A Preds Fan at a Leaf Game
Tonight I had gone to see my team the Nashville Predators take on the Leafs for the second time in my life. I had gotten great seats behind the leafs net was hoping not to go 0-2 in my visits to the ACC to watch the Preds play, unfortunately that would not be the case.
I walked in to the ACC with my friend who was a leaf fan with both of us sporting our team’s jerseys. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was not the only Predators fan at the game as on our way to our seats we saw a couple of groups of them. With everyone one we passed I got the standard grin and wave showing as I saw the surprise look on their face as they saw another fan that wasn’t some sort of maple leafs apparel.
When we sat down and the puck was dropped I was so excited, the Preds looked good on the ice and everything seemed to be going their way. Just after the eight minute mark, the preds capitalized on a chance with a no look pass from Legwand to Dumont who pooped it in the net for the early 1-0 lead. The rest of the first only got better as 3 minutes later Tootoo made a rush through 2 Toronto defenseman and slipped past Giggy for the second goal of the night. Than just 10 seconds later Grabovski had a horrendous giveaway at the side of the net which allowed Erat to get his first of the year on a play that should have never occurred. It wouldn’t be a preds game if it wasn’t close as Schenn would dike around Dumont with 30 seconds left in the first and wrist one past Rinne to cut the deficit to 2 in the last seconds of the period. At this point in the game my hopes were high as the Preds normally played well with the lead and I trusted that they wouldn’t have an epic collapse as some sort.
Then the second period started, and things made a turn for the worst. By worst I mean that the
Preds must have pissed off the hockey gods with something and it must have been terrible for it caused a collapse of epic proportions. The Preds took a penalty 3 minutes into the first and Goc would score shorthanded on a nice little move on the goalie and would seem to have put the game out of reach. Then the penalties started to collect as 2 minutes later Suter would take a penalty followed 10 second later by Klein which would lead to a PP goal from Versteeg. Than just 2 minutes later Suter took another penalty and once again Versteeg would score again on the power play. Than it seemed as though the Predators would slow down and stop taking penalties and I relaxed in my seat. Wouldn’t you know it, Hornqvist took a penalty and it seemed Grabo would redeem himself to the Toronto faithful as he scored on the PP on a nice move in the crease. I know what you’re thinking now, that there is no way that the leafs could score another PP goal in the second period but you my friend are wrong, so wrong. With 4 minutes to go Ward to another penalty and once again the Leafs would score and take the lead in a game that they should have already lost. For a total of 4 power play goals in the second with 6 penalties for Nashville I say that it wasn’t a productive period for the Preds.
With the third period about to begin I sat in my seat hanging my head in shame as it seemed as all hope was lost. To my amazement I was right, the third period was a back and forth one with neither team establishing possession the attacking zone. It was highlight by an anaemic preds power play fumbling the puck around and only getting a couple of good scoring chances only to be robbed by the monster who had taken over for Giguere in the last 10 or so minutes of the third.
The Preds would lose the game and left fans in heart break. After recently pulling out of a 5 game slide and playing two great games against division rivals, they had a beatable team in the Leafs pinned the floor and skate on their throat and let them up, but not only that they gave them a hand, wiped them off and gave them the game on a silver platter. In my opinion the leafs may have won the game but to me it’s more like the Preds lost it. My only hope is that this dark cloud may have some silver lining as last year the preds had a similar fall out against the Sharks and after that game they corrected their mistakes and had quite a run. These games happen in hockey and a part of the growing process of a team, but the key is for them to only happen once. If nothing is learnt from this game and they make the same mistakes against Montreal than this team needs some sort of shake-up and wake-up call as they are starting to slide more and more in a deep division and conference.
Thanks for Reading.