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Discussion: Predators eliminate Red Wings in 5 games

Apr 20, 2012, 10:35 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 20: Paul Gaustad #28 of the Nashville Predators takes a seat in the stands before Game Five against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 20, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

For the second straight year, the Nashville Predators have made it past the first round. Detroit made it interesting in the final moments of this game, but the Predators held on to their 2-1 lead and are the first team to advance.

Both teams have a lot of questions to address in the summer, but the Predators will get to put theirs off for a while longer, while Detroit must now look inward and ask if their dynasty is deteriorating.

Here’s some interesting notes:

  • Alexander Radulov stepped up in this contest. He got his first goal of the 2012 playoffs and registered an assist.
  • Did we witness Nicklas Lidstrom‘s last game? Not to take anything away from him, but it’s worth noting that he didn’t record a point in the playoffs.
  • Detroit’s leading goal scorer in the regular season, Johan Franzen, had just one goal in five games in this series.
  • Nashville showed off their depth in the first round. They’ve already gotten goals from eight different players in their 2012 playoff run, despite the fact that this wasn’t a particularly high scoring series.
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  1. bloggersarenotjournalists - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Red Wings fan here, Congrats to the Pred faithful. Hope yas go all the way

  2. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Wings got outplayed this game, but didn’t for most of the series and didn’t deserve to lose this in 5. Rinne is just unbelievable, and if he plays like this he will take Nashville far.

    • predswilrule - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      much tighter than 4-1 would indicate

      • michflaguy - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        Not really. Yes, the games were tight in score, but my beloved Wings just couldn’t overcome the speed of the Preds…and Rinne. Dear LORD that guy was on fire in this series.
        We played very good…the Preds played great.
        And to the victor go the spoils…good luck Preds.

  3. hockinj25 - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Good series Nashville. You have a legitimate shot at going all the way. Good luck.

  4. polegojim - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Preds were better the team. Great effort.

    GO RED WINGS… with some rebuilding.

  5. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    I think the Preds are on their way to the Finals.

  6. DTF31 - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    The Preds sure look good with no real power in the West and essentially the entire league. I’m curious to see how well a teams offence can do that rely’s on their wingers as much as the Preds do. Most champs win through their center ice.

  7. cepheus50510 - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Congrats to Nashville for a winning a tough fought series–you definitely deserved this one. I will say that chanting “you suck,” in any capacity during the post-series handshake is maybe the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever witnessed from a collective fanbase. I think all/most fan-bases in the league would not show such disrespect during a sacred display of sportsmanship at the highest level of play in the greatest sport on earth. Food for thought.

    • predswilrule - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      just part of the tradition. certainly not meant disrespectful. much like many here feel that way about the hawks fans cheering thru the anthem. they dont mean it as disrespectful either.

    • vshehane - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      As a long time Nashville fan, I find it fairly comical that you find our suck cheer “disgraceful”. As long as I can remember the Preds fans have had constant insults hurled at them by Red Wing fans. Let’s see, there are the white trash comments, the hillbilly comments, marrying your sister comments, trailer comments, education comments. The list goes on and on. If you think there is one fan in Nashville right now worrying about what you find disgraceful, you would be seriously mistaken. So continue throw your insults, but you have now been eliminated. And I would rather be mistaken for a red neck than a red wing.

      • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:10 AM

        Way to win gracefully – stay classy.

      • vshehane - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM

        Speak on what you know.

      • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        Thank you, I did…. Red Wings Fan…remember?

  8. bigbluenoser - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Not a fan of Radulov but hats off to the rest of the Preds.

  9. kavemokka - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Babcock has been out coached 3 years running but Detroit beat writers won’t admit it. His strategy is stale and talented youth is wasted for has-beens and never-wases. He won the cup with Scotty Bowman in his ear. Hasn’t been innovative with the superlative talent Holland has provided. How are the Wings not prepared to play?

  10. ray2013 - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Tough call to make; did they just run into a hot goalie or were they just not good enough to be an elite team anymore? It’s going to be some tough decisions to make, starting off with what they do if Lidstrom retires.

  11. kiopta1 - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Rinne and choking by Det’s def led to this. Good luck going forward Nashville.

  12. trinityeagle - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    I congratulate the Nashville Predators on a huge series win for their franchise. That said, I still lost a lot of respect for Shea Weber. Did he play well? yes. Is he a dirty player? Yes. I actually liked Shea Weber before this series too. The rest of the Predators gained a ton of respect in my book though.

