Had it not been for Scotty Nichol’s inability to get his stick in the way of a T J Hensic cross blue ice pass to Darcy Tucker this defensive struggle would have had to go to a shootout be decided. That one miscue was the only unrecovered blight of the game on either defense and the resultant 1-0 Avalance victory over the Nashville Predators.
After Thursday night’s defensive fiasco in Calgary which led to seven goals most of which should have been avoided, Barry Trotz celebrated Halloween a week late on Friday by forcing the Predators to watch the horror film of the highlights of the night before. You knew going into Saturday nights tussle with te Avs that the focus would nbe on defense and puck protection but it was a bit extreme.
Miraculously, the Predators out shot the Avs 26 to 20 but it never seemed that there were that many shots. Depending how you look at it, both teams were perfect on the penalty kill or totally anemic on the power play. The Preds were 0-7 on the PP while the Avs were worse at 0-9 and only managed 10 shots in 12 ½ minutes of man advantage time.
Dan Ellis mush have had an hallucinogenic flashback to the Preds- Wings cup match of last April. This was bay far his most outstanding effort of the year. Helped a couple of times by a friendly post, he only allowed the one goal on 20 Avalanche shots and the one goal should have never happened had Nichol kept his stick on the ice instead of at the ankle level.
It was good to see that our team defense and goal keeping come out of hiding at least for one game. I would suggest that Barry Trotz show the rest of the highlight film from Thursday night where the Preds scored six goals. The best defense in the world does nothing without a few goals to balance things out.
The goal I had set for the Predators of six points in this six game road trip seems fleeting at best with trips to San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles in the coming week. Stranger things have happened in the past so we will continue to push for as many points as we can and then redouble our efforts when we come back to the Sommet Center a week from Monday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass