I got a letter from a reader in Chicago who mentioned that I was being all fluffy and girly and silly while their THW person was offering a serious analysis of what could happen tomorrow night. I had already read that article with much interest and admiration. I applaud them. I will not, however, try to offer an educated prognostication of what will happen Friday Night because, as the letter writer noted, cartoon characters aren’t known for their analytical abilities.
There are a few cartoon characters with whom I will admit to a degree of overidentification: Wall*e, Stitch, Skrat… but there is one who has become darned near my totem Chicago? He has a message for you from PredsNation. Take it, Gir!
Now, back to the Noobs. Where were we? The centers. Here is what Lloyd Percival had to say about centers: “When not actively employed while the puck is in play, they should be kept in crates with plenty of water and protein and something jingly and shiny to keep them distracted so they don’t chew on the slats. I suggest fresh caribou and salmon but some of the American players who have come through my training program have insisted on Cheerios…” Seriously, the center, (or centre if you’re playing north of the border) is the person whose play is primarily down the middle of the rink.
And here, dear Noobs, are your Nashville Predator Centers:
Colin Wilson #33 Center Wilson was one of the more highly anticipated prospects to be drafted by David Poile in the past few years. His record as a college hockey player gave fans the confidence that he would be a good fit in Nashville and this past season has proven them right. He has scored eight goals in his rookie year, most against some of the Predators’ tougher opponents.
Jerred Smithson #25 Center If there wasn’t a Jerred Smithson, the “I Can Has Cheesburger” people would have had to invent him. He’s steadfast, dependable and has the best death glare in the NHL.
Cal O’Reilly #16 Center O’Reilly was a favorite of fans of the Spits and Admirals before finally coming to Nashville for keeps this year. After David Poile told the fans that Ryan Jones was going away to live on a farm where he would be very happy, they got a little more vigilant about keeping tabs on their players. Poile won’t be able to let O’Reilly go back to Wisconsin without a fight.
David Legwand #11 Center If the NHL ever awards family members for serving the game in a fashion that goes above and beyond and all that, Lindsey Legwand deserves a nomination (at the very least) for giving birth to their first child and then shooing her spouse out of the hospital and into the locker room to suit up for the game that evening. Legwand is a vital part of the current roster and the only remaining First Gen Predator.
Marcel Goc #9 Center One of the sweetest bits of vindication this year was watching Marcel Goc get his first goal against his old team. From this writer’s view, he always looks like there’s no place he’d rather be and in the arena and it shows in the quality of his play.
Dustin Boyd #14 Center Boyd was a late-season acquisition from Calgary. From what we’ve seen of him so far, the playoffs and next season look very promising.
Jason Arnott #19 Center C That bolded C on this list and on his uniform indicates that Arnott is the captain of the team. For those of you who are new, let me fill you in on why this is the case. There are the years of experience with some of the more storied franchises in the NHL to consider. There is that famous winning goal that put the Stanley Cup in the hands of the Devils and then there’s the undeniable fact that the team without Arnott is pithed of something very important. Fans who were around last year can tell you how much his return to the ice galvanized the team. This year, he has afforded this team, which is almost evenly split between new kids and the old guard, a mature voice of reason and quietly forceful push behind the rallies that we’ve seen during the past few seasons.
So there you have it. Next up, I’ll point out a few things that are part of the lore, fixtures on the landscape and some points of etiquette that you need to know.
Oh, and Marian? Bob Suter’s Boy says “Hey!” and to give you a BIG hug. Invader Zim rules..