Now this is what Smashville hockey is all about! The Predators tore out onto the ice tonight, itching to get their first win at home this season, hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not only did they crave the win tonight, they earned it! This is the hockey Predators fans live for and expect from such a great team. This is the team we are used to. Tonight’s game definitely boosted the confidence of both the fan base and the players, no doubt.
If you saw the game or were there, your jaw more than likely hit the floor a few times (that’s if it didn’t stay there the whole game). Every single player was on his A-Game tonight, give or take a few flukes. The guys worked exceptionally well together and executed several outstanding plays. That, and the Predators actually took shots! No, they didn’t surpass the Lightning for most shots, 32 to our 27, but please, reread that; 32 to 27! It seems the Predators took a chance tonight and tried the “shoot the puck” method and it definitely worked in their favor, smashing the Lightning 5-3.
- The Predators have found a pair in Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn. These two blended seamlessly together tonight, with Fisher getting an assist to Kostitsyn’s goal (the first goal of the night) and then the two switched with the second goal, giving Fisher the goal and Kostitsyn the assist. However, these two were torn apart when Kostitsyn suffered a leg injury due to a hit from Tampa Bay’s Brett Connolly. He was helped off the ice, but Coach Barry Trotz does not think Sergei will be absent from Saturday’s game against the Ducks. Sergei did not return to the game, but Fisher continued his domination by scoring the final goal, sealing the win for the Preds. If Sergei is able to play Saturday, we want to see him and Fisher back together. These two could eventually be a deadly combination.
- The “Peks Reflex” was back in full force tonight, with Pekka Rinne saving 29 of the 32 shots taken on goal tonight. Peks has been shaky the last few games, letting more pucks slip passed than normal, but it looked like tonight the old Pekka is back and ready to take names. He made several unbelievable saves that only our Finnish phenom can accomplish.
- Welcome back, Horny! Patric Hornqvist scored the 3rd goal tonight during the 2nd, to the relief of many fans. Horny has had a rough few games and hasn’t been his usual self, but tonight was the exception. It is good to see Hornqvist back on the board.
- Let’s also welcome back, The Cube! It’s pretty apparent Francis Bouillon has a “Napoleon Complex”, and we are perfectly okay with this! Bouillon juked around the ice, tripping up the Lightning during several plays, helping keep the puck away from Pekka’s net. It is a relief to see him recover from his concussion he suffered back in January against the Chicago Blackhawks. The fans are more than happy to welcome him back!
- Nick Spaling put some “Spals to the Walls” tonight and scored the fourth goal of the night during the 2nd. Spaling has been alright this season, but it was good to see him step up tonight and seal a goal for the team. Also showing up tonight was Jonathon Blum, Kevin Klein, Jerred Smithson, and Colin Wilson. All five of these guys seemed to have had their heads in the game and, although there were a few mishaps, no complaints can be made here. Oh, and let us not forget our favorite rookie, Craig Smith. He’s on fire during every game.
The Predators finish their home round Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks, with the puck dropping at 7PM. Should we remind the Ducks who the better team is? I do believe so. GO PREDS.