The Nashville Predators ended their season against the Dallas Stars with a severely depleted lineup. Shea Weber, Cody Franson, Roman Josi and Mike Fisher all took the night off to rest up ahead of next weeks playoffs. A win would have been nice, but after finding out the Chicago Blackhawks await, the game was essentially meaningless.
Filip Forsberg scored the lone goal for the Preds, but the night belonged to Jamie Benn. The Stars' captain scored three goals, and snatched the Art Ross Trophy out of the clutches of John Tavares in the waning seconds of the game, by notching his 87th point of the season. Pretty damn crazy.
And so the Predators stumble into the postseason, winless in six games after clinching their spot. While tonight may look bad, ask yourself if a win would have really done much to change your mind about the team going into the first round? There are three or four days to scout ahead, and every team's record is now 0-0. What happened before, good or bad, doesn't matter anymore.
- In addition to the Preds getting Popoviched, Pekka Rinne also got the night off to rest up for the gauntlet that's on the horizon. A smart move by Laviolette to sit the big guy.
- It sure was nice of Colin Wilson to take off his Invisibility Cloak for a game and start trying to score. The
centerwinger has just four points since February 19th, and it going to need to regain his scoring touch if Nashville wants to make a run. Though he only had two shots on net tonight, there were times where he looked like a threat to tie the game.
- Carter Hutton was a goaltender tonight.
- I'm still in awe of what Benn did. It's amazing enough to keep himself in that race all game, but even after that empty net you felt sorry for him. "Aw," you probably said. "You tied Tavares but you didn't score more goals in the season. Poor guy." Then he goes out and gets a point to win the trophy with nine freaking seconds left in the game. Poor Tavares.
- Also, kudos to Seth Jones for letting the puck slide right past him so Benn could pick up the hat trick. He should have a steak dinner coming his way.
- Viktor Stalberg with two offensive zone penalties, both of the "very bad" variety. Get it out of your system now, dude.
- Speaking of, the Predators had a 2-0 breakaway that could have tied the game, and completely muffed the opportunity. Jhonas Enroth was probably about to pull a David Leggio, until he realized it was Mike Ribeiro and Stalberg bearing down on him. "Oh," he said, relieved. "Never mind."
Tweets of the Game
Praise be to Colin Smith.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/OnTheForecheck">@OnTheForecheck</a> if only this wasn't the closest Calder race in history, he would have it.</p>— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexDaugherty1/status/587077008431128578">April 12, 2015</a></blockquote>
Congratulations to Alex, who almost perfectly called Forsberg's final games. 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points. Buy a few Power Ball tickets, dude.
So there it is. The 2014-2015 season is in the books, and it's been on hell of a ride. Thank you to everyone that's been a part of this website all year. For me personally, it's been a season of learning as I've gotten used to manning the controls here, and I'm glad to be able to do this every day. We look forward to brining you more and more coverage as the Preds start their quest for the Stanley Cup, and hope that the journey isn't over yet.
Stick around for our previews, analysis and discussions on the matchup with Chicago. See you in the postseason, everyone.
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