Goc impressed with Predators historic playoff run
When the Predators lost their second round playoff series to the eventual Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks, one sidelined Nashville forward looking from the outside in was impressed with what he saw.
Marcel Goc signed with Nashville late in the summer of 2009 heading into the 2009-10 season. After two years with the Predators, the Calw, Germany native talked about the difference one year makes.
“I came here two seasons ago. Last year, we went out in the first round against Chicago. Game five was the deciding game of that series,” Goc said, highlighting that the Predators had a 3-2 lead with under 20 seconds to play in regulation and allowed Patrick Kane to score short handed to send the match to overtime.
The Blackhawks went on to win the game and then beat the Predators in six games.
“I think we learned from that,” Goc said, adding, “the guys played really well in the playoffs this season.”
Battling shoulder injuries throughout the season, Goc had 24 points (9 goals, 15 assists) in 51 games. His final game of the season was on February 17th when he suffered a season ending left-shoulder injury against the Vancouver Canucks. Back in October, Goc separated his right shoulder when he was boarded by Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals.
Goc says one of the things Nashville is good at is defying expectations.
“I don’t think many people took us to win the series against Anaheim. We proved everybody wrong. And all the games against Vancouver were really tight. Everybody did what they were supposed to do, and Peks played really good.”
Goc is one of several Nashville players who will be free agents come July 1st. Practically a steal for $775 000, Goc is money well spent, but the Predators have more centers than they can handle with Matthew Lombardi, Mike Fisher, David Legwand and Jerred Smithson, who can also play wing, already under contract. Restricted free agent Nick Spaling is key to the Predators penalty kill and will not be left without a qualifying offer July 1st. Even if Tennessee native Blake Geoffrion starts the season in Milwaukee, the Predators still have 7 centers under contract until the start of free agency season, including RFA Cal O’Reilly and Goc.
Despite the logjam at center, Goc would like to suit up for the Predators come fall.
“I like it here. If the opportunity comes up, I’m not hesitating,” Goc said about the possibility of signing a new contract with the team.
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