Ya know what? I'm glad that the next games are against some of the top teams in the West. Phoenix, LA and the hearty Red Wings are a welcome change to tonight's opponents. And you already know why - cos the teams the Preds are ABOUT to play...are good teams - and we play very well against the GOOD teams. Tonight's play against Dallas - our boys (excluding one or two of them; Wilson and Hornqvist...lookin' in your direction) couldn't have cared less.
There was no hustle - no fire. It's as if they read that they really have to botch it up to not make the playoffs and figured they could sit this one out. Pekka Rinne skated around like he had cement shoes on, being way out of position on many counts - making me realize either how well the D was working earlier on or most likely just pointing out how lousy Dallas really can be. As many shots as we had on goal (namely thanks to Weber, who got the lone goal of the game), you'd think we would be outplaying them, but alas...nope. The Preds had it tied at the end of the 2nd merely in order to walk into their 3rd period breakdown (patent pending; and, most of you may not know this, you can only keep a winning streak alive if you either have a Top 5 marquee player or are owned by the NHL - it's one of those lockout rules in fine print that generally doesn't come up).
The 2nd goal against is one Pekka would like back because it ramped up his pad and up off his glove like Evil Knievel. The 3rd goal had every Predator on the ice with their back turned away from the play, only to turn around after the puck was in the net. The team was playing a second behind Dallas the whole 3rd period...'cept for Wilson and Hornqvist, but the blonde boys couldn't do it all and it was too late by then.
So yes - it stings, but it's not like it wasn't expected. The Stars are the last "Meh" team that we play for the rest of the season (sans the Blues), so that's something we should all be happy about. Playoff hockey is sure to return in 2 days against the Expos...er...Coyotes!
Playoff Preview: Potential First Round Matchups
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