Craig Smith had four of the season-high 42 shots the Nashville Predators registered during Sunday's game in Winnipeg, and he'd gladly welcome the chance for his club to hit at least 40 shots on goal once more tonight in Colorado.
"There's been some goofy stuff during my time here," Smith said. "I've seen some shots go in from all the way at the other end of the rink. I don't think there's a bad shot, but there's definitely some smart shots; lay it in the areas where we're going to recover it back and have a chance to score."
Indeed, the priority for Nashville is to get as many pucks to the net whenever possible. Running into a hot goaltender is going to happen from time to time, so the fact that a 42-shot effort led to a shutout doesn't mean the Preds will be changing their game plan anytime soon.
"We want the puck at the net; when there's traffic at the net and somebody has an opportunity, there's never a bad shot for me," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. "There are too many goals that are redirects or can't be seen or they hit off of your own player, whatever it might be. But with the attempts and the shots, the other night, came almost 30 quality chances too. I think we had 28 quality chances, so those are good chances. It's not like they're just attempts at the net, they're where we want to be."
Efforts like Sunday's are giving Laviolette more confidence in his team away from home, and even if they haven't shown up in the win column, there have been encouraging signs that could lead to a turnaround in the group's road record.
Video: NSH@COL: Smith pots his second with top-shelf wrister
"I think you have to be able to match a team coming out," Laviolette said. "Everybody's expected to win at home, and that means that an ordinary effort, just from a physical standpoint, I don't think it cuts it. You have to be a little bit extraordinary with your effort on the road. I think we've done a good job with puck decisions on the road, playing a smarter game, and by doing that, we're turning it over a little bit less and making the right plays."