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Leggy Boozes It, Preds Lose It

So I took my daughter to see the Predators tangle with the Dallas Stars tonight, with the Preds taking a 6-3 beating and basically coming unglued in the 2nd & 3rd periods. In particular, I was going to come home and rip on David Legwand, who seems to vanish as soon as he crosses center ice with the puck; often it seemed like he'd carry it into the offensive zone, and then just look for a safe path to the boards rather than actually drive to the net and create a scoring chance.

He's gone scoreless in 9 of the last 11 games now, and until tonight, hadn't taken more than 2 shots in a game since February 2nd against Phoenix. For a guy who just received a hefty contract extension, the team needs more on-ice leadership from their #2 center.

But now I see where perhaps he might have been a bit distracted; news broke tonight that Legwand was arrested on a DUI while leaving downtown Nashville last weekend.

This ain't gonna be good, folks. From the Newschannel 5 report;
According to a state arrest warrant obtained by NewsChannel 5, the 27-year-old Nashville Predator was going 51 in a 35 mile an hour zone last Friday night.

His eyes were bloodshot and watery, and his speech was slurred. Legwand was stopped by the police just south of downtown, on 8th Avenue South, near South Street.

There, according to the report, Legwand was unsteady on his feet during a field sobriety test and swayed back and forth. Legwand refused a breathalyzer test, and told the officer, according to the report, "I don't want to take it and register a .09 or something."
Well, at least now Leggy has a chance to make an All-Star team this year:

The NHL's All-Star DUI Team

Coincidentally, my daughter (who turns 6 next month) asked me to explain the "Booze It & Lose It" messages displayed on the Megatron during the game, so we had a lengthy discussion on what alcohol is, and how it's a terrible thing to drive after having some. Especially with the Predators beaming that message throughout the arena several times a game, it'll be interesting to see whether this charge ends up with Legwand losing his driver's license (among other things, of course).

Combine this episode with the loss of Martin Gelinas for an extended period with an ACL injury, and you have to believe the level of the Predators' clubhouse morale is taking a nosedive. Perhaps the best thing working in Legwand's favor is that the team is heading out on the road for the next several games, getting him away from what should be some (justifiably) difficult coverage by the local media.

With Nashville stuck in a wide-open dogfight for playoff position, they don't have time to tailspin for a week or two because a key player has such a major off-ice distraction. The other thing to watch will be how the team disciplines Legwand for this. The Tennessee Titans have been heavily criticized for their kid-glove approach to Pacman Jones, the cornerback who's earned massive Frequent Flyer Miles in police booking stations throughout the Southeast. How the Predators react to this situation will be closely scrutinized...

And here's one question to be answered; Barry Trotz mentioned having a meeting with Legwand earlier this week regarding his offensive production. Did Trotz know about the arrest, and/or did Legwand tell him during the meeting? If Legwand kept his coach, and his team, in the dark about this, that's a horrible mistake on his part.