Friday, January 8, 2010

How SWEDE it is!

Usually I do not write about any one player, but let me ask you a question:

Are you as completely fascinated with Patric Hornqvist as I am? Last year, he was something special, but THIS YEAR he has really come in to his own. This 23 year old Swede has slowly wormed his way in to my heart since the pre-season with his rough and tumble style, and I honestly didn't think that was possible. You see, there's this "thing" about goalies that has always gotten my attention. It started with Vokoun, has moved on to Rinne, along with Khabibulin, no real reason behind it, but maybe they are the "bad boys" of the sport, always willing to throw themselves in front of a frozen weapon.... don't know, but I digress, back to the article at hand. Patric Hornqvist has become one of my favorite players to watch.

As the Predator's LEADING GOAL SCORER.... That's right, Mr. Last Pick of the 2005 draft, has 16 goals, 10 assists and a PLUS 10 rating so far this season (even while taking penalties for his gritty style) While, on any other team he wouldn't be a stand out with those kinds of stats, he has more goals since December 14th than Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks. Yes, you read THAT right, more goals than Patrick Kane in that period. (as of 1.7.10)

He is a nuisance for goaltenders, defenders try to target him while failing miserably, and coaches are unsure of how to tame him. When Horny (his nickname, I swear) is on the ice, you can feel the energy level go up especially in the top line, maybe his youth has woken the older players from their hibernation? That feels like a rant that would be better saved for another time.....

Anyways, back to Praising Patric....

Every time he is in the paint, you feel as though he can score as long as the puck is sent his way.... When was the last time anyone was able to say that about a Predator player?

Recently, Horny was named to the Swedish Olympic roster, and according to the post-game interview on January 5th V.S. the Flames, he is completely honored to be a part of it. He will be among some of Hockey's elite, including Forsberg, the Sedin brothers, Lidstrom, Ohlund, and many others. If he plays in that tournament like he does in every game here in Nashville, then the defending champs will be hard to beat.

Watching the game from last night against the Hurricanes solidified my love for the Swede.... After all, how many players can get 6 minutes of penalties in the first period and end up with 2 goals? Reading his post-game interview from the Predator's website, the quote that stood out the most was about his style of play in the crease, he said: "Yeah, that is my role there and I’m not going to change it. I’m going to be in the front and I’m going to be hard to play against every night." I LOVE THAT!!! His passion for the game and his play are really starting to make a case for a Hornqvist personalized jersey, instead of a RINNE... didn't think THAT was possible!

All in all, this season has really started to shape up for the Predators, and Hornqvist is not the only one who has contributed to the recent wins, but he has been a HUGE factor for the team. Let's just hope that continues, which when watching him play, I can't imagine it not.....

Flames at Predators 1.5.10

The Hockey Gods are cruel....
When good things happen before a game for me, the Preds are left in my karmic wake.

Why?, You ask....

Well: I arrived in the front of the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Nashville around 3:30 PM to find that the Calgary Flames bus was waiting out front, this was a GREAT sign, as I was hoping to autograph hound them before they made their way to the Sommet Center for their pre-game warm-ups......
The freezing temps would not discourage me from my endeavour. As an autograph hound, the team as a whole is not my goal, no greed in my vocabulary, there are a few players on each team that catch my attention and that is who gets to put paint on puck. In this case, it was Jarome Iginla, Mikka Kiprusoff, Jay Bouwmeester, and Olli more was on that list, but because of recent issues, there was no holding of breath for him to have traveled much less be willing to sign for me. Seeing the team begin to filter from the lobby to the bus and placing their belongings on it, my stomach lurched realizing that this day was gonna be a great one for me. All of the aforementioned players signed, and my mystery player (Dion Phaneuf) came striding along more than willing to sign and even THANKED ME for asking for his auto!!!! Admittedly, some may have labeled me as "Fan Girl" when I realized that Dion was headed right for us, but what do I care? I probably will never see him again, and if I do, he won't remember me!

Off to dinner at Chipotle...... THEN:

Around 6:00 the doors opened to the Sommet Center, the crowd rushed in out of the cold, and on a tip from a fellow "Tweep" I headed straight for the already crowded Pro Shop to retrieve my beloved Women's fit Third Jersey and purchase it. Placing that Black and Blue beauty on my back, looking at the perfect fit, and ripping the tag off for the cashier took mere seconds.... Victory!!! So proud.... so happy to be a season ticket holder and get that 20% off too! Wow, this night was really going well..... the smooth ride from Memphis, the free parking, a successful hounding trip, and the purchase of my Third was making for a great day in Music City... Seriously, what could go wrong?

Warm-ups are a tradition..... I head down there, take tons of pictures, and my presence makes the team really work hard....hahahahahaha... made myself laugh with that one.... Really, just like seeing my boys up close and personal before the game, and send some good thoughts their way. The horn sounded, and I solemly made my way up the stairs kicking myself for not upgrading those tickets to lower bowl, took one last look at the silent auction table, and was asked where our seats were for the game, told the guy running the table, and he handed me a pair of tickets for section 120. I was FLOORED!

This is where the night turns tragic. The game started, the Flames scored first, Preds had no momentum, and lost the game because I had a good day....... I take personal responsibility for it PREDS fans.... It was me. So sorry. I will never do it again. ;)
(not true.... don't hold me to it) The next opportunity to hound and get free stuff, I will not be the one to turn it down. That would just be silly!