almost uncharacteristic to see the Predators shoot so much. However the shots that were missed, those pucks that "almost went in," seemed to loom large as the series went on. Take all those missed shots in Game 4 by Hornqvist and others that could have tied the game.
Miss a Powerful Power Play
When you have the top power play percentage for the whole season (and fifth in total PPGs), you expect a little more than what we got for the series. The team ended up going 2/15 for a 13.3% that included a combined 0/9 the final three games.
Go to your refrigerator and grab the milk. On the Missing Person panel you will most likely find a picture of the Preds' Power Play.
It's been discussed ad nauseum, but the acts of Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn forced management to make the decision to subsequently sit them for what ended up being 2 games. Had they done what they should have, they would not have brought this on themselves and therefore affected the team adversely.
Miss the Puck
Pekka Rinne, to me, did not seem quite so Pekkarific this series. A .912 save percentage against the Coyotes demonstrated that he was missing the pucks Phoenix put on net more than he did in the previous round. Some of those he would naturally like to have back, and many were the result of things out of his control.
In the defensive zone, both defensemen and forward missed their assignments many times to give the Coyotes prime scoring chances in dangerous areas in the slot. It almost seemed like no one was immune early on in the series, as nine goals were allowed.
Missing Sight Of The Puck
I will not harp on this much, but the officials lost sight of the puck an awful lot. Yes it's a rule and they followed it to a 't', but I just wonder if they were positioned closer to the net if the play would have been allowed to continue on one or more of those disallowed goals.
Like I said, the whole 'miss' theme just seemed to stick out like a sore thumb to me today. (And I admit I was stretching for that last one. What can I say? I wanted an even number of them.) The Coyotes played a great series and I will not take anything away from what they accomplished. I was hoping for at least a Game 6 and a much deeper playoff run, but alas, that's something else I will miss.