End of the road: Predators eliminated with loss at Phoenix

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 12:51am
Staff reports

This last game was a first.

Every Nashville Predators’ playoff series has ended — one way or another — at Bridgestone Arena. Until now.

With a 2-1 loss Monday at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., Nashville’s second trip to the second round of the NHL playoffs ended in just five games.

The conclusion not only came far away from home but also fell well short of expectations.

The Predators looked poised for a deep playoff run after they earned the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with 104 points, seven more than Phoenix, bolstered the roster with aggressive activity at the trade deadline and dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs.

Nashville is 1-7 all-time when faced with elimination in the postseason and enters the offseason with some significant personnel questions. Phoenix, a franchise long beset by ownership issues and relocation questions, is in the conference finals for the first time.

Colin Wilson scored with 5:59 to play, but it was too little too late for the Predators, who allowed a pair of second-period goals and struggled to solve Coyotes goalie Mike Smith for much of the series.

Wilson’s first career playoff goal snapped the longest scoreless streak in the franchise’s playoff history after 164 minutes, 41 seconds. That easily surpassed the previous record of 119:03 without a goal set a year ago, the majority of it in the first two games of the conference semifinals against Vancouver.

Forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn returned to the lineup after having missed the previous two games, the first because of disciplinary reasons. They played the majority of the game on the same line, with center Nick Spaling in between, and combined for three shots on goal, but failed to provide any sort of significant offensive boost.

Nashville outshot Phoenix for just the second time in the series and by a wide margin, 32-17.  Smith, however, turned aside 89 of 92 shots he faced in the last three games.

The Coyotes got on the board when defenseman Derek Morris scored at 3:54 of the second period. They stretched their advantage to two goals with 4:51 to play in the second when center Martin Hanzal got his second goal of the series.

11 Comments on this post:

By: capt4chris on 5/7/12 at 11:02

Well imagine that... We got beat by a team OWNED by the NHL....

By: dargent7 on 5/8/12 at 4:38

It just isn't fair. Mike Smith is over 6'4". Too big to get a 5" puck around or over his shoulders.
The Preds should go to court. They have a strong case.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/8/12 at 5:49

Well,Well the following months are going to be interesting. We have a county with 600,000 residents. We have a hockey team that is losing money and losing games to a team that no one wants and is owned by the NHL. We have 15,000 core fanatical fans and 2000 fans that show up when the Predators look like a championship team. Probably no more than 8000 of these fans are residents of Davidson County.

The county (Metro) supports this 8000 fans and the 50 or so merchant owners who surround the stadium. Tlhe county wants a 15% tax increase to support "God knows What"

The team owners are going to be begging for more money at the same time the tax increase is pushed through. If they do not get this money they have to dismantle the winning strategy that they have constructed or continue to lose money.

The business model that fits the pocketbooks of the owners is the one that the franchise in Columbus,Ohio uses. A payroll that fits the cost of running the franchise.

Ice Hockey in Nashville, Tennessee may be one of the biggest boondoggles that has ever been perpetuated on the taxpayers of Nashville,.

The Phoenix Coyotes could very well win the Stanley Cup without anyone wanting to accept the financial burden of keeping this franchise in Phoenix. Quite Odd!

Having been to a dozen or so games at the Bridgestone I would offer this suggestion to the owners. Raise the ticket prices. There are 15,000 fanatics that will raise cain for you doing that and will show up with the money if they have to get a job sacking groceries at Kroger to pay for it.

Some people live their lives through other peoples talents and success. I think ice hockey in Nashville has attracted the highest percentage of those people of any other city I know of.

By: BigPapa on 5/8/12 at 6:30

Yes, its the end of hockey season and all of 15000 people care. The TV ratings, the radio ratings- all show that virtually nobody in Nashville cares about hockey.

Personally in my own I dont hear anyone talking about it. Its not like the NFL where even the women I know have an opinion on what's going on.

By: dva56 on 5/8/12 at 8:58

Good grief Rasputin72, do you ever give it a rest? Why not come up from your mothers basement and get some fresh air? There is a big beautiful world outside waiting for you to join in.

By: sharko20 on 5/8/12 at 9:03

Thanks for a great season. I will be interested to hear from Poile what he has planned for next season. The Ryan Suter situation is of particular interest. Preds got beat by their twin last night. Very similar style of play the difference was the Coyotes were all on the same page.

The Coyotes have a buyer, a former SJ Sharks executive and he plans to keep the team in AZ, TV ratings were up and there are significantly more fans than the few thousand constantly mentioned here.

Hockey is here to stay and it's a great sport to watch and follow.

By: foxman on 5/8/12 at 9:42

Everybody I know has been talking about the playoffs. Even the "non fans". I dont know what BigPapa is talking about. Have you ever even been to a game?

By: BigPapa on 5/8/12 at 11:20

FYI Ive been to 10 games.. It was OK but nothing I really care about seeing. (also I paid a total of $10 for those games, 9 out of 10 tix were free.)

But just look, there are all of 7 comments on here. Let Chris Johnson have a game under 100 yrds and there will be 30 before 9 am.

By: MusicCity615 on 5/8/12 at 1:35

BigPapa-

30 sellouts this year. You may mention that you received free tickets, but every team has tickets they give out, and those comps are counted against the average attendance floors. Nashville averaged closed to 17k per game this year...

Interesting to see what will be done with Suter and Weber. I hope but stay in Preds gold for a long, long time.

By: Heat Lightnin on 5/8/12 at 1:50

Thank you for all the hard work, Predators! Thank you, David Poile, for going way out on a limb trying to get the most talented players available. Making it to the second round is something to be proud of, it means the Preds are one of the top 8 teams! Thank you, coach Trotz, for getting these guys to work hard all year, and taking this team so far, despite all the distractions.
There is a lot of talent on this year's team, but somehow they didn't quite click to play their best game. I hope they can keep the best people on the team, and continue their rise to being an elite team in the NHL!
For you people that don't like hockey, why are you wasting our time? The Preds have a huge fanbase that will continue to grow as the younger generation gets to adulthood. There are at least 100,000 viewers for every game. They are here to stay! Also, the team brings in more than 400 million into the economy, the taxes paid from that are much more than the 10 mil or so that the city chips in to maintain its OWN building. So knock it off about how they cost the taxpayers, the team MAKES money for the taxpayers.
And if you're not satisfied with how they did, don't come on here bragging about how you got your tickets for free! Go buy some tickets and support your team, so they can afford to hire the talent to keep them successful!

By: PepperJacked on 5/8/12 at 2:08

(also I paid a total of $10 for those games, 9 out of 10 tix were free.) So this is why your name is BigPapa b/c you brag about mooching free tickets then complain about the average game experience. If you would come off you’re a$$ and be a BigPapa and pay for some tickets you might actually enjoy a game. Talking about no interest, where in the heck have you been hiding for the past 6 months. I think you need to reevaluate your sources and do please get out of the basement. FYI

Players coming back next year

Fisher 2013, wilson rfa 2013, klein 2013, josi rfa 2013, hornqvist rfa 2013, erat 2015, bourgue rookie, legwand 2014, halischuk rfa 2013, smith rfa 2013, spaling 2013, rinne 2019

Player contract up
Tootoo ufa, suter ufa, gill ufa, lindback rfa, bouillon ufa, mcgrattan ufa, hillen rfa, maclellan rfa, yip ufa, a kostitson ufa, s kostitson rfa, webber rfa, gaustad ufa..

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