Last week’s checkboarded schedule proved to be a challenge for the Predators. They came off of a long road trip to play the Blues at home in the ‘Stone on Wednesday only to hit the road again to face the Wild at their lair on Friday. As Barry Trotz noted during one of his scrums this week:
“When you’ve been on the road for a long time, it takes a little while to readjust. The home games don’t quite feel like home games, especially when you know you’re going right back out again.”
This was definitely a week when you had to look at the proverbial glass of Mountain Dew and assess whether it was half empty or half full. Seeing David Legwand do the GQ strut through the hallway after the games made the glass seem half enpty. Leggy cleans up well and the kid looks good in a suit, but he’s missed on the ice. Ryan Suter’s return from IR is a glass half- actually, having the first line D restored makes it a glass full sort of thing.
Enough chatter. Let’s take a look at Week 8.
It’s…No… Way To Go To Ohio
Nashville at Columbus, November 22, 2010
Steve Mason got his 16th career shutout against Nashville last Monday and my editor got to gloat. Matches with Columbus are popular with fans who like to see fireworks and blood feuds on the ice. Historically, NSH and CBJ have little if any love for each other. This time the fuse just didn’t seem to catch as the game ended in regulation with the aforementioned shutout against the Big Cats. Nashville, zip, the Bloodges, one. At postgame, Trotz referred the the issue of having a bunch of passengers on board. The ride to BNA was probably very quiet that night.
Blues By You
St. Louis at Nashville, November 24th, 2010
Where to start with this one? As far as entertainment goes, it was a good game. There were some great moments with the usual suspects making valiant attempts at getting the puck past the entity known as Halak. Nashville scored their only netter when Jerred Smithson got one past the Slovak Sentinel during second period. Smithson and his teammates outshot -and for the most part outplayed- St. Louis during regulation time. In spite of a spectacular performance by Pekka Rinne during OhTee and a double round of EssOhs, the Blues came out ahead in the end. As Trotz himself said postgame, the Hockey Gods were simply not with Nashville that night, but they do have a way of evening things out.
I have no complaints with the team I saw on the ice on Wednesday. They played hard. It was simply a case of time and fate. This is the team I saw at training camp and this is the team I want to stick around for the rest of the season.
Actually, I do have one complaint. Normally I vote on the stars of the game but try not to get too invested. We get our ballots at the ten-minute mark during third and they’re picked up at five ’til the final buzzer. I know that if it goes into over time or a shootout, there are going to be some people who get the nod by default, so I try to be a grownup about it . However, as much as I am a devoted goalie geek and adore Rinne, Little Rinne Lindback, and Mitch Korn; I maintain that Smithson should have gotten the nod that night. That kid really shone out there.
Twenty-four heartbeats beating like a drum, got to live it up live it up…
Nashville at Minnesota, November 27th, 2010
Friday was a revival of old tribal feuds of a different sort. Long time fans wanted desperately to bring a devestating blow to the House That Leipold Bought courtesy of the one he built and then nearly tore down.
Minnesota was ready for them, with former Predators Greg Zanon and Marek Zidlicky drawing first blood early in the game. Sully and Erat were the heroes of the night for Nashville, scoring a goal each. The Ratman was in fine form, bring the speed and deadly accuracy that we love about Erat to the game. However, it just wasn’t quite enough to turn things over and the buzzer sounded with Nashville trailing the Wild by three points.
So Raise Your Glass…
New York Rangers at Nashville, November 27th, 2010
Good lord. I’ve written about Disney endings before but I was always thinking about Disney before Touchstone. Saturday was Disney after people started swearing and the good guys didn’t always win. But still…Let’s take a look at the reel.
Sean Avery and company arrived like a group of bridge and tunnel mooks preparing to take down the yokels. They weren’t counting on Tootoo and O’Brien and Ward and Sullivan and… They weren’t quite ready for Nashville with their top shelf D at full strength. For that matter they weren’t ready for any of our D being as good as they are.
Glass half empty: Nashville lost by one point in the shoot out.
Glass damned near full: What a glorious, hard fought game. That was our team defending our town against a group of thugs. I’m not a fan of fights, but there was not one wasted minute out there as far as I’m concerned.
So that was Week Eight in Smasshville, where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the kids? They’ve never been anything but way above average.
This is Jas Faulkner looking forward to Tuesday, when there will hopefully be at least one Vern Fiddler Dance of Denial to the Sin Bin. Miss ya, Vern! (Although I’m glad to hear you’re happy and well-liked in The Land of AZ.) Until then, I’ll see you at the ‘Plex and the ‘Stone and online at Facebook and Twitter!