Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette was ejected from last night’s 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild after Laviolette lost his cool on the referees.
Here’s how it all played out:
Preds forward Scott Hartnell absolutely DRILLED Wild forward Joel Eriksson-Ekfrom behind with a dirty hit. Hartnell then gets dumped by three Wild players, including tough guy Nick Seeler. There was no call from the referees on Hartnell’s original hit, but someone he ends up in the penalty box. Laviolette assumes, incorrectly, that his team is about to get a power play for the beatdown that Hartnell receives and is absolutely incensed when he finds out that Hartnell is in fact the perpetrator.
The refs sort it out, drop the puck but then immediately have to blow the play down because of Laviolette. The veteran head coach is STILL giving it to the refs all the way from the bench and what he said must have been truly awful because at that point he gets tossed from the game.
Here’s the entire sequence, but some fair warning on this first: the Predators broadcast crew is EXTREMELY one-sided in their analysis of this play, so just bear that in mind. Anyways, check it out:
Peter is fired up! Maybe it was the play, or maybe Laviolette is just frustrated after dropping two straight games? NHL fans and analysts have been picking Nashville as a Stanley Cup favorite since the offseason but the powerhouse team has begun to show signs of cracking lately. It could be that Laviolette’s frustration is just boiling over. Or, it could be that he’s trying to motivate and inspire his team a bit? Whatever the case, the Preds will need to sort things out in short order because they take on the surging Winnipeg Jets tonight in a HUGE Central Division matchup.
The Preds currently sit six points up on the Jets atop the Central Division, but a regulation win for the Jets tonight will pull them within four and put them on a five game win streak. On the flip side, if the Preds lose tonight they’ll be on a three game slide. Something’s got to give.