Back in October the Preds were embarrased at their own arena by the Edmonton Oilers, LAST night however, they got their revenge..... and it was SWEET!
The first five minutes of the game seemed to be going the same route as the previous one, but with an early time-out by Coach Trotz, and a goaltender switcheroo, the momentum came straight to the visiting team's bench. In all fairness, the 2 early goals by the Oilers (one on a powerplay and the other where the Defense was just schooled) were not Pek's fault, but Trotz had to make a tough choice and get the team fired up...... AND it worked. You see that Trotzy haters? HE MAKES GOOD DECISIONS..... like always!
7 minutes later, Ryan Jones scores his fourth goal of the season, bringing the boys within 1, and continuing to post his reasons why he should be in the Big League, after all, he IS getting paid those Big Boy dollars. If Jones keeps playing like this, there will be no doubt for the nay-sayers out there regarding Jonesy.... He belongs up here, and it is very good to see him producing and playing very well.
Not to be outdone, the hottest line for the Nashville Predators, the Ward, Legwand, Smithson line connected for Wardo to get the game tying goal around the 16 minute mark of the first period. It is so good to see this line really connecting and producing for the Preds, cannot tell you how long we have been waiting for Leggy to really connect for the team and produce like we know he can. Watching the set-up and the goal there really was never any doubt that the puck was going in to the net on that sequence, and that is what makes this team fun to watch. They are creating chances and the follow-up from the guys is what is really impressive. This team will not quit, and that is what is going to take them far.
Just to steal more momentum from the home team, Marcel Goc (one of my new favorites to watch) scores 50 seconds later and helps take his team to the locker room after the first with a come from behind 3-2 lead. Goc is truly making a name for himself with this Predators team, and JP Dumont set him up for that goal beautifully. Goc has 5 goals on the season.......Marcel Goc... who would have thought THAT was going to happen?
The Predators did not lay low for the second period either, with Patric Horn-Dog Hornqvist scoring the 4th goal on the night for the Preds (his 9th on the season). Playing hard and generating chances seems to be working for this team, but Deslauriers kept the game close (if you can call it that). The Oilers team is fast, and usually the Preds cannot keep up with that kind of speed, usually losing confidence and allowing the other team to come back and score a few. The Oilers did make their mark during one of these unfocused times with Nilsson netting a powerplay goal during the second to pull within 1. Horn Dog would not have any of it though, taking full advantage of the extra man and scoring goal number 5 for the visiting team, his 10th on the season. Yes, you read that right, 10th..... BY THE WAY, only Jason Arnott and Martin Erat have more goals than Horny.....
The third period, was not the Preds but they came through it not allowing any goals, and scoring a legitimate goal from Jerred Smithson with seconds to go in the game, effectively nailing the coffin shut for the Oilers. Smithers was determined to score, since his empty netter was called back seconds before for an off-sides by Legwand.
Last night's game was fun to watch, and being a Predator fan has been a pleasant surprise this year. A rough beginning, a hot streak in November, a couple of rough games to begin December, and the start of a new streak in the making now. The tough part will be when they visit the Calgary Flames on Saturday for the second meeting of the season. The first, much like the first meeting between the Oilers and the Preds, did not go well for Trotz and his team, but with the team's confidence rising, and realizing that even with their "no-name" talent they can do well, maybe they can exact revenge on the Flames. Calgary does seem to school the Preds everytime they meet, and with their offensive talent and Kipper in net, they have every reason to do so. Personally, I am hoping for a huge upset on behalf of the Preds.
During his Post-game interview, Ellis told Pete and Terry that Peks was suffering from a little bit of the flu....... get better Peks!!!! That makes the decision to pull him so early a little more understandable, considering the 2 goals he had against him were not neccesarily his fault, a great decision by Trotz. He needed momentum, and he got it. It just sucks that Peks was feeling bad, and couldn't get this "W".
Looking forward to Saturday's game, even though I won't be able to see any of it..... ahhhh the life of a retail store manager at holiday time. No room for hockey.....
Let's Go Preds!