Five games into his National Hockey League career, Nashville Predators forward Simon Moser scored his first NHL goal.
The problem, in Moser’s mind, was that his marker came in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, a team the Predators are trying to catch in the standings.
“Right now scoring the goal doesn’t feel very good,” Moser said. “We lost a huge game and we should have won it. I have to try and do my best each night and not focus on the past.”
Just missing the cut in Nashville’s training camp several months ago, the Swiss forward has impressed his teammates after recently being recalled from the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals.
“Moser has been working really hard, he’s been creating chances,” Predators defenseman Michael Del Zotto said. “He’s a big body down low and he does a great job on the forecheck. He came off the cycle today and took the goalie’s eyes away and tipped in his first. He’s getting rewarded for his hard work.”
Moser’s tally about midway through the third period cut Winnipeg’s lead to a single goal, but the Predators never managed any more offense despite 40 shots on goal for the game.
The predominate reason for Nashville’s win on Thursday, the Predators power play missed on six chances tonight.
“Some nights it’s going, some nights it’s not,” said Del Zotto. “Our power play had its chances tonight, their goalie just made some big saves for them, five on five and shorthanded. That’s the way the game goes sometimes, we had a lot of chances on net and we have to be happy about that, but it wasn’t enough. I thought we deserved better, but you’re not going to win every game.”
Nashville’s head coach Barry Trotz was pleased with the effort level from the Predators and Moser, but like Del Zotto, acknowledged sometimes hard work doesn’t always result in wins.
“The only thing I didn’t like in our game was the final result,” said Trotz. There aren’t many negative things I can say at all. [...] We were having trouble scoring, so I thought some bigger bodies out there would be a good thing. You look like a genius when you throw him out there and he gets a goal. Moser is a good player with momentum right now.”
In his short professional career, Moser’s game has found success internationally and in the NHL. The forward scored a dramatic, game-winning goal for Switzerland in the recently concluded Winter Olympics.
“He’s an international player whose game translates to the National Hockey League,” said Trotz. “He plays well with the puck and without. He’s a six-foot-three guy who has some weight to him. His game works in the NHL, so I can move him up and down the lineup. I’m glad he got his first goal.”
Quick to move on from the significance of his first goal in the NHL, Moser stressed the Predators commitment to winning the remaining three games on their five-game home stand.
“We just have to forget about tonight and keep going with the three games we have left here,” Moser said. “We need all six points.”