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Trotz. Plotz. It Was A Trap. I Knew It.

Today’s music video is Trapped Again by Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.  A fun band in person. I know!

Last night the Florida Panthers went into Music City (Nashville), a place where they hadn’t won in 11 years, trying to win their fourth game in a row.  This would have been a first under the Pete the Bore regime.  Alas, the story has been written many times before, and as usual the outcome was the same.  Loss.

Outplayed, out hustled, out hit, out scored, and majorly out coached, by Jaba the Hut himself, Barry Trotz.  The only coach that the Nashville Predators organEYEzation has known.  I am pretty sure Barry’s plan was simple.

1) Get physical early.  Check.  Jordan Tootoo layed the boom on Panther forward Michael Frolik.

2) Jump on turnovers.  Check.  A dumb drop pass by Rhino, resulted in said turnover, which then resulted in Ryan Suter scoring his first goal of the season.  It would be all the Predators would need.

3) Don’t give up the middle of the ice, and keep the Panthers on the outside, along the boards.  Check.  Barely any pressure from between the faceoff circles, resulting in most of the shots coming from a long distance.

4) Lull the Panthers to sleep by applying a forecheck and trapping system that would frustrate them all night. Check.  At one point towards the end of the second period I actually thought there was less than two minutes left in the game!  So the “paint drying” scheme worked on me too.  That Trotz, he’s a real mensche!  Not even my plotnik 3000 could help me focus on this game.

5) Agitate the Panthers.  There will be little response if any. Check.  No explanation needed.

The game was pretty much over in the first period.  Just read what our fearless leader had to say:

“The first period was the game,” said Panthers coach Pete DeBoer. “They came out and got some big hits and got a couple big goals.”

Little Stevie was awesome last night wasn’t he?  No shots on goal, he was a -2, and had these wonderful quotes:

“We weren’t ready for their pressure,” Panthers centre Stephen Weiss said. “We were just smacking pucks around and running around in our own zone, and we consequently gave up two goals.”

“We just weren’t mentally sharp,” Panthers forward Stephen Weiss said. “Just not mentally into it. That killed us.”

Ok, I really do believe that the A on his sweater does stand for asshat!  I’m looking for some anger, some growl, some frustration.  It’s become quite apparent that this team hasn’t figured out how to play with a chip on it’s shoulder.  All the good that came from the Washington game was thrown out the window. Like a baby with the bath water. Someday someone will explain that one to me.  Little Stevie’s point projection is at 45 now. Ugh!

I knew this game wasn’t going to be easy.  I know how Nashville can play.  They frustrate, they get into your head, they capitalize on a mistake or two, and then they put you to friggin’ sleep.  And it doesn’t hurt to have a goalie standing 6′-6″ in net either.  Anders Linkback was barely tested and earned his first NHL shutout of his career.  Thank you very much.

Florida continues to get manhandled even by players as small as Tootoo.  Yes he’s a pest and an agitator.  That’s his job.  Tootoo picks on players that won’t have a response.  I have never seen him blast a player that just might fight back.  Frolik was the victim last night. Here’s the video replay.  Thanks to Litter Box Cats for sending it last night via Twitter. The Panthers proving once again that physicality is not on the menu.

Someday, kitties, you will learn that you must set the tone for the game.  You must show some grit and snarl.  First.  Not as a response. Until you do, you will never be physically able to win a game via toughness.

Amanda from our FanSided site Predlines and I shared some comments on Twitter last night.  Go visit her site.  She is a hell of a lot more interesting than Nashville’s style of play!

Here’s the TSN boxscore.  Lot’s of zero’s eh?

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

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Tags: Barry Trotz Florida Panthers Jaba The Hut Jordan Tootoo Little Stevie Michael Frolik Nashville Predators Rhino Trapped Again

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