The Nashville Predators were eliminated from post season play last night as they dropped game 5 of the Western Conference Semi Finals 2-1 at Jobbing.com Arena to the Phoenix Coyotes & the best of seven series 4 games to 1.
The Preds were unable to solve Coyotes Goalie Mike Smith & only got one by him when Colin Wilson scored for Nashville late in the 3rd period on a great redirection. Smith made 32 saves & only allowed 1 goal over the final 2 games of the series. Preds Goalie Pekka Rinne was just not able to match the performance of Smith, & that was the difference in the series. Losing in 5 games is a total & complete let down after Nashville was able to defeat Detroit in the 1st round of the playoffs & this one will hurt until the team takes the ice for the 2012-13 season.
Many changes will come to this team over the next few months & General Manager David Poile will have to make some quick & difficult decisions. The first off season issue that must be cleared up is the status of unrestricted free agent D Ryan Suter & restricted free agent D Shea Weber. After that, there is plenty of work to do to fill out the forwards corps with Alex Radulov, Colin Wilson, Paul Gaustad, Andrei Kostitsyn, & Jordin Tootoo all looking for new contracts.
On a positive note, Nashville was able to make the playoffs & advance to the 2nd round for the 2nd consecutive year, has Goalie Pekka Rinne signed for 7 more seasons, & attendance was way up with a record number of sell outs. We will now move into off season mode & will post individual player write ups & cover any other information coming from the Preds.
This season ended way too soon…..
“Crazy” Charlie Saunier