As hard as the Nashville Predators battled, the better team prevailed at the end of the day. The Predators’ season came to an end on Monday night at the Bridgestone Arena at the hands of the President Cup winning Vancouver Canucks with a 2-1 loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Vancouver took a 2-0 lead in the first period when they were clearly outplayed by the Predators, but Nashville was unable to ever get enough traction to catch up. The Preds had eleven scoring chances in the period to the Canucks two, both of which ended up in the back of the net.
The star of the series, Ryan Kesler, assisted on both goals, one from behind the net to Mason Raymond and the other from the corner to Daniel Sedin. The Predators’ lone goal came in the second period when David Legwand squeezed a puck past Roberto Luongo that required and extended review to confirm. Luongo stopped 23 of 24 Predator shots in the win while Pekka Rinne stopped 17 of 19 in taking the loss.
A very classy Barry Trotz made the following statement, “Before we start, I just want to congratulate the Vancouver Canucks. I thought they played a great series and obviously the coaching staff did a great job, Alain and his group, and Mike Gillis put a pretty strong team together. I want to congratulate them, they did a great job.”
“Not a lot of people gave us credit at the start of the year,” defenseman Shea Weber said. “A lot of people don’t think we’re going to make the playoffs, let alone get into the second round. We’re still not satisfied. The group in here wants to win the Stanley Cup, so it’s not going to be easy going home early. I think we grew, and there is a lot of firsts that happened this year.”
“It’s frustrating. You have to count on winning at home, and we didn’t do that,” explained fellow defenseman Ryan Suter. “We won two in their building. It’s just too bad we couldn’t pull one out tonight and force a Game 7.”
“It’s been a long year for us. We dealt with adversity, a lot of guys injured and on the IR,” said Preds’ leading playoff scorer Joel Ward. “It’s just tough that it’s over now and all the hard work that we put in. We lost, and now it’s all done and we get to move on.”
“It’s always tough to lose, but the way we went down I don’t think we could have given more,” Rinne stated. “We gave everything we had, we did everything we could. I think at the end of the day we can be be proud of ourselves. It’s not the result that we wanted, but it’s a good team that we played against.”
The Predators, as a team and an organization, are as classy as any in sports and they are to be congratulated for giving 100% and playing selfless hockey from Game 1 through tonight’s final contest. Congratulations also go out to the Canucks who were deserving winners and have a great fan base that have waited a long time for the Stanley Cup. Maybe, this will be be their year.