This one will linger a long time.
This one will sting. It will stick in their ribs.
This was supposed to be the year of the Predators. They had all the pieces they needed to return to play for the Stanley Cup.
The Jets showed just how hungry they were. They were younger. So what?
They proved they were not buying in on hearing and reading they were the more inexperienced team.
See you next year.
Early in Game 7, Nashville’s all-star goalie Pekka Rinne was taken off the ice. Nothing was hurt but his heart.
Two soft goals in the opening period gave Preds Coach Peter Laviolette no other choice than to replace Pekka.
“Those were two terrible goals,’’ Rinne said.
He sat on the Predators bench, looking like a kid who had lost his dog.
“I love this team. It’s hard. I feel I was very much why we lost the game,’’ Rinne said.
This one will not only crush the home team, it broke the hearts of thousands of devoted Smashville fans.
Give Winnipeg their just due. They were the better team and it showed in the 5-1 loss. It wasn’t that close between the two top teams in the Western Conference.
The Jets jumped out in front before some fans had found their seats. The two quick goals were something the Predators could not overcome.
Jets Coach Paul Maurice hit the nail on the head when he said before the game was still in reach: “We’re making plays.’’
Laviolette had no excuses for his team’s inability to give the Nets a run for their money.
One TV analyst said: “They came out flat, like they were playing in quicksand.’’
When the Jets scored two quick scores, it took all the air out of Bridgestone arena.
It took only 11 minutes in the first period for the Jets to score their second goal. They would need no more.
Laviolette and Predators General Manager David Poile have to fix what is broken.
It won’t be easy.
As for the Jets, they move on to play the expansion team, Las Vegas Golden Knights.
The Predators have nothing to do but to lick their wounds.
This one will sting a long time.
Joe Biddle is a WKRN.com sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org