First period: My thoughts after 20:
First period now over. Not impressive on Wings’ part. NSH looks like a team on a win streak. Wings look disoriented.
Not deep analysis on the Preds side, but you know what I mean. Nashville looked like a hot team: they had all the confidence and energy of a team firing on all cylinders. Meanwhile, the Wings looked like they were in trouble.
They managed to escape the first down by only one goal, but only because of one man.
Osgood: He came to play last night. He looked very strong and was the only reason the game didn’t get out of hand. I want to see more nights like that, Oz.
Penalty killing: Two of three goals allowed last night came while the Wings were on the PK. One of them looked like the photo Ellen posted today. As Drew wrote this morning, “… you could throw a blanket over all four of the Wings…”. And one of them is interfering with his own goalie.
PKing has been better this year, but it still needs a lot of improvement. The Predators have their threats, but never should the Wings allow two PPGs to them.
Bertuzzi: Even typing his name is a waste of pixels. He has singlehandedly ruined Pavel Datsyuk’s season. Worthless.
Miller: Best game as a Wing. Doubtful we’ll see many more drives to the net like that from him again given that he’s not that kind of player, but it’s good to see his confidence level growing. He’s in the right place to have success.
Erat: Since when does he have that kind of a rocket as a shot? I’m a little annoyed he scored from Brett Hull’s office twice on Osgood, but they were such good shots it’s hard to fault Oz on them. Defense should have had him covered.
Versus: Just when you think a Versus broadcast can’t get more painful and offensive to the ear? They break out even crappier announcers. Ugh. They sucked.
To be fair, I did notice a higher number of informative replays from Versus. By that I mean one or two. Finally getting it, if slowly…
Mac: The one upside of the Versus broadcast was Darren McCarty, who looked hilariously awkward in his suit and on a TV set. He managed to make a factual error on Osgood (claimed he was making his return from illness last night…when in fact he did on Friday) in his first three spoken sentences, but otherwise he did a good job. Hope to see more of him when we’re subjected to Versus again.
Nashville fans: Please note, you’re at an NHL game, not an Ice Vols one. College-level coordinated chants don’t really apply. They’re funny coming from a student section. They’re classless coming from adults and pro fans.
Also, a hat trick is three goals by one player. Not three goals by your team.
Credit: To the Predators. For playing a very strong, high-energy game. They really wanted it and showed it by playing tight defense and dangerous offense. Too many Wings passes were intercepted by the Preds for my taste, but that takes hard work. Same with all the offensive opportunities generated.
The Wings managed 16 shots in the third, but because of the Preds earlier effort as well as a last-stand mentality in the third, it didn’t matter.
Starts and Finishes: The Wings need to find a way to consistently excel at both because right now they’re doing one or the other (if either) more often than not. Last night was a major case of failing to start well and it killed them.
They’ll have a chance to work on that tomorrow night at home against Atlanta.