Predators Begin Another Losing Streak vs. Sharks
Well, we all know that a few days ago, the Predators performed a miracle in beating the Sharks in San Jose. And tonight's result, a 4-1 loss, is indicative of the Predators' style of play backfiring.
The Preds rely on speed much of the time, and look (hair-pullingly, agonizingly) for the perfect shot. And this serves them well many times. But with a team like the Sharks, it's hard to pull the speed/perfect shot game for a variety of reasons.
1st, the Sharks are way bigger than the Preds. It's like watching boys play men. The physicality of the game is easy for the Sharks, and the Preds overcompensate, and they get penalized. So then, this bigger team gets numerous power plays and they suck the life right out of the ever-tiring players. The speed factor is then wiped out.
2nd, the Sharks play the positioning game about as good as any team I've ever seen. They are always in the right place to make a play. I don't think I've ever mistaken a Preds team with this kind of observation. They are constantly allowing pucks to skip by them, and passes left to be cleaned up towards the net are never in the proximity of anyone. Plus...I like J.P. Dumont and all but I've never seen (or heard on the radio) a guy get so many chances towards the net and miss his opportunity.
3rd, as we have mentioned since the team's inception, the constant looking for the best shot often robs them of pressure. You see the Sharks (and other nemeses like the Red Wings) always take a chance and have guys crash towards the net and get multiple opportunities, but you only see the Preds get that one shot. It rarely adds up to a flurry.
I hope Jason Arnott is OK...that crash to the net looked awful. Hopefully others will take his lead...only more carefully.