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Chicago Blackhawks 4, Nashville Predators 1: Familiar Foe, Familiar Result

The Nashville Predators followed up a nice effort in Boston on Monday night with a disappointing result in Chicago, losing this one 4-1. The Predators, as has been the case most of the year, played a great game of possession-based hockey, but couldn’t translate it into goal-based hockey. The Blackhawks capitalized on their chances, the Predators didn’t. Corey Crawford stopped the shots he needed to, Pekka Rinne didn’t. And the disappointment continues.

Eric Nystrom scored for the Predators (really). Dennis Rasmussen, Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen, and Patrick Kane all scored for the Blackhawks.

It’s hard to keep watching the same thing over and over and over again.

Random Observations

  • Wilson is out, Watson is in. Wouldn’t be shocked if Watson gets a goal either. This game seems like an opportunity for him to shine.
  • Dennis Rasmussen (who?) with the first goal of the game, as he deflected Shaw’s shot from the point by Rinne. It’s Rasmussen’s first NHL goal and it gives the Blackhawks the early lead.
  • We’ve seen a lot of “play well, get unlucky, lose game” recently, but I’m worried we may be in for “play poorly, get unlucky, lose game” scenario. Shot attempts even after the 1st though, which bodes well. Really need the forwards to bury some chances. Forsberg had the best chance on a partial breakaway, but it didn’t go.
  • As usual, the Predators are generating a ton of chances and shots, but can’t get anything in the goal. Most shots are getting blocked and deflected into the United Center stratosphere, some are getting through but aren’t on net, and the rest are getting stopped by Crawford. It’s only a matter of time before the Preds defense over-commits to the offensive zone and gives Chicago a nice 3-on-0 breakout.
  • 2-0 Blackhawks as Shaw gets a power-play goal late in the 2nd. Great.
  • The Preds may be getting a lot of shot attempts, but nothing they have done seems threatening. No one on the Preds seems dangerous. If I’m Joel Queneville, I roll out any line combo I want, because the Preds will get stopped by anyone at this point. Is Kimmo still in the house? Yeah, throw him out there with Shaw and Dennis Rassmussussen and make it 3-0 already.
  • Somehow, the Preds score. I don’t know what sort of voodoo Josi put on the puck as he slid it over to Nystrom, but it must have been some dark twisted magic to make it go in off that guy’s stick (or skate, whatever). Still, it’s a 2-1 game with a full period to play.
  • Right on cue, just as the Preds found some life, Teravainen shoots and scores on Rinne to open the 3rd period. A good shot, but just not a goal Rinne should be giving up. Really terrible timing, too. And so the slow trudge to this game’s inevitable and familiar conclusion marches on.
  • It’s hard not to be cynical at this point. I mean, what can you do? There is just no reason to lose games when you are so successful at important aspects of the game like shot generation and shot suppression. What’s it going to take to get over this?
  • Preds can’t capitalize on a late 3rd period power-play. This game is so over. /

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Roman Josi: danced around the defense to setup the Nystrom goal. Early Christmas present for #24, care of #59.
  • Barret Jackman: 4 blocks, 4 shots on net. He did a good job covering for whatever the hell Seth Jones was doing out there tonight.
  • Dennis Rasmussen: congrats on your first NHL goal, kid. I don’t hate you yet, but give it time.

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