Chicken soup is good for the soul, but apparently bad for many of the Nashville Predators.
The team will be without Pekka Rinne, Mike Fisher, Colton Sissons and Craig Smith for Saturday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ryan Johansen, who fell ill late in Friday’s game against Detroit, was on the ice for warmups.
The culprit for the sudden rash of illnesses: chicken soup.
“Last night, we got into a situation where we suspect that we’re dealing with some food poisoning in Detroit. … We’ve got a lot of guys that are sick right now,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Everything was fine yesterday, and it all happened just before and then during the game and after the game and it’s continuing today.”
Asked what caused the widespread illness, Poile said that he “heard it was the chicken soup” served during the pregame meal.
Predators players that were healthy enough to speak Saturday morning said that they had never experienced such an episode.
“We were going down pretty hard last night,” Predators forward James Neal said. “I’ve never seen that many guys get sick.”
Said Predators defenseman P.K. Subban: “I’ve never seen anything like that or anything close to it, but like I said, these things happen a lot for teams during the season. I’m happy to know that it’s happening to us right away rather than dealing with it later in the season.
To counter for the loss in personnel, the Preds called up five players from Milwaukee (AHL): Frederick Gaudreau, Trevor Smith, Austin Watson, Harry Zolnierczyk, and Juuse Saros.
Saros, called up on an emergency basis, gets the nod in net against the Pens. No big deal; only his second NHL game and it’s against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
The good thing for Saros is that the Preds formidable blueline appears to be intact. All regulars on the defense were OK (or at least healthy enough) to go against Pittsburgh. Probably safe to say they didn’t dine on the soup.
The best line of the whole ordeal comes from head coach Peter Laviolette in his morning scrum with reporters.
Peter Laviolette this AM after answering food poisoning questions: “Nobody wants to talk hockey? Just want to talk throw-up and diarrhea?”
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) October 22, 2016
Priorities, sir. Priorities.