From Apr. 1-10, ProHockeyTalk will be counting down the Top 10 moments from the 2011 postseason.
Here’s No. 8 — Nashville winning its first-ever playoff series.
Prior to their opening round series against Anaheim, the Predators had been to the playoffs five times…and had lost in the opening round five times.
Thankfully for them, the sixth time was a charm.
Nashville knocked off the Ducks in six games with an unlikely hero — Nick Spaling — scoring two goals in the decisive Game 6, including the game winner.
“Nick Spaling is not known for scoring a lot goals, but there he is scoring big goals,” Trotz said. “This series sort of symbolized how the Predators play in a lot of ways. [David] Legwand’s line got a couple of goals and they’re playing lots against [Ryan] Getzlaf. And Fisher’s line got us some goals, and Smithson’s line got us goals. [Blake] Geoffrion’s line got us goals.
“That’s sort of what we do. That’s our DNA. To win this series, we needed everybody and everybody contributed.”
The Preds would go on to lose their second round series to the eventual Western Conference champion Canucks, but still looked back on their historical playoff run with fondness.
“There’s a trust and an understanding that we’re trying to do something together,” Trotz recently told the Predators website. “It’s not something as an individual, it’s something we’re trying to do as a group; a family, organization, a team — a true team instead of individuals, and I think that’s why it works.”