Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve finally got ourselves a hockey team. And as much as it pains me to say this, we’ve got ourselves a number one goaltender now too.
1. I still (and will ALWAYS) hate shootouts. It’s a lot of stress on me and my emotions at the end of an already epic game. For the record, putting Martin Erat up to close it out does not help either. BUT, if he’s going to score goals like he did last night, then I guess I can be okay with it.
2. Our penalty kill is starting to look really solid. I was worried there for a while because we were thrown off with the loss of guys like Fiddler and Nichol. I’m feeling a lot more confident about our ability to stave off goals while the opposing team has a man-advantage. And not to intentionally call out the same person twice, but Martin Erat found a little defensive minded plays somewhere down deep within his pirouetting self.
3. On the flip side of the penalty kill, we seemed to be gelling better on the power play as well. We still take way too long to set it up sometimes but at least we’ve managed to push ourselves enough to not be the worst in the league anymore and I’m totally cool with that.
The Predators Central division rival, the Columbus Bluejackets, roll into town on Saturday night for the first matchup of the season. Things I am expecting: at least one fight (Jordin Tootoo and/or Wade Belak will most decidedly want a go at someone) and the Cellblock to taunt Steve Mason mercilessly.
This should be fun.