Nashville Predators 0, Minnesota Wild 4: Wild Dominate, Preds Shutout Again

Another night, another shutout loss.

The Predators were frustrated again tonight as they lost 4-0 to the Minnesota Wild. The Preds looked tired, which was to be expected, but they also looked sloppy, unorganized, and visibly frustrated. Unlike last night, the Predators weren't really generating any quality offensive possessions tonight. The Wild on the other hand looked composed, physical, and efficient.

Ryan Suter, Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, and Thomas Vanek all scored for the Wild in a pretty lopsided performance.

Hard to say how much of a hinge moment a team can find themselves in this early in the season, but I think there are some important questions that need addressed. Do the Preds need to continue shuffling the lines night in and night out? Do they need to start sitting guys that aren't playing well, regardless of cap hit? Do they begin the elusive chase for a 1C? What to do about the special teams? Do they make any trades? Do they call in a witch doctor?

And finally, is it time to panic? For the first time this season, I am unsure of the answer to that.

Random Observations

  • How about these odd-ball lines: Hodgson-Fisher-Neal, Forsberg-Ribeiro-Smith, Wilson-Jarnkrok-Bourque... Lavy is just throwing darts now.
  • Rinne starting on back-to-back nights seems risky, but I think it's a risk you have to take. Can't have another result like last night and Rinne gives you the better chance to win.
  • Defensemen are buzzing tonight. Josi, Ellis, Jones, Ekholm... all had great possession in the offensive zone getting off quality shot attempts. It may be another night where we have to rely on the defense for scoring.
  • Wild score first on the power-play. Lyin' Boo-ter with the goal. Penalty-kill lets in a goal for the first time in 4 games.
  • Wilson lost his skate blade. Yes, the whole thing.
  • Granlund makes it 2-0 as the Wild take advantage of a slow line change by the Preds. Rinne stopped the initial shot, but gave up a huge rebound and Granlund pounced. That's the difference over the last two games: opponents have taken advantage of all their chances... the Preds have done absolutely nothing with theirs.
  • My internet/TV went out for a bit, but apparently all I missed was yet another Wild goal, this time by Jonas Brodin. By the time my feeds were working again, James Neal and Calle Jarnkrok were getting in fights. So apparently we've gone full Winnipeg Jets in this one.
  • It's been over 6 periods of hockey (over 133 minutes, in fact) since the Preds have scored a goal. Last one was Salomaki's against Anaheim on Tuesday. Yes, they are getting a lot of shot attempts, but almost everything that gets through is easily stoppable by the opposing goaltenders. Incredibly frustrating.
  • Mike Ribeiro received a 10-minute misconduct, probably for saying something he shouldn't have. Surprise. Real smart play there.
  • Wild have completely taken control. Everything being pushed to the outside, very few shot attempts by either team... just watching the time tick away.
  • Make that 153+ minutes of scoreless hockey for the Preds. Unbelievably hard to watch.

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

(I don't care what kind of game he has, you can count on me never putting Ryan Suter in this section, no matter how well he plays. Sorry about it.)

  • Devan Dubnyk: Solid night. Can't deny the Preds made it easy on him, but still... solid night.
  • Thomas Vanek: 1g, 1a. The Wild's success this year has been in large part due to him, and we saw why tonight. Great player.
  • Gabriel Bourque: had some nice shifts and played physical as usual. Would have like to see him on the Forsberg-Smith line tonight, as Ribeiro was useless there.

Tweets of the Night

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

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