Turnovers. They will kill any team, including last night's opponents the Columbus Blue Jackets. In this special edition of Anatomy of a Goal, let's do a Side-by-Side Breakdown to see how defensive turnovers by the Blue Jackets below the goal line resulted in two easy goals, a win, and two points, for the Predators.
Thuresson's tying goal is on the left. Legwand's OT game winner is on the right.
1. In both shots, the Columbus player has the puck against the boards in their own zone. Both puckholders are being pressured by an aggressive Predator's forecheck.
--On the left: the player attemps to pass to a player behind him (and not to the player on the left of the screen). This is a bad pass because, as we can see from the replay, the only person behind him is a Predator.
--On the right: The pressure causes the Blue Jacket to get tripped up. The player makes a pass while he is falling, which is good. However, lets just say the pass was quite crisp and tape-to-tape.
3. The bad pass results in a turnover. Once each Predator gets the puck, he does a good job of making a quick pass.
--On the left: The turnover is relatively easy, as the Columbus player passes the puck directly to the Predator. However, the active forecheck was what resulted in the Predator being in position to recieve the pass.
--On the right: Joel Ward does an EXCELLENT job of fighting for this puck and creating the turnover. Watch the replay and check it out. What a player. Once Ward is able, he quickly makes a pass. (We've seen where this kind of grit scores Pred's goals before).
4. The passes are both quick and to Preds standing wide open in the slot. What a shooter's pipedream. Both shots catch the Columbus goalie moving, and the shots are so close in that that goalie has no time to react. Easy goals.
Conclusion & Video
What impresses me about these plays (and admittedly I did not get to watch the due to new year's eve festivities), is the aggressiveness of the Predators in forcing the turnovers. These are not necessarily the prettiest goals. These (especially Joel Ward's) are hard work goals.
Credit also belongs to the Columbus defense, who apparently are not the best at clearing men out of the slot. Keep in mind, however, that when the play is below the goal line, at least one defenseman usually is too, which means it is easier for a forward to creep in front of the net. A quick play like this is very hard to defend against. Here's to hoping that the Preds get to score alot more of these goals, and that they can limit their recent trend of sloppy turnovers as well.