The Nashville Predators were up 2-0 at the end of the first period in the Winter Classic, but it was all downhill from there.
Throughout the first period of the Winter Classic, the Nashville Predators looked like the Preds of old. The Preds took a 2-0 lead in the first period in a very physical contest and looked to have control of the game.
After that, the Preds’ performance was about as ugly as its jerseys. It was all downhill for the Predators, and they returned to the inconsistent team we’ve seen for most of 2019.
The Dallas Stars scored one goal in the second period, and that was the only action in that period, but the third period is when the Stars took off and gained the lead and secured the win with a three-goal period.
Through the first two periods, Pekka Rinne looked like the goalie that led the Predators to a Stanley Cup Final appearance. In the third period, he collapsed and returned to the goalie he’s looked like for a lot of this year.
Inconsistency is still the story for the Predators, and a lot, if not all, of that blame, will fall on head coach Peter Laviolette, and it should.
Laviolette led an underdog Preds squad from an eight seed in the playoffs to the Stanley Cup final, and now he can’t win a big game to save his life.
If the Predators can’t find its consistency, then a playoff appearance will become less and less likely for the Preds in 2020, and it could also put Laviolette out of a job if he’s not careful.
It’s a bad way to start 2020, but that will be the story for the rest of the year. Can the Preds find consistency? If not, some changes will be heading their way, whether they like it or not.