This would have felt great to win in the shootout. I want this Nashville streak to die. I felt good after Tyuts snapped a dirty backhander over Rinne, but just when it seems it is in control... the Preds squeak it out 4-3 in the shootout.
On the bright side our good play has also continued.
Bill Davidge made a comment toward the end of the game that I thought did sum up our job tonight, "There weren't any passengers on this train." A back to back set with travel is certainly not easy, but we did come to play. We forechecked well and played pretty strong defense. Nashville owned us during the last of the first period, but htat rest of the game was at worst, even. Maybe... just maybe, we are coming out of our slump.
Nash - Vermette - Huselius played a strong game tonight. Nash cashing in on a breakaway and making a sweet pass to Kris Russell highlighted the night. We've needed better play out of Nash. He needs a goal scoring tear. Vermette was really skating hard. I often go back and forth on two different attitudes 1. "Look at his effort tonight. He really wants it" and 2. "Why doesn't he skate like that all the time?" . It's not just Vermette.
I thought 15-16-17 was good again tonight. I think the lines are the most balanced that they have been all year and we are get pretty decent play. Raffi potted another PP goal tonight to give him 10 on the year. If you would have told me that Raffi would be the third player to reach double digit goals this year... I'm not sure what I would have said. He's played pretty strong. He is playing more straight lines and has cut back on the cute passes... works for me.
Who else could breathe again when Hejda came back on the ice? With Klesla out, I'd be afraid to think about losing Hejda for a prolonged period of time. He is starting to play better. Commodore isn't helping.
Garon played another solid, but not spectacular game. I've gotten what I'd expect from a quality back-up. I was hoping he'd come up money in the shootout, but it just didn't happen tonight.
The officiating was pretty bad tonight all around. Missed penalty calls. Phantom penalty calls. Not good.
Mancrush: Kris Russell. Where has this guy come from. Finally TI Girl of HF fame can really be proud. Perhaps he is the newest beneficiary of the "Vyborny Scratch". It is the best stretch of hockey he has ever put together and it is the type of play he needs to be a regular NHL dman. I always feel comfortable with the puck on his stick.
Doghouse: Mike Commodore. He needs to skate. He feel a few times tonight and was beat by speed a few others. His 1st period intermission interview wasn't even good. He needs to do better.
Overall team effort was much better tonight, but I'd still like to see a little more fire. Thoughts? Comments? Fire Away!