Welcome back to another recap, folks. As the Nashville Predators continue their march to a top ten pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, I’ve got the highlights, quick hits and big takeaways that you need to sustain your fan experience. All of that (and more!) below.
The Predators started out in poor fashion, conceding a penalty and giving up three rapid goals to the Carolina Hurricanes. However, that all really paled in comparison to the nuclear bomb dropped on Twitter by our friends over at Broad Street Hockey:
Sources close to BSH confirm that the Flyers have started preliminary conversations with the Predators that would bring Ekholm and Arvidson to Philadelphia for Gostisbehere, Gustafsson, and draft picks. Nothing is close, but the conversations have begun.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 12, 2021
A full article on the ramifications of this will be out tomorrow, but here’s where everything stands for me: if the Predators aren’t getting back considerable draft capital and/or prospects in that deal, David Poile is getting robbed blind.
Nashville largely outplayed the Canes after giving up the early goals, generating a number of chances in close. Alex Carrier looked particularly good on a few pinch plays, but the Preds still struggled to attack the home-plate area and finish on their opportunities.
In goal, Pekka Rinne looked a bit run down, a completely fair state for an older goalie who’s been getting an absurd clip of starts recently. However, none of the early goals were really his fault. Defensive breakdowns and a screened shot made the veteran’s life quite difficult, indicative of how injured and underwhelming this team has been.
Here's all three goals at once— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 12, 2021
Basically how it played out in real-time pic.twitter.com/jbUGOFa4QZ
Not much of note going on here. The two teams traded chances, but the Hurricanes took back momentum, dictated pace, and generally outplayed the short-staffed Preds. Morgan Geekie widened the gap even further with yet another goal created by weak netfront play.
Morgan Geekie's second of the game makes it 4-0 pic.twitter.com/wxwxaJSzgh— Andrew Schnittker (@aschnitt53) March 12, 2021
As if Nashville wasn’t having a bad enough time, the hockey gods struck down yet another soldier. Why not?
What did the Predators do to deserve this? I guess maybe it’s a form of pity so that they can properly tank, rather than suffering under David Poile’s “maybe I will, maybe I won’t” approach to blowing up the core. Will we see Frédéric Allard on Saturday? Who knows.
Either way, things just got even uglier after that. Defensive breakdowns abounded, the team whiffed on a few chances or barely missed passes to set up goals, etc etc. All pretty standard stuff for this season, honestly.
More of the same here, folks. The Hurricanes owned all phases, outchanced the Preds, and sent Pekka Rinne to the locker room in favor of Kasmir Kaskisuo when No. 35 allowed his fifth goal of the night. The rookie-not-rookie played his second NHL game and actually fared...okay, although the Hurricanes were essentially running out the clock whenever possible.
Nick Cousins finally got the Predators on the board with his third goal of the year. Rem Pitlick had a fantastic screen in front to create the tally, but the play really began with a nice sequence from Mattias Ekholm (maybe don’t trade that guy for peanuts, eh).
Still, the Preds couldn’t manage to get anything else moving before the end of the game. Another brutal loss in what’s turned out to be a historically painful season.
Three Big Things
- Everyone is hurt, Kasmir Kaskisuo had to play an NHL game, and the team is near the bottom of the league. I think it’s time for David Poile to throw in the towel. I know Carolina is a good team, but the Predators are a mess across the board. Expect some moves soon.
- Freddy Allard season begins in Nashville, barring a shocking refusal to elevate the French-Canadian defender to the NHL. With the absence of so many players, the silver lining is a look at the promise of Milwaukee, albeit from a shallow prospect pool. Allard has recently been an unexpected pariah of the organization despite his excellent play, so it makes me happy that he’s finally going to get a shot. The little things keep you going.
- I really liked what I saw from Jérémy Davies tonight. At the bare minimum, the kid can skate at a plus level in the NHL, which isn’t anything to sneeze at. He made a number of smart plays with his stick, demonstrated good gap control and genuinely seemed comfortable in just his second start with the Preds. Exciting stuff to look forward to as he continues to acclimate to the speed of the top level of professional hockey.
Sad Times Tunes
I want to take a nap. Here’s a good, sleepy, and kinda painful song. I feel like it fits pretty well.
Sorry about the loss, but it happens. Goodnight folks, and as always, go Predators.