Predators faced with tough questions

Shea Weber hugged Pekka Rinne in a somber dressing room, the two stars shaking their heads in disbelief.

Out in the second round against the Phoenix Coyotes? Not how they had envisioned their season ending. Not by a long shot.

“It’s very disappointing. It’s very disappointing,” Nashville Predators GM David Poile told, while making sure to give the Phoenix Coyotes the utmost respect for a series win he felt they certainly deserved.

A critical seasom in the history of the Predators ends in thorough disappointment and invites more questions than answers about their future.

Have Weber and Ryan Suter played their last game as Predators?

Will the Predators bring back Alexander Radulov? Does the KHL import even want to stay?

And the most important question of all: Did the Predators add too many players — or the wrong players — late in the season to a roster that was already humming along?

Make no mistake about it, the more talented team did not win this second-round series. But the more committed team definitely did.

The Coyotes are howling their way to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history, and while the Los Angeles Kings are the clear favorites after knocking off the top two seeds, the Blackhawks and Predators found out the hard way that the plucky, rope-a-dope desert dogs have a bite as dangerous as their bark.