The long-held notion is that pride goeth before a fall. It dates all the way back, in fact, to the Bible.
Shea Weber’s belief is that pride will end the Nashville Predators’ current freefall, which continued Friday with a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars before 16,818 at Bridgestone Arena.
The team captain expects each of his teammates to remain motivated and engaged throughout the final two weeks of this season rather than look to him for any sort of fire-and-brimstone speech.
“Everyone’s got to take care of themselves,” he said. “I can’t go around babysitting the other guys. It’s a personal thing. At the end of the day you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say you are playing your hardest and you are doing everything you can to help the team win.”
Whatever the Predators are doing individually, they’re not winning collectively.
Their losing streak reached a season-high five games with the loss to Dallas. They gave up the first goal at 6:04 of the opening period, fell behind by two just 1:36 later and never pulled even.
Nashville did outshoot Dallas 28-18, including 13-7 in the final period, and had another 27 attempts blocked or miss the mark as compared to the Stars’ 13. Yet for all of that, Dallas, which got two goals from Alex Chiasson, was in control virtually the entire way.
“They got four goals on [their first] 11 shots,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “They’re fighting for their playoff lives. We’re not. You ask your team to not allow teams to dominate you or anything. [The Stars] didn’t do that.”
The idea that the Predators had given up the fight for a playoff spot was apparent in the decision to go with goalie Chris Mason in place of Pekka Rinne, who had started 25 in a row. Mason, in his first start since Feb. 18, had little to no chance on all but the last of the goals he allowed.
Taylor Beck and Bobby Butler scored for Nashville.
“[Rinne] has been a warrior for us all year, and [Mason] deserved a game as well,” Weber said. “he’s a great guy and a great goaltender. We didn’t help him out very much [Friday] night.
“… Like I said, the biggest thing is pride – not to quit especially to quit on each other.”