Sorry for the title but I couldn’t resist!
Come from behind wins are not a common achievement in the NHL. If there’s one team in particular you want to avoid falling behind, it is the gritty Nashville Predators. The Blues learned their lesson the hard way in a 4-3 defeat.
Despite playing in Chicago the night before, Nashville dominated the first period and led 3-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Blues looked like they had been the team going on little sleep. Maybe they were. There is surprisingly great night life in Nashville. Southern girls are very underrated. But that’s for another website.
The Predators deserved this win. They outhit the Blues 20-12 and destroyed them on faceoffs with a 33-24 favor. Nashville also scored on two out of its three power plays. The Blues did show heart as they battled back and seemed to be taking over the play in the third period. They outshot Nashville 12-2 in the final stanza with most of those shots being high quality scoring chances. The stage was set for a tying goal as the Blues had a power play to close out the game. But even with Jaroslav Halak pulled for the extra man, the Blues couldn’t muster any shots on goal. A big reason why? They lost two crucial faceoffs. Which brings me to this. What could they have done better?
If you’ve read any of my brilliant columns, you would know I am obsessed with faceoffs. The Blues need to be better this season in that area. In this game, they were brutal. Blues centermen won only 24 of 57 faceoffs. This just is not good enough. The penalty kill unit was off. Sticks were not active enough and clearing attempts failed too often. Personally, I’d like to see Alex Steen on the PK unit. He’s quickly establishing himself as a complete two-way player and deserves this opportunity.
David Perron was invisible. After a brilliant training camp, Perron has been average at best in the first three games. He had one shot on goal in 19:37 total ice time. Brad Boyes looked like he had 9 shots of tequila the night before. Maybe Davis Payne noticed this as well. He demoted Boyes to the third line at times in the game. All in all, a brutal first period, an average second period and a solid third period just was not enough to get the job done. Hopefully a lesson learned by the boys in Blue.
Also worth noting. What’s with the song after the Predators score? Why don’t the fans just start line dancing with straw in their mouths? Fortunately, the Predators don’t score too often. And finally, is it illegal to put a bounty on Jordin Tootoo? This idiot needs to take a long look in the mirror. Unfortunately, I don’t believe mirrors are very common in Nashville.
Off to Dallas now. Let’s not make Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen look like the second coming of Glenn Hall.
About the Author
Written by Dave Frederick
Dave has spent more than 20 years covering the NHL for a variety of different media outlets. Most notably ESPN, Fox Sports and the National Hockey League.