Before the season started, many folks thought that the Predators would have to play well to get through the month of October playing .500 hockey. As it turned out, the Preds did finish the month at 5-2-3, or smack dab on .500. The fact that they picked up three loser points provides comfort and solace to fans, but they are still losses, none the less.
Looking at the Predators' first 13 games, there were not a lot of soft touches along the way and the current record could provide a springboard to loftier heights once the team regains confidence and plays as they are capable of playing once again.
1. Anaheim - The Ducks started off horribly, losing three road gamed to Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis by a combined score of 13-2. The Preds played well in the opener and won 4-1.
2. @Chicago - The Preds won this one in a dramatic come from behind 3-2 win over the reigning Stanly Cup Champions.
3. St. Louis - This 4-3 Predator win remains the Blues only regulation loss.
4. Washington - The first blemish of the year was a home overtime loss against the Caps who are currently tied for the most points in the league at 20.
5. Calgary - In retrospect, this may have been the most disappointing loss of the year when the Preds lost to the Flames 1-0 in overtime. The Flames were playing well at the time and the win put them at 5-2 for the year. They have only won once since that game.
6. Pittsburgh - The talent laden Pens were 4-3 when they beat the Preds in overtime. They have since struggled and are currently 7-7-1.
7. @Dallas - At the time, the Stars had the best record in the Western Conference and the 1-0 shutout was Pekka's best game of the year.
8. @Tampa Bay - The Bolts had the best record in the East when Anders Lindback and the Preds had a late collapse but held on for a 4-3 victory to complete the back to back road sweep. The two goals late were the beginning of the downfall for the Preds that would lead to five straight losses.
9. St. Louis - The Blues paid the Preds back for their only loss when they won 3-0 in a game where the Preds offense was non- existent.
10. @Detroit - The 5-2 loss to Detroit was somewhat understandable considering the limited manpower that was on the ice in an arena where the Preds have had little success.
11. @Phoenix - The Coyotes have struggled but played one of their best games of the year against the Preds. This is one that the Preds really wish that they had back.
12. @Los Angeles - The Kings led the NHL and were unbeatable on Saturday night as they cruised past the Preds 4-1. It was probably a game that the Preds would have had a hard time winning even if they were at their best.
13. @Anaheim - The game with the Ducks is another contest that the Preds should have won. The win gave the Ducks three in a row and showed the Predators that the must play to the final horn and not assume that they were getting a point.
While many fans feel like the current five game losing streak is seriously problematic, it is nothing that a quick turnaround this weekend would not cure.
The Predators have stolen two or three games so far and given away about the same number so it should average out in the end. If you want to blame the "hockey gods" that would be OK.
The bottom line is, that the team needs to learn from what they have been through and remember what it takes to win games playing "Predator hockey." We have seen the team win already this season so we know the ability is there.
Hopefully, the Blues are due for the "hockey gods" to go against them for a change on Thursday night. No other team has fewer than three regulation losses and the Blues have one. The Preds need a good effort and a couple of breaks to start back on the road to recovery.
POTG Radio Podcast...
Last night's POTG Radio is now up on podcast. Our guests were Mark Willoughby from The View from 111 and Chris Block from the Third Man In.
It was a lively show with plenty of opinion about the Predators, the Hawks and the Western Conference in general.
The archive portion of the show ventured into a critical look at the issue of blindside hits and the uneven supplemental discipline that is being handed out by the league. Chris had an interesting suggestion in how to cut down on many of the issues caused by big hits in today's NHL.
Click on the following player to listen or go to iTunes to download the show.
In Pred Nation...
Amanda DiPaolo has here weekly Central Division shakedown as the Preds look up from the bottom at the rest of the Division.
Amanda also had news that I have not seen anywhere else. From @Predlines: #Preds news: according to #TSN Kostitsyn is injured again and is questionable for Thursday against the #Blues.
Josh Cooper follows up on the progress of Ryan Ellis so far in his season at Windsor.
Dirk Hoag thinks Patric Hornqvist should look to Dino Ciccarelli as a role model. Both are known for picking up "garbage goals."
Jas Faulkner has her round up of the miserable week that the Preds just finished at The Hockey Writers.
Sam at Predsblog makes the case for Ryan Suter being the best Predator.
One of the highlights for Preds fans in Sunday's game was Steve Sullivan's backhand goal. NHL Snipers has a video.
Around the NHL...
With only one game last night in the NHL, the news was dominated by the Hockey Hal of Fame ceremony and the first ladies that were inducted into the hall. Hockey became the first major sport and break tradition by allowing females into the hall. It is another reason why the hockey culture is so much different than other sports. All the speeches in their entirety can be seen at NHL.com.
The biggest complaint about this year's HHOF inductees was that Pat Burns was not inducted. Here's one story of the many on the topic.
Pierre LeBrun has notes from the ceremony including David Poile discussing Twitter.
Today, the GM Meetings in Toronto take center stage in the hockey world. Head hits and a potential coache's challenge are key topics to be discussed. Brian Burke is not a fan of the coaches challenge proposal.
Matt Reitz has an expose on NHL Code Words at View From My Seats. It's a good primer for hockey fans.
Another vote of confidence for a coach, this time to Ron Wilson from Brian Burke. The players don't appear to be as "safe." On the Island we hear the same vote of confidence for Scott Gordon who's Isles have lost seven in a row.
Chris Botta has a feature on the St. Louis Blues' great start that culminated in their first shutout of the Rangers at MSG in the teams history.
The Los Angeles Kings received the news that Willie Mitchell will be out up to six weeks with a broken wrist and Alex Ponikarovsky will miss four weeks with a broken finger. This is a big blow to the best team in the Western Conference so far.
Ryan Porth was generous in leaving the Preds at 21 as they sail for the bottom of the heap.
KingsCast went to Tip a King and had technical difficulties and were forced to talk hockey instead in Episode 77. Warning, there is discussion about the Pred's loss to the Kings included.
Elliotte Friedman looks at the blindside hit rule that will be discussed today at the GM meetings in Toronto and also has his 30 thoughts.
Dirk Hoag linked this story yesterday, but if you missed it it is worth a look. From the Rink looks at the secondary ticket market in cities that have both NHL and NBA franchises. The results may be surprising.
Chiller Instinct has an interview with Kat Kealy on the Pens, Ducks, Kings and Lightning.
Dustin Boyd was waived by Montreal. The Preds deemed him worth a 4th rounder last season. I doubt they want to pay $650k to him now.
Now that the NHL passed a million fans on Facebook, they are going to roll out a new app that will involve clips from the Blackberry All Access show.
Just in time for Thanksgiving the Columbus Blue Jackets will roll out their new third jersey.
Odds and Ends...
McDonald's spent $80,000 for a Twitter ad to let everyone know that the McRib is back and got a bunch of snarky Tweets in response.
Be on the lookout for RockMelt, the "social browser" that is out in beta.
Jim Morrison of the Doors may get a posthumous pardon from outgoing Florida Governor Charlie Christ for indecent exposure charges in Miami in 1969. I was not aware that Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida.
It's still hard to believe that Surfer Andy Irons died a few days ago. Here is a video tribute.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass