Wayne Simmonds had gone goalless in his first eight games with the Predators.
Add on his final 16 games with the Flyers and Simmonds entered Tuesday night with just one goal over his last 24 games.
However, anyone would tell you the Predators acquired Simmonds from the Flyers at the Feb. 25 trade deadline for much more than goals. His impact goes beyond numbers. It's hard to find a better locker-room guy — and that's more than just a cliché; those type of players are valued, especially for contending teams eyeing advantages at the margins.
Jakub Voracek called Simmonds his best friend. Claude Giroux called him the "ultimate warrior" and "best teammate." The Flyers' captain was even at a loss for words when talking about Simmonds following the Feb. 23 Stadium Series win, their final game together.
That night, from the Eagles' locker room in Lincoln Financial Field, Simmonds took the time to shake the hands of media members, who wanted to wish him well.
Classy and respected by everyone.
But Simmonds can still put the puck in the net, too. He did so for the first time with his new team when he lit the lamp in Nashville's 3-0 victory Tuesday night over the Maple Leafs.
To see the joy on his face, it had to be a relief.
The Predators have won three straight and are trying to catch the Jets for first place in the Central Division.
Soon, Simmonds will be playing postseason hockey.
Don't be surprised to see him right in the middle of things.
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