Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 2/18/13
Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Nashville defense, one of the stingiest in the NHL, simply failed them this afternoon. In the higher altitudes of Denver, the Nashville Predators dropped a wild and offense-filled game 6-5 against the Colorado Avalanche. A fact that seemed to be lost in the overshadowing of the blown offsides call was the loss of Predators faceoff specialist, and one of the top faceoff men in the league, Paul Gaustad. After signing a 4 year, $13 million dollar deal during the off-season, most fans weren’t sure that Gaustad was worth the seemingly bloated contract. However, during his 12 games with the Predators so far this season, he’s been Nashville’e best faceoff man and listed right now as 5th overall in the entire NHL in faceoff win percentage. Around the 6 minute mark in the first period of today’s afternoon game against the Avalanche, Gaustad mysteriously left the ice not to return for the rest of the contest. What made things worse were Trotz’ use of the words “upper body injury” and “doubtful” when speaking of a possible return for tomorrow night’s tilt against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to Gaustad leaving the ice, he had taken 2 shifts and been present for 2 faceoffs, winning both of them. The Predators, as a whole, did not have one player over 50% in faceoffs for the entire remainder of the game. Mike Fisher took 24 faceoffs, only winning 11 of them. Legwand and Spaling each took over 10 (14 and 19 respectively), each only won 7. 4 other players took at least one faceoff, three of them not winning one. The loss of Gaustad was significantly felt throughout the contest for the Predators, who played enough of the game in their own end through the first 40 minutes of action, giving up 6 goals in that span. Without the presence of their, and one of the league’s best, faceoff men, the Predators could be finding themselves in trouble for the duration of Gaustad’s injury. Tomorrow night’s contest against Detroit also features one of the league’s top faceoff men in forward Pavel Datsyuk, who has very similar numbers to Nashville’s Paul Gaustad. Gaustad currently sits with 149 faceoff wins and 89 faceoff losses. Datsyuk, who sits right behind Gaustad in the faceoff chart, has 138 faceoff wins and 89 faceoff losses. A quick return for Gaustad would be optimal for Nashville, as they just had the return of their best offensive weapons in Patric Hornqvist. Losing another key cog just makes it tougher for the Predators as they play 9 of the next 14 games on the road.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Scottie Pippen: I was LeBron James before LeBron James

Report: Marc Gasol only visiting with Memphis Grizzlies

Draymond Green to meet with Warriors at onset of free agency

Panthers rookie WR: We're going to be the dynamic duo

Examining Bo Ryan's legacy at Wisconsin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

World Cup semifinals preview: US-Japan, Germany-England

Tim Duncan to help Spurs pitch LaMarcus Aldridge

Report: Knicks gave up on signing Marc Gasol 'long ago'

Kings terminate Mike Richards' contract due to 'breach'

Report: Nets believe they can trade Deron Williams

Mickelson likely committed no crime even if he gambled

Fan bases most deserving of a Super Bowl 50 win

2015 NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Report: Redskins urged by major group to change team name

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend Vito Cammisano broke up?

Top seven storylines entering free agency around the NBA

Former FSU mascot killed in argument over gumbo recipe

Royals slipping in ASG voting, lose two more starters

Fred Smoot: I played with gay players, 'everyone knew'

Bobby Portis brings donuts for media at press conference

John Calipari shares his thoughts on Confederate flag

Steve Weatherford, Jason Kelce get into Twitter beef

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Kobe gives great quote on friendship

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.