Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2010-2011: A Season To Remember



The 2010-2011 season for the Nashville Predators was the best season in the history of the franchise. From the beginning of October to the beginning of May, it's been a heck of a ride with this team. Here are some of the accomplishments this year:

Nashville finished the regular season with a 44-27-11 record, which was good for 99 points on the year. They had a 4-1-1 record against the Detroit Red Wings. The Preds finished in 2nd place in the Central Division.

Playoff success

The Predators won their first ever playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks in six games. In the 2nd round, they took the President Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks to six games. The Preds won four playoff games on the road this season. They had only won one in franchise history before this year.

NHL Accolades

Nashville has several candidates at the NHL Awards this summer. Pekka Rinne is nominated for the Vezina Trophy. Shea Weber is nominated for the Norris Trophy. Barry Trotz is nominated for the Jack Adams Award. David Poile is nominated for General Manager of the Year. Shea Weber was named to the 2011 NHL All-Star game in Raleigh, North Carolina. Weber played on Team Lidstrom and came out on the winning end of the game, while notching four assists.

Injuries

There were a plethora of injuries for the Predators this year. Matthew Lombardi was injured in the 2nd game of the regular season with a concussion, and has been out since then. Marcel Goc was injured several times this year. Cal O'Reilly was injured on January 2nd and did not return to game action. Francis Bouillon was also out with a concussion. Shea Weber, Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson, and Jerred Smithson were the only players to play in all 82 regular season games this year. When you add the playoffs into the mix, only Weber and Fisher played in every game this year. However, when you consider that Fisher wasn't acquired until February, Weber was the only player to play in every single game for Nashville this season.

Best regular season game of the year

My most memorable regular season game of the year was on January 15th against Chicago. The Preds were down 2-0 heading into the 3rd period, but rallied to send the game into a shootout. Shea Weber tied the game in the 3rd period on a bomb from the point. Marcel Goc scored the only goal in the shootout, and the Preds won the game 3-2.

Best Playoff game

The best playoff game of the year was Game 5 against Anaheim. It looked like the Predators were going to go down 3-2 in the series. Shea Weber wasn't about to let that happen. Mike Fisher won the draw and Weber tied the game on a wrister from the point with 32 seconds left. Jerred Smithson went on to score the winning goal in overtime.

A season of firsts

This season was the first time the Preds won a playoff series. It was the first time they won an overtime game in the playoffs. It was the first time they won a double overtime game in the playoffs. It was the first time they won a Game 5 or a Game 6 in the playoffs. Game 5 in Vancouver was the first time that Nashville had won an elimination game in the playoffs.

The 2010-2011 season was certainly one to remember for the Nashville Predators. Now, the Preds have important issues to deal with going into the off-season. The number one priority has to be getting Shea Weber re-signed. Then, the Predators have to decide whether or not they're going to try to find someone to help their offensive needs. There's the NHL Draft to look forward to. July 1st is just as exciting as the Trade Deadline! Overall, it was a great season for the Preds. Now, they have to work on taking that next step towards a Stanley Cup.

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