Hello again, Noobs and the Predators Faithful who love you! So you know who Shea Weber is and you think you might be able to tell Pete from Terry, but what about the rest of the guys on the ice? Here’s a rundown complete with links to their roster pages so that you’ll know who is who and when you should break out those train whistles! I’ll start between the pipes and work towards the blue line.
Pekka Rinne #35 Goalie Drafted in 2004, The Great Wall of Finland started his career in the US goaltending for Nashville’s affiliate team in Milwaukee. He has earned three (four?) NHL stars of the week this season. His play is distinguished by daredevil sweeps away from the net and periodic stick checks when the screens get a little too opaque and the opposing forwards get a little too, well, forward.
Dan Ellis #39 Goalie One half of the comedy team of…Oh, sorry, got carried away for a minute. Ellis is great between the pipes and often serves as the first person voice of the team during the games. You’ll know he’s on the ice when you see good, solid goaltending. And the comedy? He and fellow Saskatonian Wade Belak are the sources of some of the funnier video breaks produced by the team. You can follow him in Twitter: dellis39
Shea Weber #6 D-Man A He’s a gamer and originator of a scary, cannon-like shot that burned a hole in the opposition’s net during the Winter Games in February. It wouldn’t surprise me if some comedian tries to register him as a weapon the next time he has to fly commerically. Watching people on other teams try to take him on is a bit like watching some foohardy soul tug on Superman’s cape, only a lot more fun. See that “A”? That means in the event that the captain of the team has to miss a game, he is an alternate authority figure.
Ryan Suter #20 D-Man Ryan Suter’s presence on the Predators roster gives the team a very real connection with the history of American hockey in general because this US Olympian is the son of a member of the 1980 “Miracle Squad”, nephew of US hockey Olympian Gary Suter and Nashville Hockey in particular, because his dad also played for the Dixie Flyers in the late 80s. Country music loving, tractor driving Suter is the Quiet Man to Weber’s bigger than life presence on the ice, but he can make his attendance felt when necessary. Just ask Marian Hossa, who had his first fight as a Red Wing with Suter.
That’s it for part one. Check back tomorrow for more D-Men and a flock of wings.