Here’s the fourth depressing blog post in a row for the Predators fans. After the embarrassing game from Saturday, the Predators were expected to make a roaring comeback against the slacking Vancouver Canucks tonight when the puck dropped at 9PM. However, it seems the guys are still up to no good and penalties plagued the Preds once again. Matt Halischuk scored the Preds only goal in the game during the first period, and Pekka Rinne, after having four goals scored on him during the first period alone, was pulled and replaced with Anders Lindback during the second and third periods.
Don’t Blame the Goalie for Terrible Defense:
Despite being pulled during the first, blame cannot be placed atop Pekka’s head. “Fans” on the Predators Facebook accused the Predators leading goalie of being “too big headed” and “overrated”, but again, we call these people “fans” with quotation marks for a reason. When you are under as much pressure as Pekka Rinne is, there is going to come a time when his body becomes both emotionally and physically exhausted from having to cover the rest of his team’s mistakes (hence why Peks is called “The Eraser”). When a team’s defense is terrible and players are constantly in and out of the penalty box, the goalie has to work extra hard to prevent the opposing team from scoring, wether they hit the goalie with 50 shots or 12, eventually a few will slip by. It was evident from tonight (and even Saturday’s game) that Peks is getting worn out due to his team’s performance. It has nothing to do with his “big headed-ness” or being “overrated”. If you have actually ever met the man, you would know he doesn’t have a single selfish bone in his body and is actually shy when it comes to fame. There is no PRIDE in this WHATSOEVER.
Pardon my soapbox moment, but sometimes the obvious has to be stated.
Speaking of goalies, Anders Lindback play exceptionally well after replacing Pekka during the second period, allowing only one puck while in goal. Pretty good for his first appearance this season, right? We think so and we are glad to see Lindback is following in Pekka’s footsteps.
Now on to the depression stats: As usual, the Predators lost in the shooting round, being out shot by the Canucks 40 to 26. This number rose, however, from the Edmonton game, in which the Preds only shot 12 times. Also plaguing the Predators, as stated above in the first paragraph, were unnecessary penalties; 30 minutes worth, in fact. This also including both Shea Weber and Ryan Suter being sent to the box at the same time with Weber facing unsportsmanlike conduct, a double minor of 5 minutes.
On a lighter note, Colin Wilson went after Dan Hamhuis and clocked him a few times, making this his third NHL fight. Sadly, Hamhuis won the fight, but barely. Colin also spent some time in the penalty box tonight. A fight and a trip to the penalty box; Good birthday presents, right? Also putting up the dukes was good ole Jordin Tootoo, who completely wrecked Aaron Volpatti, a Canuck left wing from Brown University.
Freak Out Time:
So after four straight losses, is it time for fans to start jumping ship and running? Well, first off, if you are loyal to your Preds, that thought wouldn’t cross your mind. Furthermore, the season is only six games in and the Predators have won two. Okay, so we are hitting a sour note right now and yes, it really, really sucks, but to give up is not an option. We shall make lemonade with lemons and let Barry Trotz scare the living H-E-Double Hockey Sticks out of us and try again Saturday against the Calgary Flames. However, the Predators seriously need to get their defense in order and focus on discipline and stop finding themselves on the other end of a penalty kill. The lack of defense is having a huge effect on Pekka Rinne and it’s finally beginning to show.
The Predators finish up their Canadian run on Saturday in Calgary as they take on the Flames at 3PM.