Barry Trotz Speaks
Jason Arnott, Shea Weber, and Pekka Rinne speak
Coach Davis Payne, Ty Conklin and David Backes speak
The Nashville Predators defeated the St Louis Blues 2-1 in a shootout in their final game of the regular season on Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena.
Marty Erat was the only scorer in the shoot-out for the game deciding goal to give the Predators the victory so that they could end the season on a positive note.
Getting to 100 points in the competitive Western Conference was probably not something that most people expected prior to the start of the season.
"At the beginning of the year, if you told me we’d have 100, I would be pretty happy," Barry Trotz exclaimed.
The game was typical Nashville home game, with no scoring for the first two periods. It wasn't until Shea Weber found Jason Arnott coming on the ice off of a change at 5:26 in the third period did either team find the net.
"My first thought was to shoot," said Shea Weber. "Then I saw Arnie's little beaver tail slapping the ice over there so I tried to get it over and he made a good shot."
The 1-0 lead held until David Backes tied the game at 10:18 when a pass to the back door gave him a clean shot at the net.
"He (Boyes) found me right in the wheelhouse and I was expecting a pass, "Backes explained. "He took the goalie and everything over (to the other side). I had the whole net open and almost missed it."
In the shootout David Perron, Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes missed for the Blues as did Steve Sullivan for the Preds. Marty Erat was the only one to find net for either team.
Storylines From The Game
Predators Win on an Off Night...
Anyone who sat through the contest in person or on television would not describe the game as an exciting one to watch. In spite of the closeness of the game, there was little to generate much enthusiasm from the crowd.
Barry Trotz was pleased with the win, “We got it done but it wasn’t the way we wanted. We didn’t have a lot of detail but we found a way to win and that’s been our mantra. We’ve found ways to win and 100 points is not a bad way to end the season."
Jason Arnot had similar thoughts, "It’s tough when you are in a playoff atmosphere but we wanted this win tonight, no question. We were flat in the first, but we picked it up in the second and third. I’ve got to hand it to them they came to play and they didn’t quit. They played for their jersey and they’re a hardworking team."
Pekka Rinne Carried the Team...
The one player that was consistently outstanding the entire game was goaltender Pekka Rinne. Repeatedly, he stood on his head and compensated for turnovers and defensive miscues where he was the last line of defense.
"We didn’t start the game well." Pekka explained. We played really well in the second period but we weren’t too happy. Obviously we’re really happy with these two points and tomorrow we will know more but it was a good win. It’s nice to get the last home win and that’s a pretty big thing momentum wise."
Steve Sullivan also gave Rinne all the credit, "Pekka has been outstanding again. I think that he definitely kept us in the ballgame. He gave us the first point and we were able to get the second. He was no different than he’s been throughout the season."
Pred's Season Over, But Who Is Next...
As play ended Saturday night, the Predators could still finish fifth, sixth or seventh depending on the outcome of the Detroit-Chicago game and the Los Angeles Kings-Colorado game on Sunday.
Possible playoff opponents will come from a list that includes Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver and Phoenix. Chicago or San Jose will get the first seed while the Canucks have locked up the third and the Coyotes the fourth.
The Preds ended Saturday in sixth place in the Western Conference with 100 points. Detroit is in fifth and also is at 100 points but plays Chicago on Sunday. If Detroit wins, they will have the tiebreaker over Nashville. If the Wings lose, the Preds would have the tiebreaker.
The Kings are in seventh with 99 points. If they beat Colorado on Sunday, they will move past the Preds. If they lose, they will claim seventh place.
The Predators will take Sunday off and return to the ice at Centennial Monday Morning. By 5 p.m. CDT on Sunday, the Preds first round opponent will be decided.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass