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Observations from Two Losses Against Tampa Bay

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Again, it’s the preseason. Discombobulation is the name of the game.

NHL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Final Scores

Predators 1, Lightning 5 (Friday)

Predators 2, Lightning 5 (Saturday)

Lines and Pairings

Random Observations

Friday vs. TBL

  • Very very poor defensive coverage in front of Pekka Rinne results in three quick goals for Tampa Bay. What an ugly way to start a game.
  • Eeli Tolvanen looks right at home on the power play. He works the opposite circle that Alex Ovechkin normally shoots from. He also looks a little more comfortable with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. I’m still not certain where Tolvanen fits in the lineup.
  • The puck movement on the power play is phenomenal.
  • The defense in general is...not.
  • Colin Blackwell is pretty determined on the penalty kill...tons of speed and forechecking.
  • Craig Smith dropped the gloves with Andy Andreoff!!!!! This is apparently his first NHL fight.
  • Very few pucks are passed/carried in the center of the ice in the Lightning zone. Tampa Bay has that locked down.
  • Troy Grosenick looked very solid in the third. He’s not going to make highlight-reel saves, but he is the kind of dependable goaltender the organization needs in the minors.

Saturday @ TBL

  • Calle Jarnkrok is out here looking like he has something to prove.
  • Juuse Saros also looking beautiful as a goalie and as a person.
  • Yakov Trenin does appear to settle in nicely with Tyler Gaudet and Mathieu Olivier.
  • Perhaps the guys who didn’t play last night want to prove that they can play better than the guys who skated last night?
  • Colton Sissons and Miikka Salomaki are great forecheckers.
  • Once again, Jared Tinordi is not good. Perhaps he’s more of an AHL-level player, but goodness, he falls apart in his own zone.
  • Ryan Ellis can still fire rockets.
  • Emil Pettersson is establishing some chemistry with Rocco Grimaldi.
  • Milwaukee can benefit from some early chemistry between Trenin-Gaudet-Olivier.
  • Tampa Bay has some ridiculously good prospects.
  • Alexandre Carrier looked a little “meh” next to Dan Hamhuis tonight. Carrier seems like he relies on his partner to begin and complete transitions.
  • I’m sort of curious why Thomas McCollum didn’t play during this outing. He was not bad in Monday’s contests, yet he rode the pine for the entire 60 minutes tonight.
  • I’m also interested in why Miroslav Svoboda hasn’t had a look in any of the preseason games.

Final Thoughts

  • Overall, both games against Tampa Bay left a lot to be desired. The defense looked particularly discombobulated in both games.
  • It seemed that Nashville did not have the speed to counter the Lightning in either game.
  • The veteran players did not seem like they provided much leadership to the youngsters in either game.
  • I was underwhelmed by Dan Hamhuis and Anthony Bitetto.
  • Rocco Grimaldi has all kinds of speed.
  • There are many things to take away from both games. My prevailing thought is that most of the young guys were not used to the Nashville system and that they were learning what it’s like to play at the NHL level.

Nashville has two more preseason games remaining...both are against the Carolina Hurricanes.