Kyle Wilson Impressed By Nashville Crowd

Kyle Wilson made his Bridgestone Arena debut as a Nashville Predator in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

Kyle Wilson made his Bridgestone Arena debut on Saturday after being called up due to Blake Geoffrion's injury. (Milwaukee Admirals)

If anything made an impression on Kyle Wilson in his first regular season home game as a Nashville Predator, it was the performance of the home crowd.

“It’s great,” Wilson said. “It’s Saturday night. The place is always rocking being the seventh man out there for us. In a couple of tough times in that game, we really fed off of it. You need the advantage at home.”

“There was a lot of energy in here,” Wilson added. “You’ve got to love that. We very well could have won that one, but we came up a little short. We’re going to regroup and come back firing.”

The Colgate University alumnus saw just 7:03 of ice time in Nashville’s 3-2 loss to Buffalo, largely due to spending 5 minutes in the penalty box as the “designated sitter” after Jordin Tootoo received a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for charging Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller.

The penalty occurred after Tootoo skated towards the Buffalo goal and appeared to be pushed by Buffalo defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Tootoo collided with Miller, who had just returned from a concussion. Miller immediately threw punches with his blocker on Tootoo. The question of the hit was whether or not Tootoo intended to hit Miller and whether or not he was actually directed into him by Ehrhoff.

The referees ejected Tootoo from the game and Nashville coach Barry Trotz sent Wilson to the box to serve Tootoo’s major.

“It’s one of those things in hockey that whenever the other team runs into your goalie, you have to protect him,” Wilson said. “Sometimes tempers flare and once a couple of guys jump in, everybody jumps in. It was unfortunate, but it was part of the game.”

“The last thing I wanted to do was run the goalie over and put my team down,” Tootoo said.

Trotz described the play as a “hockey play gone awry.”

Buffalo players disagreed with that assessment. Forward Zack Kassian described the play as “gutless” and “classless.”

“I can believe it from him,” Miller said.

As for Wilson, his only major contribution to the stat column was a first period hit on Buffalo defenseman Brayden McNabb. However, Wilson was on the ice for two goals – Buffalo’s first by Luke Adam and Nashville’s second by David Legwand.

“Sometimes you get a couple of bounces and it ends up on the wrong guy’s stick at the wrong time and it’s in the back of your net,” Wilson said, referring to the Adam goal. “We had pretty good coverage there. There’s a bouncing puck all over the place and it ended up in there. You’ve got bounces your way and sometimes you’ve got them the other way. That’s just the way it works.”

In two games, Wilson – called up due to Blake Geoffrion’s injury – has had 14:52 of ice time and has 1 shot on goal. In 17 games this season with the Milwaukee Admirals, Wilson had 4 goals and 10 assists.

PuckScene.com Three Stars of the Game (voted with 5 minutes left in the 3rd period):
  1. Luke Adam – Buffalo Sabres
  2. Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres
  3. Craig Smith – Nashville Predators
Official Three Stars
  1. Luke Adam – Buffalo Sabres
  2. Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres
  3. David Legwand – Nashville Predators

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.