1.16.2011

2nd Predators' Goal Scored By Shea Weber, Assits from Suter and Ward and About Nine Thousand Fans

I avoid writing anything that resembles a game preview, summary, or post game recap. Two reasons: I really have no interest in writing those type of posts, and there are half a dozen Predators bloggers out there that already do a phenomenal job on all of the above. Yet, as a Preds fan I cannot help but want to write about what happened during tonight’s 2-3 Predators OT win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

If you watched the game or read someone else’s post-game then you can skip down to the third paragraph, unless you want to read about me bashing Klein.

While the game started with strong showings from both teams and both goaltenders. It wasn’t until about the fifteen-minute mark that the Blackhawks opened the scoring with a power play goal from Tomas Kopecky. Frankly, it was all Klein’s fault. He went for a poke check and totally whiffed then he sucked and then they scored. It was stupid. The Preds seemed ok but a little shaky after that goal, but they finished out the period.

Besides shaky play from the Preds all through the second, the only thing that happened was the second Blackhawks goal. It was a fluky goal from Viktor Stalberg that bounced off of Rinne’s back and went into the net. Oddly enough it results from an unforced turnover caused by Klein put a bad pass off of Chris Mueller’s skates, and then Klein managed to do absolutely nothing to prevent Stalberg from flipping the puck around. It sucked, but then again Klein was on the ice.

Here’s the third paragraph à The third period looked to be the same as the last, although the boys in dark blue did seem to have a bit of fire in them. Unfortunately the crowd was drifting in and out of the game. There was some sporadic cheering as the Preds made some solid plays and looked like they were going out fighting, but the crowded needed something. That something came around the ten-minute mark when Spaling, Ward, and Smithson came into the zone with some speed. Spaling was able to maintain control of the puck and get it so Smitty who just snapped it in the net. Now, some people say that the crowd was half Blackhawk fans, others say that there were more Chicago fans in attendance than Predators fans, I don’t know. What I do know is that when Smitty scored that goal the building thundered.

I’ve been in that building for some crazy, emotional games, but you could tell that something special was going to happen. Not long after the Preds’ first goal there was TV timeout. The second the play was whistled dead and the red light came out the building erupted. The few Hawks fans that I could see around me looked visibly shaken as the throng of Preds fans cheered and clapped and did whatever we could to try and force Chattanooga to call the police to file a noise complaint. The fans weren’t just expressing relief about the goal and not getting shutout, we were telling our team that we believed in them. At that moment we knew that the game was ours and we were going to be damn sure that the Blackhawks and their fans knew what was about to happen. And, oh, did it happen. The Preds won the first face off about the TV timeout standing ovation, and the puck was shoveled back to Shea Weber, who just blasted it past Crawford to tie the game.

I admit that the Blackhawks are real pros. They recovered their composure and tested the Preds several times before the end of the period, but weren’t able to crack Nashville’s resolve. The game ends with a shootout victory for the Preds, but the victory wasn’t the most incredible part of the game.

I talked about the emotion surrounding the standing ovation, and I talked about the goal Weber scored immediately afterwards, but I also have to say that the second goal was ours. Each and every Preds fan in the Bridgestone Arena had a hand in scoring that tying goal. Even if we had lost the game tonight, it would have been a loss where we could hold our heads with pride. There are some fantastic fans bases in the NHL and there are some fan bases out there that absolutely hate us. So, fuck ‘em all. Tonight we showed them that this is our team, and even if they have the money and the tradition, we’ve still got more heart.

1 comment:

margaret said...

perfect. summary.