Friday, October 16, 2009

Predators Slide Now At Four Games

Barry Trotz Postgame Presser

Jason Arnott, Colin Wilson, Mary Erat and J P Dumont interviews

The Nashville Predators played considerably better than they have the last two games but still lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 at the Sommet Center on Thursday night extending their losing streak to four games.

After a scoreless first period, the Blackhawks scored two quick goals at the start of the second period which brought grumbling and moaning from the Predator faithful. It seemed as if there would be a flashback to the two losses earlier this week where the Preds were outscored by a combined score of 12-1 with quick leads by the opponents in the opening minutes of each game.

This time it would be different. Marty Erat of the Predators answered with his first goal of the season less than a minute later to narrow the gap to 2-1. That score held until Duncan Keith scored at 7:07 in the third to bring it to 3-1.

The Predators had several opportunities to score hitting a couple of posts and missing an empty net on a three on one situation.

The Predators were out-shot 30-13 in the game, getting only two shots on net in the third period. Barry Trotz noted, "They blocked a lot of shots, a lot of the point shots never got through, and they give up the fewest shots in the league. This is not a bad hockey team that we played, this is one of the top teams in the league."

Trotz noted some positives, "Getting through the first period was something big that we haven't been able to do." Further he said, "We gave up the power play goal and then they scored again. We actually responded well and got a goal right away. There were positive signs and we are starting to build on something."

The defensive pairing of Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein again did not work well. Barry Trotz admitted that there are issues saying, "They are out of sorts a bit, I didn't think that the last two nights that they have been really sharp. Once they are on the ice, they have got to work that (communication) out. They have to do it themselves, no one can jump on the ice and do it for them."

Commenting on Cal O'Reilly's first game back in Nashville Trotz said, "I didn't mind Cal at all, he had some chances, he had good awareness and the switch was needed. Cal was playing well in Milwaukee and Santorelli has to produce up here, that's the name of the game."

Jason Arnott commented on the lack of shots in the game, "We had opportunities to score and we passed up opportunities, self included. We maybe should have shot it but instead looked for the backdoor play. The guys worked hard tonight, we just didn't come out with the win. We've got to get more shots on net."

Colin Wilson played another solid game but didn't light the lamp. Wilson looked to his past, "When I went to the U.S. National team it took me seven games to get my first goal, when I went to college it took me eight games to get my first goal and five to get a point. I'm gripping the stick a little too tight, thinking a little too much, it's all going to come in time."

Marty Erat, finally broke his scoring drought and said, "I scored a goal but that's not enough, I still have to score more goals."

J.P. Dumont played for the first time since receiving a head injury on opening night. He said, "I felt pretty good and as a hockey player you want to be involved and I'm glad I was able to come back that quick."

Trotz looked toward the next game saying, "We are going into Washington who has some pretty good players and a good offense and it will be a big challenge."

The Predators leave Friday for DC and will not play at home again for two weeks. They will also play Boston, Ottawa, Chicago and Minnesota before returning to the Sommet on October 29.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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