Another Saturday sell-out at the Sommet! 17,113 in attendance, braving a chilly 18 degree climate and even colder wind chill. The folks came out in droves despite the temperature, and sadly, we were the only ones that seemed to have the "get-up and go" while our boys down on the ice...did not. Well...there are a few obvious exceptions.
By now, you know that I, like any coach or book of hockey cliches, stress the importance of playing a full 60-minute game. I keep saying it, the play-by-play guys keep saying, I'm damn sure the coaching staff keeps saying it, but apparently it's easier said than done. Neither team did much in the 1st period with those lovely single-digit shot counts on both sides. The Ducks came alive in the 2nd, leaving us down 3-0. As what is becoming the usual in our games, especially our losses, the only boy who came to play was Patric Hornqvist, putting us on the board 3-1. Then the fella that also had a point/goal streak until he was injured, returned to the game - yes, Erat was back to his old tricks making the game within reach with 3 minutes left. With 6-on-5 and a minute and a half left, we sadly couldn't tie it up, thus the Ducks got revenge on the Predators for last Saturday's game.
What went wrong, aside from the general "not playing a full 60"? Well...there was immense trouble trying to get the puck past the neutral zone, too much time spent lollygagging in front of Rinne with little to no help, and too much time spent looking for a pass instead of looking for a shot when we did make it into the Ducks' zone. Hamhuis and Klein NEED TO BE SPLIT UP. They began sucking as a team since the beginning of the season and when Trotz initially split them up, it was good. Was it Hamhuis and Franson, Klein and Bouillon for awhile there? That worked...then Trotz put them back together. No...no...no.
No, really. No.
On top of that, there were a handful of turn-overs (natch) and with more and more Admirals testing the Nashville waters out (during a time when most of the water is currently frozen in pipes), the lack of chemistry - that whole "getting to know you" period - is showing.
Road trips seem to smooth these things out, so hopefully Ward will recover quick, Arnott recovers from whatever injury he's sustaining (perhaps a bruised ego? a swollen pride gland?), Toots and Smithers tandem back in before the Father/Son trip to give the team their "random goals from all places" spark they do oh-so kind of well.
Congrats again to the fans and complete strangers who came to some of their first hockey games tonight. We hope you enjoyed it, and also realize there are 82 games a season and if you witness a loss, that doesn't mean the team sucks (unlike in football). It means you should come out and witness a win, feel the energy in the building, and keep coming back for more.