My first thought tonight was that there were WAY too many Red Wings fans at the Sommet. I mean, I know they normally come out of the wood works but there was definitely a higher concentration of them tonight. Including a really annoying and LOUD jerk of a fan directly behind us. I never mind a little friendly rivalry during a game but this guy was just downright obnoxious.
Never in a million years did I think that Greg Zanon would be the one to light the lamp first tonight. It's about time we scored directly off the face off. That was a nice goal.
Kevin Klein's shot from the point at the end of the power play was killer too. I am so glad to see him out there playing. He deserves the ice time because between Klein and Koistinen, Kevin is a much better all around player. Not to mention that his shot is very similar to Shea Weber's shot and you know how I feel about that boy's shot.
Vernon Fiddler is stepping up his game quite a bit. I think he has definitely deserved a spot on the second line for right now. With that said, Erat's game is also improving as he managed a multi-point game tonight with a secondary and primary assist. I think he and Fiddler are starting to gel well together. The same can not be said for Legwand and Erat though. I don't know what happened to that pairing but something has definitely disintegrated between the two of them.
I know I have said this quite a few times already this season but it bears repeating that the Smithson-Bonk-Tootoo line is one of the best lines we've got. No, they might not be scoring goals but they are generating a lot of chances and putting pressure on the opposing team like they should. At some point in the near future, I'm expecting to see some scoring from the three of them.
Speaking of line chemistry, something is amiss with Jason Arnott and JP Dumont. Our leaders aren't getting things done and that concerns me. It might be time for a little line shake up to get things going again. I noticed Trotz threw Antti Pihlstrom out there with Arnott and Ward for a couple of shifts but I don't know if that's really the answer either.
We played a surprisingly aggressive and physical game tonight. Also surprisingly, Detroit's game seemed to be much more mellow than usual. The Predators were hitting everybody and every Predator was hitting. I'd like to see this style of play continue.
Tonight marked the first sellout of the season. Seeing the Sommet packed to its fullest made my heart real happy. Major props to all the Preds fans who caught spontaneous ovation fever again. Those moments can never be planned or recreated. And in the moment, it is one of the biggest rushes of emotion you can experience during a sporting event. The last few minutes of the third period were awesome and you know our boys had to feel good hearing us cheer them on like that. It's sad to say that it's been a while since we've really had reason to cheer.
All in all, this was probably one of the best games we played in a long while. I still have issue with the fact that our top scorers aren't bringing it like they have been BUT no matter what, we beat the Red Wings. What a great belated Christmas present.
The Predators are on the road again, travelling to Edmonton and Colorado for games on Sunday and Monday, respectively. The Edmonton Oilers game will be radio-broadcast only (boo to that, NHL!). Puck drops at 7:00pm CST.