As you’ve probably seen on PHT, last night’s sports highlights or EpicFail.com, Nashville Predators rookie Craig Smith had an empty net miss for the ages last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Judging by his reaction, Smith wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there until 2029, but wasn’t afforded that luxury by the Leafs TV camera crew (or Joe Bowen’s maniacal cackling…or Greg Millen’s incredulous reaction.)
Another guy not letting Smith off the hook? Preds head coach Barry Trotz.
Here’s Trotz addressing the media following the 4-1 win:
I can’t even imagine how big the daggers Trotz stared into Smith’s soul were. Trotz has spent 13 years building the Predators into a lunchpail, bologna sandwich organization…only to watch the hotshot new employee go all Grey Poupon.
“Obviously, you can laugh about it now, but it’s something that, you can’t do,” Rinne said while chuckling. “It’s a good lesson for him, and he’s a young guy. I was just laughing, I couldn’t believe it, but at the same time if it would have been a 2-1 game still, I would have been mad.”
As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).
Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.
Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.
It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.
Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16
Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.
If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.
This own-goal captures the start of Dougie Hamilton’s Flames career