The Nashville Predators’ first-round playoff series with Anaheim and their second-round series with Vancouver were about as different as the results.
Nashville defeated Anaheim in six games and lost to Vancouver in six games, capped by Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Bridgestone Arena.
The Canucks held the Predators to 11 goals in the series, Nashville’s lowest total since they scored 10 in five games against Anaheim in 2006. However, the Canucks managed just 14 goals of their own, the second-fewest allowed by the Predators in a playoff series.
“They showed why they were the top defensive team in the league this year,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We shut down a pretty dynamic offense in this series. One thing everyone was saying was that we couldn’t score, but they couldn’t score either.”
That was the exact opposite of the six games with the Ducks, when Nashville scored at least three goals in every game and 22 in all — seven more than in any previous postseason series. The Ducks scored 20 of their own, three more than any prior Predators’ playoff opponent.
“You have to give them credit,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “They came as advertised. They played a really structured, hard game. They competed for every inch on the ice.”
Eventually the Predators allowed just one more goal (34) than they scored in the postseason. All that scoring was not equally distributed between the rounds, though.
“The way we went down, I don’t think we could have given more,” goalie Pekka Rinne said. “We gave everything we had. We did everything we could.”
And they faced dramatically different challenges in the two rounds.
• Moving on: The end of the season means the end of associate coach Brent Peterson’s days behind the bench.
Peterson was ordered by doctors several weeks not to go on the ice due to the advancement of Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed with the neurological condition in 2004.
He hopes to remain with the franchise in some capacity but said that, as of a week go, he had no discussions with Trotz or franchise management about his future.
“My job is to be on the ice,” Peterson said. “So I won’t be able to do ‘my’ job. So this is sort of it for me at this job. … This is not the last go I have at [the Stanley Cup] but it may be the last go with me being a full-time assistant.
“… My mind still works so I can do off-ice stuff, off-ice meetings and those kinds of things.
Peterson was hired in June 1998 as an original member of the coaching staff and was promoted to associate coach five years later.
• Playing on: Three players — defenseman Jonathon Blum, center Blake Geoffrion and right wing Matt Halischuk — were reassigned to Milwaukee on Tuesday. All three played in each of the Predators’ 12 postseason contests.
Defenseman Teemu Laakso, goalie Chet Pickard and center Chris Mueller also were returned to the Admirals, who faced Houston in Game 7 of their second-round AHL playoff series Tuesday night. Laakso and Pickard were with the Predators in recent weeks as insurance against injuries but never were officially added to the roster. Mueller was brought in Monday for similar reasons.
• Multi-faceted: David Legwand is one of two NHL players to score shorthanded and on the power play thus far in the postseason.
He finished with two shorthanded goals and one on the power play. The only other player to have done so to date is Anaheim’s Corey Perry, who had one shorthanded and one power play goal in the first-round series with the Predators.
• Quote of note: “It’s really an empty feeling. You realize that you don’t need to come to the rink anymore. You don’t really know what to think about it. It’s just kind of an empty feeling.” — Rinne, on the end of the season.
• Briefly: Ryan Suter was on the ice for 17 of the Predators’ playoff goals (51.5 percent). Shea Weber and Joel Ward each were on the ice for 15. … The defense pair of Blum and Kevin Klein were a combined plus-9 on the road and minus-4 at home. Klein also led the team in blocked shots with 27. … Legwand was the only one of Nashville’s primary faceoff men who won more than half of his draws (50.2 percent).