Fight Night at the Sommett Center
The Nashville Predators fall to the San Jose Sharks in their first home game in six games. It was a very physical game all night long. Greg de Vries was getting in on some of the action last night. Everyone though he stepped up big that night, but honestly all he did was get his ass kicked. He is my least favorite Predators on this year’s team. Every time the other team scores, I always look to see who was on defense and it always seems to be Greg de Vries out there. The Predators ended up taking too many penalties and it wound up being their demise. The loss of captain Jason Arnott at the end of the first period seemed to make an impact on the rest of the night.
The first period started off pretty physical.By about three minutes into the period, everyone realized this was going to be a very physical game. At about 6:22 into the first, Rich Peverley got a big chance that was unbelievably stopped by Brian Boucher. With 5:58 left, Jordin Tootoo got called for Charging. This call totally got emotions flying in the arena. People were flipping out. This penalty ended up giving the Sharks their first goal. The first chance on the power play was stopped by Ellis with a stupendous save on a wrap around attempt by Devin Setiguchi. 28 Seconds later, Joe Thornton centered a pass for Setiguchi and he nailed one right through the five-hole of Ellis. Seeing as how they got this on the power play of Jordin Tootoo’s controversial penalty, the crowd’s growing hate for the officials elevated. About a minute and a half later, a shot from the blue line was stopped by the body of one of the five players in front of the Nashivlle net. Ellis had no idea where the puck was and Jody Shelley found the puck in it all and put it above Ellis’ left shoulder. This goal was like a blow to the balls. In the last minutes, the Preds went on their first power play of the night. With two seconds remaining in the period, Jason Arnott came flying into the zone and got hit as he tried to stop and he went crashing into the net. He was wheeled off in the stretcher about 10 minutes later. More on this in a following article by Buddy. They just carried over the remaining two seconds into the next period.
The second period was played mostly with the Sharks on the power play. Almost eight minutes in, Tomas Plihal got a break and got one past Ellis. This wasn’t anyone’s fault but Ellis. At this point it was 3-0 Sharks. Again, at 11:12 into the second, Patric Marleau found a loose puck and scraped it by Ellis. This was almost exactly like the second goal; people in front of the net and Ellis had no idea where the puck was. A little bit less than a minute later, Brad Staubitz landed a huge hit on Tootoo, who reacted with a bit of a cheap shot to Staubitz to knock him to the ground. This got Greg de Vries and Jody Shelley wound up so they started going at it. Greg de Vries isn’t really much of a fighter and it really showed in this situation. Sure he got a few good hits, but his inexperience got his ass kicked in the end. Props for getting in there though. The rest of the period was played with tussles after almost every play and hits everywhere. Ryan Jones got leveled on more than one occasion tonight. Veterans vs. 18 year old. The officiating was awful this period.
Again a whole slew of penalties started piling up right from the start of the period, starting with Brad Lukowich (he looks really funny when they have him on the penalty box cam. He sit’s there with this you-just-saw-bambi’s-mom-get-shot-and- hauled-off-look on his face) and Marcel Goc. Some over two minutes later, Scotty Nichol and Joe Thornton got into a fight. Scotty didn’t really even get a hit on Thornton, other than a few scrapes at the shoulder. Thornton took those scrapes and then pummeled Nichol. Nichol pulled him to the ground in a attempt to surrender. Immediately following that fight, Tootoo and Staubitz went at it. Tootoo went hard at the start and fell to the ground and Staubitz got a few good ones there, but he recovered and came back for about give solid punches to the face and Staubitz pulled him down. It was a pretty decent fight. Right off the faceoff following this fight, Jody Shelley and Greg DeVries went at it again. DeVries got off to a bad start and paid for it. Shelley just ripped him up in Round 2. Greg; stick to penalty killing…please…for your sake. Vern Fiddler took a hooking penalty with 12:29 left in regulation. In an attempt to clear the puck, Dan Hamhuis cleared the puck out of their zone and produced a breakaway chance for David Legwand. Legwand skated in all alone, took his shot and put away his rebound. This period, the Predators actually outshot San Jose 16-8. The Preds really showed their persistence tonight, despite the loss. In the end, the Preds played a very physical game, but playing three times in four days seemed to have taken it out of them.
Our penalty kill was decent considering all the penalties we took. 1/7 Was the final count on goals/PP. We went 0/6 on our power play. Another dissapointing game of missed power play chances. We cannot seem to produce goals on the power play. Seriously, let’s get this going sometime this year.
Dan Ellis had a dissapointing night. He gave up four goals on 20 shots. He blocked the other 14 that San Jose accumulated after those first 20. Diagnosis? Exhaustion? Overconfident? Will they play Pekka Rinne on Friday vs Tampa? We’ll see.
That’s all I have to say about last night’s game.
Jackson Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass