Tonight the Preds visited Atlanta and squeaked out a 2-1 victory over the host Thrashers. The Preds got goals in the first from Ryan Suter and Colin Wilson. They then rode on the back of strong play from Dan Ellis in net to keep Atlanta from scoring a goal to tie it after Antropov scored within the first minute of the second period. The Preds played a solid opening period of play, limiting the opponents chances to the outside and pushing back a team that is coached with an emphasis on the attack. After the first intermission the Preds played the majority of game quite lackadaisically, and while the Thrashers didn’t play their way back into the game as much as the score suggests, the Thrashers did generate enough offense to keep things tense. In the end it wasn’t enough and the Preds skated off with a huge 2 point gain in the Western Conference standings.
* According to the official scoresheet, the attendance in Atlanta tonight was just over 11k. If that’s true, then they must have stayed in the lobby. I would ball park it around 7k in attendance and even that feels a bit generous.
*I have to say I wasn’t terribly inspired by any of the even strength lines. The Suter goal came on the team’s first power play opportunity, and the Wilson goal was his own, as he jumped on a defensive gaff while on the forecheck and lifted the puck past Hedberg after an efficient backhand to forehand movement. Hopefully some chemistry is developed soon as this is a critical roadtrip and has the potential to be a season ending run without some wins.
*It was a lot of fun to be a Pred fan in enemy territory tonight. The Preds heads very a very vocal group jeering the opposition and it was very easy to understand what was being said. Very well done. According to tweeters watching from home our taunts were coming through on the TV feed. Well done indeed.
*Up next for your Predators are 3 games in 4 nights, 2 of which are against teams jockeying with the Preds (Ducks and Kings). First on the itinerary are the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
As always, your comments are definitely encouraged.
Until next time – Big Kev