Originally written February 18, 2013 on The Predatorial:
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

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!

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

NFL Awards: Week 4 edition

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI

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.