The Nashville Predators had been on a roll, picking up points in ten of the last eleven games and rising into fourth place in the Western Conference. On Tuesday night, it appeared like that team was having a group out of body experience in the opening period against the Edmonton Oilers.
The team came out flat as a pancake and was out shot 13-3, and outworked on both ends of the ice as the team went down 3-0 to a very young Oilers team in the first period.
So how could that happen? A reflective Barry Trotz was searching for answers. "I wish I could tell you. I guess I could throw the question back at you. There's some days that you come out flat. It's life."
"As pros we try to fight through that. You look at the scores around the league... there's parity in the league and there's no reason why one team should beat another six or seven to one when you think there is parity."
Trotz continued, "You get a team that gets off to a good start and you go into ebb and flows. I always say that teams go through ten game segments where they can be really good and then they fall off and you have to find a way to fight through the next ten games."
Jerred Smithson seemed stunned after the game. "It seems like the game continued from Edmonton. That's where we lost the game... in the first period."
Smithson had no more answers for the flat start than the coach. "I don't know. Its got to be mental preparation. We did some decent things in the second and third but it just seems like our starts are slow."
"That's everyone in the locker room, preparing better, being a better pro, getting your head into it a little quicker than the second period."
The Predators played better in the second period. "We woke up!" Smithson explained. "There wasn't one guy in here who played well in the first period. Unfortunately, it was too late we were playing catch up from there on in."
Trotz put the final bow on the game, "When you are not at you best you have to find a way to weather storms and tonight we were unable to weather storms."
The Predators left immediately after the game and will play the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center at 7 p.m.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass