The playoff march of the Nashville Predators has come to a sudden stop, mired in the desert in games one and two where the Phoenix Coyotes took charge of things with twin home ice victories and a 2 game to 0 lead in their Western semi final match.
Part of the problem it would seem is that some of the Predators aren't exactly on the same page as their team mates, with disciplinarian action taken on Tuesday that will see newcomers Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn both sit out game three, of internal matters that may have been providing for a distraction from the goal at hand.
It's an unusual move to sit out two players of the stature of these two, especially in a must win game three for Nashville, but credit Barry Trotz and David Poile for having the courage of their convictions, the message to the Predators that don't find distraction off the ice being that this is time to be serious about your work and the quest for the Cup.
In a series that has provided Phoenix with all the momentum, it may very well be a desperation move to try and regain that sense of team work that Predators were known for prior to the arrival of Radulov and Kostitsyn.
Should the Preds win and scramble back into this series, the question will be should the Predators even accept the two back into the fold, those that worked hard through the season and were pushed aside as the post season arrived may yet get a chance to shine.
Hockey is legendary for second chances, one wonders if the two Predators in the doghouse will get theirs or if their time in the playoffs and indeed with the Predators may soon be at an end.
Game Three-- Phoenix 0 at Nashville 2
Phoenix leads the series 2 games to 1
Previews and Reviews
The Tennessean-- Nashville Predators beat Phoenix Coyotes 2-0
The Tennessean-- Nashville Predators offer Alexander Radulov valuable lesson with win
The Tennessean-- Preds' top stars deliver victory
The Tennessean-- Rinne gives Preds his own power play
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes shut out 2-0 by Nashville Predators in Game 3
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes Taylor Pyatt bounces back after injuries
Globe and Mail-- Rinne returns to dominating form, lifts Predators to win over Coyotes
National Post-- Pekka Rinne shuts out Coyotes as Predators take Game 3
The Tennessean-- Nashville Predators suspend Alexander Radulov, Andrei Kostitsyn
The Tennessean-- Nashville Predators lead the league in correct ethical decisions
The Tennessean-- Barry Trotz to top players: It's time to be at best
The Tennessean-- Nashville Predators skate into familiar territory
The Tennessean-- Predators' suspensions give others a chance to contribute
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes look to take stranglehold on series vs. Nashville
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes downplay Nashville Predators' suspensions ...
Arizona Republic-- Coyotes' defenseman Micahl Rozsival could return to blue line
Arizona Republic-- Phoenix Coyotes get steal of a deal in Antoine Vermette
Globe and Mail-- Predators take bold step in suspending players during playoffs
National Post-- The NHL's Russian problems
National Post-- Predators take a chance by suspending Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn
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