The first Predators against one of our two most hated rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, went well. A 3-2 win over one of the best teams in the NHL was something to be proud of. And with one of those goals scored by new star P.K. Subban, it was looking like the offseason hype had been justified.
As much as I hated losing the rematch in Chicago, it was predictable. The Blackhawks have not failed to have a dominant season since ’07-’08 and have won three Stanley Cups since then. So while losing the rematch to these hated rivals was tough for a fan, as far as the team is going to do, it really doesn’t matter much.
But then we went home and were defeated by another intense rival, the Dallas Stars, to reach 1-2. Not only have we lost two out of three thus far, the way we lost to Dallas is downright depressing. The Dallas Stars are a true all offense/very little defense team. While their centers and wingers are almost impossible to defend against, It’s not hard to score on them. Kari Lehtonen is not a very good goalie and Dallas’ defensemen aren’t exactly all-stars. Days before we played them, these guys allowed 6 goals! But when we played them? It was like that horrible stretch of the last season in which we could not score anything. We got beat 2-1. A defensive matchup that should have favored us, but no dice.
The problem is that our defensemen aren’t as bright a spot as usual. Their not as good at maintaining strong formation and capitalizing on opportunities as in seasons past. And as we rely heavily on them, we’re not playing well. In particular, we have a near total lack of points that are not on the power play.
Some people contend that Subban is in a different system and will take time to adjust. I really hope that’s the case. If not, it looks like the hype this team got is more than unfounded. We’ll most likely get enough games against lesser opponents to make the playoffs… and then lose 4-2 in the first round.
If Subban adjusts, things may look up for this team in the near future. Welcome to Smashville!