by Jas Faulkner, Nashville Correspondent
What happened in Columbus? Was the absence of Ryan Suter the liability that many have suggested could undo the solidarity of the defense? Did Trotz’s “mix-n-match” approach to the lines do more harm than good? The bottom line was, as Trotz told color analyst Terry Crisp, “Mistakes were made.”
It is arguable…arguable? Actually, it’s on record that some opportunities were missed and at times the dangerous places between the Bluejackets and Pekka Rinne were left wide open, unprotected by Nashville. Simple oversight that resulted in being outplayed may be one of many possible contributing factors, but it is also the main reason for last night’s defeat in Columbus.
One of Nashville’s strengths is their defense’s ability to work in almost any configuration without an interruption in the quality of play. Even though this can be compromised when someone is hurt, this is really not a new thing. Trotz has never been one to shy away from shuffling the lines.
The IR list could also be a factor, but some of those players have been out for quite some time, in the case of Lombardi, nearly the whole season. Ryan Suter, who often works as half of a preternaturally talented matched set with Shea Weber, is scheduled to be back in action on Thursday. The game, which was scoreless until the third period, saw the Bluejackets surge ahead, scoring four points past Nashville’s normally almost impenetrable defense and Pekka Rinne’s wall-like netminding.
The game was scoreless until third period when the Bluejackets surged ahead, scoring four points against Nashville’s usually impenetrable blue line and Rinne’s wall-like netminding. While this match in Columbus is one that is best left left in the dust for Nashville, it did provide some milestones for both sides of center ice. Jonathan Blum, who was a first round draft pick in 2007, made his NHL debut. This game also marked the first time Jordin Tootoo has dropped the gloves since his return to active status.
Coming up next: The Predators play host to the defending Stanley Cup Winners, the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. Sunday Nashville will face back to back challenges with an away game in Dallas on Saturday night and then a Sunday afternoon faceoff against Columbus at Bridgestone. The Wednesday and Saturday games will be broadcast to Middle Tennessee viewers on Fox Sports South and Sunday’s match will be avaiable on PredsRadio and Center Ice.