The whipsawing going on in Pred Nation is kinda crazy right now, enough to give even the most casual observer whiplash. Since their horrendous six game losing streak, the Nashville Predators have captured seven of their last ten points taking down the division leader, twice… beating a solid team in Carolina and dropping an OT decision to Vegas. I can’t freak out too much on that.
But the level of “fire someone” … “trade someone” … “bench someone” … “don’t bench someone” is becoming almost silly. OK… let’s face it. As I write this on December 2nd, the Preds are two points out of a wild card slot three points out of third in the division and 4 points out of second. They have games in hand over every team they are chasing and seem to be heading in the right direction… and besides… you can’t run into a rookie goaltender in his first NHL start every game.
It’s time to relax a little bit. The “football” mentality being shown after every loss is silly. This is a marathon, not a sprint and one loss doesn’t kill your national championship hopes.
Are there issues that need to be taken care of? Absolutely. The power play is in a slump, the offense seems to be misfiring a bit and there still is an issue getting the third d-pair settled. I get the PTSD that surround the power play… after last year’s horror show, that is understandable. The defensive issues are solvable and the offense is showing signs of relaxing just a bit.
Oh… and Pekka Rinne’s rest seemed to do him good. Rinne always seems to react well to a little upward pressure from Juuse Saros. His Friday night shutout of the Hurricanes was a masterpiece of goaltending.
So… December dawns with four of the next five games at home… that games-on-hand number will grow over the next two weeks. The Preds welcome Tampa tomorrow, then are off till Saturday when the New Jersey Devils hit Smashville for PK Subban’s first visit back since the trade. Week two sees San Jose come to town before a quick trip to Buffalo then a Saturday night divisional showdown with Dallas… a preview of their upcoming Winter Classic game. The team then hits the road for four… back-to-back against the Rangers and Islanders, then to Ottawa and Boston before returning home for a pre-Christmas game against Arizona. The Preds then close out 2019 with a home-and-home, back-to-back with Pittsburgh before heading to Dallas for New Year’s Day.
The panic button should not be anywhere near arm’s reach right now… this team is too talented and too hungry to maintain this level of play… Nashville is back in action tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Smashville, limited tickets remain.
Random Notes – Presented by
- What is it about goaltenders on their first NHL start and the Predators?
- I love how involved this team is in the community. Turkey dinners were delivered, work was done at the rescue mission, all to support those less fortunate at the holidays.
- November couldn’t end quick enough…
- One thing the Preds seemed to have fixed is their starts… they have had solid first periods over the last five games.
- The Kyle Turris healthy scratch situation doesn’t seem to be a unique one… Sportsnet.ca names Brendan Perlini, Colin Miller, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marc Staal, Pavel Zacha, David Backes, Tyler Toffoli, Kevin Fiala, Jason Spezza, Mikkel Boedker, Loui Eriksson, Bobby Ryan, Brent Seabrook and Shayne Gostisbehere all spending time as healthy scratches this season.
- Tonight’s games – 6pm – NJD @ BUF, VGK @ NYR. 6:30pm – NYIU @ DET. 7:30pm – STL @ CHI (NHL Network). 9pm – LAK @ ANA.
SlapShot Radio is back for our 12th season as Zack, Brent and I are now on Monday night’s this season. The best hour of hockey talk on the longest running hockey show in the southeast … 7pm Mondays on 102.5 the Game, join us tonigt as we welcome the hosts of “Off Ice with Ida and Julie,” we will discuss their unique podcast and ask Ida Bjornstad and Julie Turris about the life of a hockey family.
Our sponsor list continues to grow. Not only are we welcoming back Drs. Jane Bacon and Aileen Kruger at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
… make your appointment at (615) 872-7762 and our good friend Carter Church, Your Murfreesboro real estate expert with Weichert – The Andrews Group. And our newest sponsors… Cool Springs Wines and Spirits
! The largest spirit store in all of middle Tennessee! And La-Z-Boy Nashville! Three locations, locally owned and operated, check out La-Z-Boy in Murfreesboro, Hendersonville and Cool Springs!
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