  13. bensawesomeness - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Congratulations to the Predators for winning a hard-fought series. As has been said above, this series was much closer than 4-1 would suggest

    As much as bandwagon fans would love to point out all the things wrong with the Wings, i’d implore you to give it a month or two, wait and see who on the squad was hurt the entire time ( Cleary, Zetterburg, Howard, Bertuzzi, Holmstrom ? ) or if it was just that Nashville was just destined to make it to the later rounds

    Personally, i’d say it’s more that Nashville was just really good, and Detroit wasn’t hungry enough.

    The “you suck” during the handshakes was also downright horrible. Tradition or not – you don’t do that.

  14. lameasish - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    quite a few classy comments (and i mean that with zero sarcasm), unlike the philly/pits series. gotta love playoff hockey, the red wings are a top notch club but its nice to see another team possibly make a run.

  15. howardforvezina - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I cant expect my favorite team to win every year. Every single franchise has lost in the first round in some point in time. It happens, I cant change that.

  16. tampabayirish - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    The Preds won the series because their goaltending was superior, although Howard was not bad at the other end of the ice either. Besides great goaltending, there are few other things that Nashville does pretty well too. They back check and swarm on defense to clear pucks, they are pretty good on faceoffs, they counter attack pretty well, they are good in the corners,especially on offense, and up until now they have shown they know how to protect a lead late in the game. I also thought that the Detroit Red wings looked a little old in this series. As an adopted Preds fan…hey, I went to one of their home games this season (and 15 Tampa Bay home games), I hope the Preds can go all the way.

  17. howardforvezina - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    The stupid thing in this whole series, was the Red Wings suck chant. You cheer for your team and dont taunt the other.

  18. saintez - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Sorry about ‘hurting’ your feelings with the you suck…. Every arena has their deal. We didn’t invent that for tonight… Been doing it for 12 years. I personally don’t like it but think it just happens to sting a little for red wings. Bottom line is a shift of the guard is taking place in the division and I get that detroit doesn’t like it.
    I was there tonight and the preds beat them in every phase and yes, the wings looked slower to pucks. Preds will get to the Stanley cup finals.

    • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:14 AM

      Time for a new ‘deal’. It’s a bush league tradition by fans who aren’t familiar with winning or being Champions. Hope it changes and the fans mature with the team.

      • paperkid96 - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        Its not Bush League. Its collegiate. The Nashville antics are unoriginal and lifted from immature drunken college hockey fans.

      • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        I could buy the excuse, but not the acceptance.

    • geo91 - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:31 AM

      I’d pump the breaks on the whole “changing of the guard” business guy, that series could have gone either way. The Predys have a lot of guys needing new deals too, and if they win the cup or come close, that roster will blow up like every other does and all of a sudden Kostytsin will be asking for 5mill and Suter will get offered 8mill from Edmonton!

  19. cspuck7 - Apr 21, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    @vshehane
    You missed the point. Its the fact that the cheer was done during the handshake, a traditional sign of respect by two teams after a hard fought series. I can’t remeber ever hearing of a whole Detroit crowd chanting “White Trash Hillbillies” or whatever else you were called. Anyway, to the real point of my post, congrats to the Preds for a series well played. Rinne is amazing, and your team contributed from top to bottom with timely scoring and excellent defense. Good luck in the rest of the playoffs, from a disappointed but lifetime Wings fan.

    • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Exactly…well said

  20. saintez - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Ha! Sure, I’ll pump the brakes and you admit we were better this season ( we finished ahead of you) and admitted that the 4-1 series showed we were clearly better. NO EXCUSES!
    Tap, tap… (that’s me pumping my brakes).
    Set up those tee times and, by the way, we DO have our own ping pong table.

  21. underwoodsbeard - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Whoa whoa, everyone dismount your high horses and let reality take hold.

    Never been huge on the ‘You Suck’ Chants for a couple reasons. Just because I learned to talk inappropriately at minor league games doesn’t mean the kids around me in the stands need to pick up questionable language habits. Also, a bit WWE for my taste.

    That all being said, I have done that chant before and you better believe I did it tonight after time expired. Everyone was stoked, it’s done along with ‘NA NA NA NA NA HEY!’ and the P.A. dude put it on just prior to / right after handshake line started. Everyone got caught up in the moment, we slayed the old dragon, etc. etc. Doubt its ‘the most disgraceful thing you’ve ever seen or heard.’

