Originally I had a bunch of text here outlining the game and the match up and setting the tone for everything else that was about to take place. You know what I did to all of that text?
The Nashville Predators played a pretty damn good first period against the Anaheim Ducks, then followed it up with one of the most dominating performances we've seen from them all season. They took a 2-0 lead into the 2nd intermission, and were only 20 minutes away from leaving a west coast road trip with a 3-1 record. Something that seemed unheard of just over a week ago.
Then they completely stopped playing and pissed away their lead. The Ducks scored four unanswered goals in the last frame, three of them before it was 10 minutes old. What looked like a statement win exclaiming the early season Preds were back turned into a turd sandwich coated with fermented trash juice.
- Mr. Colin Wilson was playing like a man possessed from the get-go. While he only had three shot attempts (two on net) and two scoring chances, he was buzzing all over the offensive zone and was seemingly always on the ice and involved with the play. For the entire night,
- Corey Perry thought about throwing the puck into the Preds' net on a power play. With his hand. You know you saw the gears turning in that empty head of his.
- Speaking of the power play, the Ducks only had two in the first period, but pumped 8 shots on net during that time. They only had 2 through 16 minutes of 5v5 play. If it wasn't for Pekka Rinne, who was playing like Pekka Rinne, there could have been some serious damage done. We've seen this all year, though, so don't expect the penalty kill to get much better.
- Mike Fisher dropped the gloves with Ryan Kesler? Okay.
- In a completely unrelated set of events, Taylor Beck potted his sixth of the season about half a second later. He and Gabriel Bourque jumped on a neutral zone turnover by Anaheim, and initiated a 2-on-1. Beck capped off a beautiful give-and-go to break open the scoring. It was only the second time in 14 games that the Predators have scored first.
- Every time Nashville takes the ice with the extra man, we expect the worst. For a team that's been so good at even strength, it just has not been there all season on the power play. Last night was a perfect, frustrating example, as the entire fan base probably pulled its hair out at watching the team dump the puck into the zone. So it's such a reward to see a power play marker put on the board, like the one Roman Josi snuck past John Gibson. Notch another couple of points for the Predators' blue line.
- It was also Filip Forsberg's first point since March 5th against the Islanders, and only his second dating back to February 26th. As of typing this right now, he hasn't scored a goal since that walloping of Colorado.
- That second period was all domination by the Predators. They outshot the Ducks 15 to 3 (all situations) and pumped 22 total shot attempts toward Gibson, (again, all situations.)
- And then the collapse happened...
- Just over two minutes into the 3rd period, Ryan Getzlaf finally broke through Rinne and got the Ducks on the board. Okay, whatever. As long as the Predators kept playing like they did in the first two periods, they would be fine.
- Except that's the exact opposite of what they did. Anaheim shelled Nashville in their own zone and the Preds had no answer. Whatever mojo they were working earlier was gone. Kyle Palmieri got the tying goal about seven minutes after the Ducks got their first goal. Less than a minute later, the collapse was complete as Nate Thompson finished off a neutral zone transition to put the Ducks ahead.
- For good measure, Cam Fowler scored on the power play to make it 4-2, because your life isn't terrible enough and you need more sadness. All told, the Preds were outshot 15-4 in the final frame and out attempted 28-7. Unacceptable.
Whether the back-to-back finally caught up with them in the 17 minutes between the 2nd and the 3rd, or it was something else entirely, it doesn't matter. Nashville should have expected pushback from the Ducks. Instead, they lost their footing and never recovered, practically rolling over and letting Anaheim walk all over them. That's not any way to win.
The Predators fly back home for a Tuesday game against Minnesota, then don't play again until Saturday. Who the hell knows how the game against the Wild is going to go, but the Predators will have three days to get their asses out of their heads
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- No one deserves a star after that game, except the entire Ducks team.
Tweets of the Game (in GIF form):
And Now... This
Probably the highlight of the night.
"Bring the car around Jeeves, cigars and pocket watches won’t buy themselves. Quite." pic.twitter.com/ksciMnSBkF— On The Forecheck (@OnTheForecheck) March 16, 2015
Roll the video highlights...