I think little baby Cal O'Reilly is finally getting comfortable with himself. This is a good thing because I was worried he wasn't ever going to get there. [It should be noted that I said this during the first period and before he scored the first Predators goal in the second.]
I need to take a moment and talk about our face off percentages this season. What happened? Did the loss of Vernon Fiddler, Scott Nichol and Radek Bonk really have that much of an impact? I thought Jason Arnott, David Legwand and Jerred Smithson would have been able to pick up the slack but I guess I was sorely mistaken. There needs to be some additional focus on this in their practices. This is a pivotal part of the game that can make all the difference in whether the game is won or lost.
Why is it that when the Predators play a team with some kind of streaking statistic of note before a game that they always have a hand in breaking that streak? The Islanders hadn't scored the first goal in 10 games and the Preds help them break that streak during the second period. Of course they do. Oh, and the Islanders were on a seven game losing streak when decided by a shootout and...the Predators helped them cure that too. Wow, good for them. I vote we stop talking statistics like that before a game. Anyone else with me?
Dear Joel Ward, please keep it up with the breakaway goals. And maybe give a workshop on how you make it look so easy because a few of your teammates could use the tips.
Pekka's positioning seemed really off tonight. He was all over the place and never covering the side of the net he should be. Very spastic. Did not like.
Good to see that the power play is connecting again. It pays to take shots rather than just pass the puck, eh boys? However, they do need to watch the short handed chances because there were a few too many of those for the Islanders tonight.
There were a lot of bad bounces off the boards tonight. And I have never seen quite as many weird rebounds off of the goalies as I saw during this game. I'm surprised that there weren't more goals scored because of this.
I know I call JP Dumont my Iron Man but Jerred Smithson is a close second. That shot he blocked off his shoulder was painful to watch. I can only imagine what it felt like though judging by the look of anguish on his face, I'm pretty sure I have a good idea. Thank goodness, he bounced right back. Way to breathe it out, Jerred.
Here's the reason the Predators have lost the last two games (and both were games they should have won): TOO MANY UNDISCIPLINED PLAYS AT THE END OF THE THIRD PERIOD. Why must guys continue to take bad penalties so late in the game when they are up one goal or tied?! This must stop. Martin Erat is going to get reamed for the penalty he took that led to the eventual game tying goal for the Islanders. Even if he slightly made up for it with his sweet deke on the shootout goal to send the Predators to an extra round, there was no excuse for his boarding penalty. And boarding? On Erat?! Seriously...BOARDING.
This was not the best way to start the road trip but I have faith the boys can regroup and get it together against the New York Rangers tomorrow night. It was obvious that Jason Arnott was not happy with the way things ended tonight. As the captain, he needs to take that emotion and channel it into motivation for a win...or better yet, wins. I expect to see a better team on the ice at Madison Square Garden than what I saw in the Coliseum tonight. This team has it in them to score goals, stay disciplined and win games. Maybe a loss like this will serve as a kick in the pants needed to remind them of the way they were playing a few weeks ago.
Let's go, boys.