This week has a sweet and sour note to it as both the team and I are going through some challenges to bounce back and finish strong on the first big road trip of the season. Realistically, last week is hard to top but remember, the season has just begun. Here are the highlights from the week’s past games and cherished memories.
Queasy and Wheezy in the Motor City
The last three games our beloved team played were ones that had a see-saw kind of feel. The team came into Detroit losing a close contest to Dallas just a couple of nights before. As the team gathered for their usual chow down before the game, most enjoyed one of their beloved dishes – chicken soup. However, for whatever reason which is here nor there, the soup unsettled numerous players before the game. While on the surface it didn’t look like it affected many through the second period of the game (when they were tied 2-2), the mysterious exodus of Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith was a bit odd. They looked fine on the surface but their stomachs were far from it. Even Pekka Rinne suffered some illness from the chow but still did about as best of a job as one’s able to given the circumstances. Though the result wasn’t so hot, a 5-3 loss to the Red Wings in their final showdown at Joe Louis Arena would be more remembered for sour soup than the play on the ice.
One Hit Wonders in The Music City
With a second back-to-back already on the board for the young season, the trip back from Detroit was anything but tasty. Little did people know that the illness spread to numerous players on the team and with the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins coming into town, action had to be taken to have a legal lineup dressed for the game. It was a learning experience for the team as management admitted that they never experienced this before in their careers.
Immediate action had to be taken. Hours before the game, management got together and called up several players to be ready to play against the Penguins. This is no small feat given that there was literally little or no notice time-wise to pull this off. Getting the chance to play in the NHL (even in a situation like this) is a dream players have that is a part of a very strong Predator’s Farm System. Up until now, I didn’t realize how integral the teams we have in Milwaukee and Cincinnati are to our team here in Nashville. These teams are part of the organization that gives them a chance to develop their skills while playing the game they love. Regardless if they’re young or old, they are still part of the Nashville mold.
Closer to game time on a brisk Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to share the game with close friends (and family to me) Erik and Dan. This was the first game the three of us joined together to watch our boys in gold and questions around how would be playing was the hot topic of the night.
To turn back the clock briefly, the last time the Pens were in town, they snuck out with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win against the Predators. Early on, with Saros in net, the contest didn’t look so hot for Nashville as he gave up a goal 52 seconds in. However, after settling down and getting comfy between the pipes, he was sharp as a tack not giving up another goal thereafter. And for all the naysayers, yes, goalies that are 5’10” tall CAN play in net. After that lone Penguins goal, the Preds rattled off five goals of their own and waltzed away winners of a stunning 5-1 contest over the Crosby-less Pens. Even though the Admirals and Cyclones are in lower-level leagues, it’s still family to us all here in Smashville.
The West Coast Tour & Sour Notes
As I am writing the article up for our beloved site, the first of a five-game road trip of the season started in Anaheim, California. Home to the Ducks, they got the shock of their lives last year seeing their season come to an end at home during what would be one of two Game 7’s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Nashville endured. Wednesday night, in short, they were on a roller and had a big helping of Predators Pie. The quackers beaked Nashville with five second period goals and waddled out of the Honda Center with a 6-1 win. Colin Wilson dinged in his second goal of the season unassisted on yet another power play. For now, this is one of the few bright spots of the team now that they have lost three out of their last four early on in the season.
Honorable Horn Blasts For The Home Team
As the puck spins towards a conclusion of another article, there are definitely some shout-outs that need to be yelled out. The first horn blast goes to Juuse Saros for getting his first NHL win of his career against the Penguins. After letting the first goal go through the ol’ legs, he became a concrete wall not letting another shot go by. Way to go buddy!
Other horn blasts that include a couple screams of our favorite kitty of kitties Gnash go to BOTH Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala. Both scored a pair of goals and had people on the edge of their seats hoping they would get hat tricks. Last and not least, the final horn blast goes to the staff for all their hard work as they were ranked the sixth best sports franchise in ESPN – The Magazine’s Ultimate Standings 2016.
Final Thoughts Before The Puck Rounds The Baseboards Again Next Week
Well, that’s all the time I have for this week’s article. For those that have started reading the article today, welcome aboard and for what it is worth, take a moment and ready the first pair of articles to get up to speed. For the faithful readers that have started reading this when this handwork was crafted, thank you. The season is still very young and maybe the weather will be cooler next week and our Preds hopefully on a hot streak. Oh, and maybe pass on the soup next and go straight for an entrée: Shark pate and Avalanche snow cones are on the menu next week as #theride continues.