Earlier this summer we reviewed the Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season, and now seems a fine time to look back at the team's playoff run...
Throughout the playoffs, but especially in the second round, there had been a heated debate about whether Colin Wilson should have taken Matt Halischuk's spot in the lineup. But the Predators had gotten by Anaheim by playing "Predator Hockey" at it's finest, and Halischuk simply fit the mold better than Wilson, so Trotz stuck with #24. And boy, did he come up big, in the second overtime of Game 2 against Vancouver.
Suter gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and sent it up the left side to Nick Spaling who carried it in. Spaling then sent a beauty of a pass across the ice to Halischuk. For whatever reason, Luongo was already down in the butterfly, and Halsichuk took advantage, sending a wrister over his left shoulder, ending the longest post-season game in Predator history 95 minutes in.
There will obviously be some debate about whether this goal or Smithson's goal was more important. Looking at what each did though, a win in the second round is simply more important than one in the first round, no matter how you slice it.
But this piece is not about arguing over which goals hold more importance, but rather to remember a time when the Predators' grit and determination prevailed over a team of superior talent. On this night, Nashville was able to overcome all odds and put themselves in a great position, with the series tied headed back home. It was a complete team effort, from the all-world goaltending to the stifling defense, to the forwards who found a way to win, which is all that counts at this level of the NHL playoffs.