    Lastly, there is nothing close about a 4-1 Series Win. 5 one goal games were close, the same team came out ahead 4 times. The final outcome may not tell the whole story, but it tells the most important part, who won.

    Thanks for being graceful in defeat, good luck to your team with whatever direction they go in (I don’t think the Wings are down and out myself), but don’t talk about whats ‘disgraceful’ and don’t talk about close… This isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades.

  22. rainyday56 - Apr 21, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    If I could say a word in defense of the Nashville fan: I believe them when they claim no malice with that “suck”chant. When the Canucks eliminated the Preds last year, the camera panned the crowd and everyone had a genuine expression of hurt that their team lost. It was so genteel. It was so compelling. The relationship that has grown between the team and the community has been the success the NHL has craved from the new markets. The Preds are the future of the league now – it’s a good thing.

    • paperkid96 - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      I doubt Nashville is the future of the league. Not because they aren’t good. Its because the NHL wants Parity. While you were the apple of Bettman’s eye this year. You wont be next year if you win. He will move on to the next emerging market and pump it up. Likely Phoenix or what ever they are next year. Do you remember when Pittsburgh was Bettman’s little project? That ended quickly.

      To clarify, I don’t think there is any conspiracy in officiating that pushes a team into the playoffs or from one round to another. His projects are more through marketing.

    • polegojim - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      The Preds have a good current future in the league….the fans with the childish chant, hopefully not.

      • paperkid96 - Apr 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        Maybe. They have a lot of players unsigned for next year and some due some raises. The Salary cap changes everything. Look at Chicago, one and done.

        Who knows what Radulov will do. Weber will get a raise. Suter gets a big raise or moves on, which changes the blue line a lot. Gill might move on. They probably want to get Mike Underwood locked up long term as well. They do have a lot of cap space but it disappears fast locking some of the studs up. The Preds did the best job at the trade deadline to build a contender and that they did. If they lock up their studs they may not have the flexibility at the trade deadline next year.

        Free agency holds too many unknowns to say they are the future of the NHL.

  23. michflaguy - Apr 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Red Wings Fan Here,

    Congrats to the Preds…you outplayed us and your goalie is on FIRE – ride that to the end if you can!
    The Red Wings played well in each game, but bottom line…we were simply outplayed by the Predators.
    The Preds earned the wins, now they have earned the praise. They were the better team on the ice in all but one game, and let’s face it Red Wings fans – the Preds dominated us most of the time in nearly all of the games.
    Hey…it’s hockey.
    The Preds were faster, hit more, and have the better goalie.
    Good Luck Preds…and your fans need to continue to rock the house in home games. That helps!

  24. xaf605 - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Go preds great job keep it up

  25. bellicosejeff - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I love how people are pissed about the chant now. We’ve been doing it our entire existence. Blame the game ops department for continuing to play “the hey song” during the hand shake not the fans for chanting it. Preds fans weren’t thinking right. We just downed our (maybe not yours) biggest rival in the playoffs. We we’re amped up and they (game ops) KEPT PLAYING THE SONG WE DO THAT CHANT TO. Sorry Wings fans, maybe we’re were JUST a little excited? It was impulse to keep chanting it. It wasn’t disrespect, we have nothing but respect for the Wings. The Wings have beat us for the greater part of our franchise’s existence. You’re the team we’re trying to become. Also, we do that chant for EVERY team EVERY game. Sorry it came off as disrespectful and it is to a certain degree but let’s not get to upset about it. It’s just a chant, if we honestly thought Detroit sucked and we had no respect for them we wouldn’t give a crap about winning this series you know? As of right now, this is the greatest win in Predators history even thought it’s not our first ever series win. 2nd series win I know, but you have to start somewhere.

    Again, game ops kept playing the song we do the “HEY! You suck” chant to. We don’t just go chanting “you suck” on our own accord. They don’t play the song guess what? We don’t do the chant. After the song was done it was nothing but applause from our crowd. For our team and the Red Wings. I particularly liked all the respect Detroit players were showing Trotz. Every wing stopped and talked to coach not just shake his hand then bust out. There is mad respect between the players and coaches of these two teams. The respect is there from the fans as well. At least this fan, and yes, I chanted you suck while the song kept playing during the hand shake. I wasn’t thinking, hey this might be disrespectful during the hand shake. Know what I was thinking? WOO HOO!!!!! WE WON!!!!!! That all that was going through my mind. The song kept playing, I kept chanting.

    I’ll even email the game ops department after I post this to let them know they shouldn’t play that song during the hand shakes.

    See you next season Detroit.

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