Mully's Musings: at Vancouver

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 12:44 AM / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: at Vancouver
After losing 3-1 at Edmonton on Monday, the Nashville Predators appeared poise to bounce back at Vancouver on Thursday. Instead, it was another tough loss on this three-game Western Canadian road trip.

The Canucks jumped out to a quick three-goal lead in the first period and held on to win 5-1 at Rogers Arena. For Nashville, some of the same issues cropped up once again: the inability to stay out of the penalty box (30 minutes of penalties), not getting enough shots on net, and some sloppy puck handling at the blue line.
On to the musings…

THREE MUSINGS
Still fighting: While there are obvious deficiencies in some of the Predators’ play, one thing was apparent on Thursday. Nashville is not packing it in. Colin Wilson, not known for dropping the gloves, got into a fight at the end of the first period. Jordin Tootoo got into a good tussle with Aaron Volpatti. In the second period, Captain Shea Weber was called for a pair of overly-aggressive penalties (cross-checking and boarding). The team had 13 hits in the game at Edmonton on Monday. Nashville was credited with 15 hits through the first two periods on Thursday, ending with 23 for the game. The physical element appears to be back in Nashville's game and that's usually a sign of good things for the Preds. If the Predators clean up other areas of their game, the results will come.

Lindy has Rinne’s back: When Pekka Rinne was pulled after the first period, it wasn’t a slap in the face to Nashville’s No. 1 goaltender. It was more a signal to the other players that they must do their jobs and help out. Backup goaltender Anders Lindback had a tough task. He was making his season debut on the road at Vancouver with his team down 4-1. But he played very well, including looking comfortable on an extended 5-on-3 power play which Nashville killed. The only goal Lindback allowed came later on another 5-on-3 power play.

Shooting issues: Getting shots on net continues to be an issue. After having only 12 shots at Edmonton, the Predators improved on the number at Vancouver but were still outshot 40-26. At the end of the second period, Vancouver led 31-19 in shots.

THREE STARS
G Anders Lindback: A tough situation to make your season debut; stopped 23-of-24 shots, including 10-of-10 in even-strength play
F Colin Wilson: Nice play, poised play to draw the defense to him and pick up an assist on the Preds goal to tie the game 1-1 early; dropped the gloves when the Preds needed a spark, +1 plus/minus for the game
F Jordin Tootoo: Played a physical game with two big hits and a fight; team-high 4 shots on goal

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