Sometimes the other team has a great goalie, too.
The Nashville Predators' playoff run has come to an end at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes, who beat the Preds 2-1 tonight behind another incredible effort by Mike Smith, who stopped 32 of 33 Nashville shots. Colin Wilson scored the lone goal for the Predators to give the team a chance, but they simply couldn't solve Smith and the collapsing Coyotes defense, which yielded few clean scoring opportunities.
Follow after the jump for the video highlights and reaction...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- The Predators came out and generally carried the play early and often, but it was the Coyotes who got on the board first, and as we've seen all through this series, that's been a huge advantage.
- The second goal was a product of pure frustration. The Preds were getting some great pressure, but as the Coyotes came right back down, Bourque lost track of numbers and didn't catch Hanzal coming off the bench for the big blast from up high in the zone. Instead of blocking the shot, Bourque just served as a screen for Rinne.
- The line of AK46-Spaling-Radulov was pretty much useless.
- 10 games, one goal and 3 assists. Despite being in the mix and putting a ton of pucks on net, is Patric Hornqvist developing a reputation for coming up short in the playoffs? In 24 career postseason games, he has just 3 goals and 5 assists.
- It was good to see Colin Wilson get the Preds on the board, as much for him as it was the team. He's been outstanding since getting back in the lineup, and you have to wonder what his future holds.
- How ironic for a team which got out-shot pretty much all season to load up on talent, out-gun the Coyotes in every period, and yet still lose 2-1?
- Legwand, Spaling and Fisher combined to go 2-for-14 on offensive zone faceoffs. Paul Gaustad only took 3 there, and won two of them.
- We'll save the roster ruminations for tomorrow (or even the day after), but it looks like the Predators are entering perhaps the most tumultuous off-season since 2007.
- You have to tip your hat to the Coyotes. Much like previous incarnations of the Preds, they have a roster full of good but not great players, unified under a well-respected coach and backed by terrific goaltending. I expect they'll get smoked by L.A. in the conference finals, but they deserved every bit of this series win.
- UPDATE: Post-game audio is available from Barry Trotz and Ryan Suter (click each name for the MP3).