“A Rich Clune penalty shot goal.” It’s a phrase no one probably ever expected to utter – and yet the Nashville Predators fanbase is abuzz with it tonight.
Clune came to the Nashville Predators as a waiver acquisition early this season. He literally fought for his place on the team, somewhere between the roles formerly played by Jordin Tootoo and Brian McGrattan. While the rest of the team was struggling with confidence or concentration or something in between, Clune did exactly what was asked of him by the coaches, going to the net and bothering opposing goalies.
And he scored. Twice, even! He became one of the only consistent players on a team hounded by inconsistency. And tonight in Dallas, he got a free chance to beat goalie Kari Lehtonen after being brought down by Jordie Benn on a breakaway.
Rich Clune made the most of his opportunity tonight, exactly like he has since first arriving in Nashville. Congratulations to him for bagging a goal his first NHL penalty shot, and to the rest of the team for standing up tall in an important win over Dallas.