The Predators put together a truly Olympic-level lack of offense in last night's 3-0 loss to the Golden Knights at home.
If all you had watched was the first period, you really wouldn't have been left guessing the outcome of the game. The Preds had just two- yes, two- shots on goal for the entire first period, while Vegas racked up 14. The second period was probably worse; the Preds only added six shots to their meager total while the Knights more than doubled theirs to 29.
The evening concluded with the shot total at 39-19- and Pekka Rinne being the sole reason the score wasn't 10-0. Special teams on both sides of the ice barely registered pulses; the Preds went 0 for 5 on the power play, Vegas went 0 for 4.
I mean, it's truly impressive how inconsistent this Preds team can be. Just when you thought you couldn't see it get any worse, the Preds bust down the door and say, "Hold my beer."
It is beyond any scientific reasoning for a team to have an 11-goal back-to-back road trip and then follow it up with a shutout loss at home. More specifically, a shutout loss at home wherein the Preds had almost zero quality possession time the entire game. There really is no need to expound on Natural Stat Trick's shot heat map (seen below).
Last night's stats are truly hard to look at. Vegas recorded 19 high-danger chances... Nashville recorded four. Corsi and Fenwick, the metrics that most closely monitor possession, pegged Vegas controlling the game about 65 percent of the time while the Preds controlled a mere 34 percent.
Expected Goal-For percentage valuates the quality (likelihood of a shot being converted to a goal) of a team's shots. In this metric, the Golden Knights had a 73.5 percent rating... the Preds had a 26.5 percent rating. It's not very surprising that a goalie like Marc-Andre Fleury could walk away from a game with a shutout when he only faced 19 shots.
Any guesses as to who was on the ice for two of Vegas' three goals? The answer is Austin Watson. Watson is skating with a career-low -7 rating this year, and he's only averaging about 10 minutes on the ice per game. Pointless (in more ways than one) since the Jan. 5 Anaheim game, it's baffling that John Hynes has opted to sit, say, Yakov Trenin in favor of Watson.
Suffice it to say, as the trade deadline looms ahead at the end of this month, David Poile should firmly be in a mindset to sell.
The Preds will travel to Winnipeg to play the Jets on Tuesday. Winnipeg's and Chicago's wins (both now with 56 points) tonight put them ahead of the Preds (55 points) again in the standings. The Preds blew their chance to maintain a higher ranking last night.