What a reversal of fortunes!
Who would have thought that the only 2 wins that the Preds would have over the past 7 games…would have been against the Red Wings? AND by a combined score of 7-1??? Whoa nelly! Bizaro-land indeed!…or at least one would think just by looking at it on paper.
In reality? The Preds went into both games against the Red Wings after lackadaisical performances against both Philly and Edmonton (respectfully). However, this 4-1 win means something else. It’s not just a win, but a STATEMENT win against one of the best teams in the league. And as for the players that Trotz called out?
Legwand – 1G, 0A, 1P, +1
Erat – 1G, 0A, 1P, +1
Hornqvist – 0G, 1A, 1P, +1
Hey, at least they all got a point right? Hornqvist definitely should have had 1-2 goals in that game, but they’ll come in time. At least he read my previous blog and started getting in front of the goalie…well…actually, that seemed to be one of the ONLY places he was tonight, which was SO nice to see.
However, there was one significant play that was seriously overlooked and was definitely THE best play of the entire game in my opinion:
At 7:46 of the third period, Nick Spaling was credited with his 1 and only hit of the game. Pete Weber announced it was against Pavel Datsyuk, but it was against Daniel Cleary.
Why was this so significant? Remember the 5-2 win against the Preds that the Wings had in late October? Remember Datsyuk pretty much showing Spaling why he was a boy in a man’s game? Well, folks, we’ve come a long way from that apparently. It’s amazing what 3 months of playing NHL hockey will do for a person such as Nick Spaling. Now, instead of being walked around (or on, for that matter), Spaling now holds his own, fills a role that we haven’t really had since Vernon Fiddler was here, and shows the Preds WHY he is such a pivotal part of our “blue-collar” bottom 2 lines.
The Predators entered the Motor City with growing doubts as to how their season would end and if they would ultimately be watching the Stanley Cup playoffs from the couch, however I THINK (and hope, lol) they can effectively put those doubts to rest.
The Predators have 6 of the next 8 at home, however pretty much nothing gets easier from here. Half of those games are against teams in the playoffs while the other half are against teams within 4 points of being in. The best part about this, though? 2 more away games left in February, 6 in March, 1 and April…the rest at the friendly confides of The Grand Ole Arena on 5th and Broad. The only thing that I worry about? We have to win at least 18 of our last 27 to have 100+ points (which I believe will guarantee a playoff spot in the Western Conference, not 94)
Opponents of the Fang…beware! The Predators aren’t giving up any time soon.