Thursday, January 15, 2009
Predators Out-manned in Loss to Montreal
The Nashville Predators gave all they had but it wasn't enough as they fell to the Montreal Canadians 3-2. Playing without top scorers Jason Arnott and Shea Weber the Predators did not have the firepower to keep up on the scoreboard. Several other Preds were slowed by the flu but were able to play through the symptoms.
Coming into the game, there was concern that they would be able to have six defensemen to suit up. In spite of calling up Alexander Sulzer (pictured above left) to replace Greg deVris who was placed on injury reserve, the Preds were still on the verge of being short-handed on the blue line. Kevin Klien was a game time decision and there was consideration given to Wade Belak on defense but Kline did play and Belak was a healthy scratch.
Defense was not the problem in this match as the Predators held Montreal to 20 shots. Once again the ongoing inability to find the back of the net was what felled the Preds once again as the Preds have scored 2 or less goals in 11 of the last 14 games. The Predators managed 25 shots against Canadian goalie Jaroslav Halak but only those of J P Dumont and Vern Fiddler found the net. The Predators had several other chances to hit a partially empty net but were unable to convert. One of the best opportunities to tie the game came at the 10:00 mark in the third when Mike Santorelli could not get a handle on a loose puck in front of a net emptied by a diving Halak.
Pekka Rinne was strong once again in goal. While he only faced 20 shots, he made several key saves on Canadian scoring chances to keep the Preds in the game.
Steve Sullivan increased his ice time substantially breaking the 18:00 minute mark and skating 23 shifts. He had 3 shots and was -2 on the evening. He appeared more comfortable and did not seem to be moving away from the action as much as in previous games.
The Predators return home Saturday night for the return match with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Preds won the first meeting with the Thrashers 4-3 in Atlanta on November 28th.
Shameless Self Promotion... During last Monday's PredsOnTheGlass BlogTalkRadio show , special guest and Tampa correspondent Mark Manning clearly stated that Vinnie Lecavalier was not on the trade block and that there was no truth to the rumors running rampant in the press. His source was none other than Vinnie's dad who even explained that his girlfriend was moving to Tampa to set up residence there. Lightning GM Brian Lawton tried to put an end to all the rumors today in a special press conference in which he stated that Vinnie was going anywhere. Thanks Brian for backing up what PredsOnTheGlass radio reported four days ago.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass