Gazette columnist Paul Klee's quick observations from Nashville on Colorado's 5-4 loss to the Predators in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs:
1. Call it frustrating or call it scary, but this was the second time in two games the Avalanche caught the Predators on a rare off day and failed to capitalize with a win away from Pepsi Center. The Preds weren't sharp in Game 2. The Avs too often were dull and not smart. The Smashville crowd ordered whine with its noise, and the Avalanche didn't take advantage of a building that brought its 'D' game. Poorly timed penalties were Colorado's bugaboo and a shaky formula for taking down the Western Conference's top seed, especially one that's beaten you 12 straight times. That's right. Twelve.
2. That's more like it, Nathan MacKinnon. Smothered in Game 1, the Hart Trophy candidate scored his first goal of the postseason to cut Nashville's lead to 3-2. MacKinnon also assisted on Gabriel Landeskog's goal that made it 4-3, Preds. There has been some frustration from the Avalanche's young superstar, going back to the relative drought that plagued the tail end of his spectacular season. Colorado folks should cross their fingers his first goal triggers the Avalanche like it triggered the Predators' crowd.
3. Whatcha got, Pepsi Center? It's usually nothing more than mediaspeak to suggest a home crowd has an impact on a game's outcome. But there's no doubt the Smashville faithful played a significant role in Games 1 and 2. Both times out the Avs built an early lead, and it wasn't until the crowd found its voice that the home team found its feet. During the regular season the Avs lost at home to the Predators 4-3 (in OT) and 4-2. Game 3 is everything.