With a sold out United Center and a hungry team looking for it’s first win of the young season the Predators responded with a gutsy performance and a shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
The early schedule is brutal to the Preds. Having to play three different teams for their home openers is tough. Teams are up and pumped for those nights and typically they respond with an intense effort. In Chicago last night it was no different. the Hawks came out flying and jumped out to and early. Even though there were times that the Preds seemed to be chasing their tails they never really lost composure last night and kept plugging along.
Things I loved:
Physical Play – The Preds were hitting hard. Saw many hits from Hamhuis last night that looked really good. I love when he plays his game and keeps it physical. Saw Toots line up a few guys…I love how his game has matured. I can remember his first year where he would see someone across the ice and take off charging after them…sometimes he would hit him and other times he would crash the boards. It was pretty comical. Toots plays a much more controlled game.
Defensive Play – overall the boys looked good in our end. Minus a couple breakdowns they kept Chicago’s big guns in check. Don’t know about you but every time Havlat, Sharp or Toews touched the puck I just held my breath…they are so fast and so talented but our guys kept position and shut them down pretty good.
Suter and Weber – Wow. These guys look pretty special on the PP together. They are developing quite a chemistry and could quickly develop into one of the top defesive PP pairings in the league.
What I didn’t Like:
Arnott Leaving – Didn’t like seeing Arnott leaving with an injury. It doesn’t sound too serious but you never know. If there is one thing teams are famous for it’s not telling the truth with injuries…let’s hope it’s nothing serious and we have Jason back for the next game.
Other than that there was really not much from last night that I didn’t like. A few defensive breakdowns…some ill timed penalties…nothing huge last night. This is not me being a rose colored glass guy either…what I saw last night was a solid team effort. Our boys matched their enthusiasm and got a well earned two points. While you hate to give a point to a team that you will be competing with for a playoff spot I don’t think of it that way…I think of it as taking a point from them.