Here's something I noticed last night that gives me hope for the future of the team this season:
When Jordin Tootoo scored the second goal of the night (and the eventual game winner), the enthusiasm of the guys on the ice and on the bench was almost as if they had taken a lead in a playoff game. It is this kind of celebratory emotion that I am used to seeing from the Predators I know and love. And it is this kind of enthusiasm and excitement that I hope to see continue throughout the rest of the games this season.
It always tends to take a little while for the team to find their identity from season to season. After watching last night's game, I am beginning to believe this group of guys has finally found theirs. Having Mom (JP Dumont), Dad (Jason Arnott) and Uncle Steve (Sullivan) back together for the first time since Game 1 might have also had a little something to do with it.
Production is coming from more than just the top line and as it stands now, there are only two players on the current roster that have not scored a goal for us yet this season. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that the above statement would have been balked at by most. Honestly, I'm just happy to see that we are scoring more than one goal a game right now. The fact that most every player has scored for us at some point is like a big pile of frosting on this cupcake.
By no means am I trying to call the season now, ready to confidently state that we will easily make it into the playoffs come April. I am well aware of the uphill battle we have left to fight. The Predators have quite consistently remained one of the teams dubbed the underdogs of the NHL. I definitely don't expect our status to suddenly change after a few well played games. However, this is the team I have been waiting to see since the start of the season.
Now that they're here, I have reason to hope.