With a decisive 5-0 loss to the Sharks, the Nashville Predators dream of competing in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs came to a resounding end during an extremely disappointing effort in San Jose on Thursday night.
The Preds were never in this one, being outshot 17-3 in the opening period, and trailed 2-0.
An early Sharks goal in the second period put virtually any thoughts of yet another miraculous comeback on the back burner as Martin Jones, a former LA Kings backup netminder posted the shutout and sent the Preds packing for Nashville with nothing but final meetings, and goodbyes on the immediate horizon.
I won’t sit and point fingers at players, coaches, or officials, as I believe the team performed admirably throughout the playoffs, facing travel adversity, and teams that, on paper, may have been a little more loaded for offense, and in the end, that’s what killed this Preds team.
San Jose just had way too much firepower, and special teams played a huge role in the Shark victories.
Hopefully, with most of the key players returning, and some more exciting prospects being cultivated in Milwaukee, the Predators should be competitive again in the 2016-17 season, and will be able to put this disappointment behind them.
The road to the Stanley Cup is now a four-lane highway, with Pittsburgh ready to do battle with Tampa Bay in the East, and the Sharks facing off against the Blues for bragging rights in the West.
One of these four teams will be hoisting the cup around this time next month.
This also marks the end of my second full season blogging about the Preds for Sports and Entertainment Nashville. I want to publicly thank the people who run the magazine and website, and allow me the freedom to deliver my recaps and editorials to you in timely fashion.
To Blake Lovell and Matthew Maxey, I appreciate your editing, your putting up with my occasional brain farts, and of course recently, those falling-asleep-at-the-keyboard-at five-in-the-morning after late night games in California moments.
To Jessi Maness, and publisher Steve Brumfield, I can’t thank you enough for giving both myself and the Predators the time and space that you do.
Another thank you must go to Preds fan David McCargar, who so graciously has allowed me to use his photography throughout these past two seasons.
To you, the readers, I know I occasionally get under the skin of some Preds fans via the Facebook fan pages, but I truly appreciate your support, as well as those that click the “Like” buttons, re-tweets and follows.
I hope to continue covering our team next season. Until then, thanks for a great run, and Go Preds!