In a game that will be remembered by some for a controversial goal or a non call that led to said goal I will remember this game as an ugly night for Predators hockey.
Let me explain. The Preds were, quite simply, outplayed last night by a very good Sharks team. A team that has, for the past two seasons, had our number and dialed it repeatedly. The Ron Wilson led Sharks continue to own us physically and mentally. They took us out of our game and forced us to take bad penalties and wore us down physically. Mike Grier once again continues to be everywhere we don’t want him to be and Joe Thornton is taking his game to playoff level. This team is firing on all cylinders.
That being said the game could have been much worse had it not been for the play of netminder Dan Ellis who stopped 40 of 42 shots. That is one busy night of work for number 39. Poor Dan had to be seeing teal in his dreams last night!
I am still spending time at home following the birth of our second daughter so I did not make it to the rink last night but did catch the coverage on FSN. Let me assure all of the fans that the goal in question did, in fact, go in. In a frame by frame shot you could clearly see it cross the goal line in its entirety. The part that really bothers me though is that only seconds prior to that did Brian Campbell get away with a hook/high stick on Scott Nichol as he was breaking in shorthanded. That non call led to the rush going the other way and the goal.
The Preds cannot afford many more performances like the one they had last night if they want to see the post season. With 11 games remaining my gut feeling says that the Preds need to collect a minimum of 14 of the available 22 points to make it in. I wouldn't be surprised to see that number have to be 15 or 16 points either. The silver lining here is that 8 of the remaining 11 games are played against non playoff teams. The three games against playoff teams? Well...actually it's all one team and that team is the Red Wings. This is not going to be easy.