Flyers 3, Predators 1: From bad to worse

Things are getting ugly in a hurry, folks.

After dropping a pair of games in brutal fashion to the Kings and Blue Jackets, the Nashville Predators returned home to take on the Philadelphia Flyers, who have surprised in the early going of this season as overachievers. The outcome of the game? Less than ideal, even with the caveat of the Flyers being on a hot streak to start the year.

What happened?

The Preds didn’t blow a lead, and they didn’t get shut out. Those are probably the only silver linings you could take from this game. Despite dominating the first period, Nashville quickly trailed 2-0 after a Kevin Hayes goal and a juicy Saros rebound that gave Zack McEwen the insurance marker.

After ending the first period strong despite the score and controlling the pace and possession of the game, there was reason for hope that the Predators could turn things around. Unfortunately, Nashville came out of the locker room flat and the Flyers... outplayed them. Yikes.

Even after a tough Joel Farabee goal that Saros probably should have had, Nashville failed to find any sort of jump, struggling to execute on basic components of the system like first looks on breakout passes. The lineup looked sluggish and disengaged.

A late James van Riemsdyk penalty gave the Predators a power play goal late, the only highlight from one of the worst nights in Bridgestone Arena in recent memory (more on that later).

Nashville hasn’t yet beaten anybody besides the Sharks, who currently have a resounding argument for being the worst team in the NHL. The talent is there for this Preds roster, but they’ll need to turn that into tangible, positive momentum soon before the season starts to get away from them.

Last thing: Mark Borowiecki exited the game after a horrifying accidental collision with Morgan Frost. Boro lay motionless on the ice for what seemed like hours before finally being stretchered off. The Predators will be providing periodic updates on his condition.

Keep him in your thoughts tonight.

Three Big Things

  1. The process is flat--out poor. Losing like this to a Flyers squad that’s posted dreadful underlying numbers is unacceptable for a team with expectations of making the playoffs. Carter Hart’s performance had a lot to do with the outcome of this game, but the second and third period are reason for concern in ways that other failings in previous games weren’t.
  2. Juuse Saros has been mortal to start the year. Even tonight, he never looked as comfortable as he did last season, struggling to swallow rebounds and getting beaten on stuff like the long Farabee shot. If Nashville doesn’t have him playing at an elite level, the ceiling for this team craters.
  3. Shoutout to the Flyers for coming out onto the ice and saying words of encouragement to Borowiecki as he was carted off. Classy move by Philadelphia.

Post Game Tunes

“It won’t be this bleak forever... yeah right. It won’t be this bleak forever, and I hope you’re right. It won’t be this bleak forever... have you seen me lately?” feels like a fitting set of lines for the way this year has started.

As always, good night, good hockey, and go Predators.