Thursday, April 9, 2009

Predators on Life Support

The Nashville Predators are on the mat with an open cut and the referee is starting the count. If the hockey season was a boxing match, that would describe the seriousness of the the Predators situation as their playoff hopes appear dim after Tuesday's 4-2 loss the Chicago.

The loss combined with St. Louis's win at Phoenix left the Predators two points behind the Blues with both teams having a pair of games remaining in the chase for the eight and final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Predators are in Detroit for a 6:30 p.m. match up with the Red Wings tonight before traveling to Minnesota to play the Wild on Friday.

St Louis appears to have the easier route to the playoffs as they play Columbus at home Friday before finishing the season playing the last place Avalanche in Colorado on Sunday.

Coach Barry Trotz remained positive after Tuesday's loss declaring, “guys haven’t faltered and they aren’t going to quit until the end. We’ve got a daunting task, and we will hopefully take care of business in Detroit and Minnesota and get a little bit of luck on the way as well. Our guys are going to try to pull it out”.

Likewise, Steve Sullivan lamented the loss but said, “Destiny is not in our hands but the least we can do now is win our games and sit and wait. We still have some work to do and if we do our job and win two games then we will see what happens”.

Sullivan continued, “Our mindset coming into this last week was that we have to run the table and we didn’t. We didn’t think two-out-of-three wins was going to be enough. Now we have to hope it is. We thought we had to win all three games so our mental state won’t change. We still have to go in and win two games, but now we have to look for some help”.

Pekka Rinne, who has been a rock for the Preds in goal, was disheartened after the loss,”This feels really devastating. Now it’s out of our hands and we just have to win our next two games and hope that we get some help. That’s all we can do right now”.

Captain Jason Arnott got to the bottom line, “Right now we have to focus on Detroit and get two points”.

This is the toughest situation that the Preds have faced in the team's eleven year history. Barry Trotz has had a long history of pulling rabbits out of his hat and overcoming long odds but now the Pred's destiny is not in their hands. Unless Trotz has a rabbit that will produce a couple of Predator victories and a St. Louis loss, the Preds will miss the post-season for the first time since 2003.

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass and the Columbia Daily Herald

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