All losses are not created equal.
For fans, there are times when expectations for a win are low. An example would be in the early years of the Predators franchise when the team would go to Detroit to play the mighty Wings. If the Preds played well and stayed close or even got a point out of the game, you could feel OK that they didn't bring home the victory. A "loser point" might actually feel pretty good.
The last two losses for the Predators were not ones to have any good feelings about. On Saturday, at home against the Sharks, the Preds played well but lost a lead three times and finally lost the game when Dan Hamhuis made a really bone head play boarding a Shark player for no real good reason behind the Sharks net late in the game. Team Canada's first line made them pay for the penalty with a goal and a loss.
On the heels of that sour taste in the fan's mouth, the Preds hit the road and played an enthusiastic Islander team that would not seem to quietly accept their eight loss in a row. The Preds were leading with less than a minute left and really just needed to not do anything dumb in order to pick up two points.
Once again, for no real good reason, Marty Erat boarded an Islander player to give the opposition a two man advantage that led to the game tying goal with eleven seconds left. The Preds made it through over time and fell in the shootout. Even picking up the "loser point" was little consolation.
In a month, fans may be happy to have the extra "loser point" and it could be the difference at the end of the year, but for now all I can see is the missed point last night or the missed point or two on Saturday. The team needs to come out on the ice tonight and establish themselves early so that it doesn't come down to any type of fluke play near the end of the game.
From now until April, all of the games appear to be "must" wins. The Preds are in seventh place with 67 points and have six teams within six points right behind them that would love to move into the top eight and make the playoffs. The margin for error has disappeared.
Here is our sad recount of last night's activities.
John Glennon has his game story and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond has his game story at the Examiner
In the blogs, Mark Willoughby has the story from the rink in Long Island. It doesn't sound like it looked any better in person. Forechecker, Preds Fanantic, and What the Puck have posts on the loss.
Preds101 also has an analysis.
In Pred Nation...
The Tennessean has the game at a glance for tonight's match with the Rangers.
On The Forecheck also has a preview.
Big news on the Ranger front before tonight's game with the Preds is that Marian Gaborik was injured at practice on Tuesday.
AJ has part two in his Calling It As I See It series with a focus on J.P. Dumont.
Chris Brashear reports that Nashville was #3 in the country in Super Bowl viewership. Is it any surprise that the Preds have trouble getting the attention of a football mad city? Music City actually likes Peyton more than Indy, it appears.
Section303 has speculation on Dan Hamhuis as the trade deadline approaches.
Michelle Kenneth writes about the Preds in the NYC area. She was with us on Monday's POTG Radio and will be a guest on this weeks 303:30 over at Section303.
Our own Mark Willoughby of The View From 111 was featured in the Islander's Game Day Program in an article by Dee Karl, The Seventh Woman. Here is a picture of the two.
Around the NHL...
From @dchesnokov: "NHL 2010 start in Europe: Hurricanes Vs. Wild In Helsinki, Blue Jackets Vs. Sharks In Stockholm And Bruins Vs. Coyotes." Here's the official release.
Ryan at the RLD ranks the top five teams at the Olympics. He also has the five underdogs.
Puck Daddy has bad news on the Versus/DirecTV front.
Something I had not heard discussed is that the trapezoid will be missing from the Olympic rink. Marty Brodeur is looking forward to it.
From @clmccarty: Olympic Twitter page will post live Twitter chatter from athletes at the Olympics starting Feb. 12 via @Olympic_Tweets
For those with Blackberrys, the best application for scores is a simple little app called Hockey Scores. Scores are updated quicker than any other app I have seen and they include shots on net, hits, Corsi numbers, face off % and a list of goal scorers that are updated constantly. Check it out.
A lot of folks on Twitter have indicated that their number of Tweets has tripled in the last few days. Twitter is aware of the issue as they indicate in this Mashable post.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass