Smothering defense, scoring first, playing smart, and Pekka Rinne playing like he’s capable of doing so. Colin Wilson had a very good game alongside Brandon Yip. Jordin Tootoo had a solid game creating chances and making life rough for Phoenix, and got to Derek Morris. Mike Smith exposed himself in being a bit overaggressive trying to play the puck. Martin Erat has taken his game to another level and is becoming the leader that Mike Fisher is. And to top it off, Kevin Klein made some very very swell plays alongside the dependable Francis Boullion.
This was a welcome sight for some very sore eyes.
Going into the night, you had to figure this one wasn’t going to be close going either way. Either Nashville was going to wake the (censored) up and do their job, or get owned in the process by being too aggressive. Fortunately for the 17,000 plus folks in the Bridgestone Arena, the former happened.
Also, this happened.
Get that fish, sister.
While yes, the Predators did play a solid 60 minutes. What won’t show up in the box score is the amount of scoring chances the Preds had on breakaways and transition plays. At times, they looked like a faster team that we were expecting. But still it wouldn’t be a Preds game without Pekka Rinne being the absolute man of the hour.
Yep. Just another day in the office. There’s a reason why about 1/4 of all Preds merch with a name on it has RINNE on the back of it.
This game was a gamble that paid off. Now, the team can look down their lineup and be motivated to keep playing their trademark grinding style. Why? If they don’t, there are two legit top six forwards sitting and waiting. Screw up royally, and there will be a legit scorer in your place next game. Masterful motivating is just byproduct of doing “the right thing” by the team.
Any coincidence that Martin Erat and David Legwand had their best game in a while with Andrei and Alex out? That’s a good question.