The PredsOnTheGlass duo are tired and cranky and seriously Jonesin’ for some hockey action. I can’t believe that the NHL in their infinite wisdom send four teams all the way to Europe and can’t manage to get the opening two games on some form of US television network that can be seen outside of the teams local markets. If the league is serious about the European market and wants to sell the idea to the North American fans they might want to make the games available for all to see. Knowing that the season opening games are being played as I write while I’m holed up in a rat hole of a motel watching a UWV-Rutgers football game is making my blood boil.
Speaking of a rat hole motel, I would not recommend the Days Inn in Fairmont West Virginia to my worst enemy. The whole operation is basically third world. After a nine hour ride for a midnight arrival last night and having paid in advance and called twice confirming we wouldn’t have problems with a midnight check in, the Days Inn still screwed us. The manager was completely unaccommodating and even acknowledged that they screwed up and still did nothing but offer to refund our payment. That brings us back to why we are at the Days Inn anyway (before anyone says if you go to a Days Inn you deserve whatever you get). My stepson is getting my married and because of the above-mentioned UWV football game everything within fifty miles is booked (except for the worst hotel in North America).
Returning to hockey, the highlight of the nine-hour car ride last night was listening to the Preadors – Thrashers game on the XM Radio. Best I could tell, the Preds started the game about the same way they did Thursday having massive problems moving the puck out of the defensive zone and down the ice. After a couple of quick early goals by Vern Fiddler and Dan Hamhuis the Preds turned the puck over repeatedly leaving several odd man situations that Pekka Rinne had no chance to defend. The Thrashers scored four goals in seven minutes two on the PP and one short-handed. It is really hard to understand why his puck moving issue has surfaced in the first period the last two nights especially since the regular D-men have been the ones with the problem.
After a scoreless second period that featured fights by Tristin Grant and an all-star thrashing of a 12 inch taller Boris Valabik by Jordan Tootoo the Predators came alive in the third period scoring four unanswered goals to win by a 6-4 margin. Granted, the Thrashers changed goalies but the Preds got the shot in the arm they needed after the first period nightmare. Kudos go to Pekka Rinne for recovering from the potential damage to his self esteem in the first period scoring surge and to Jordan Tootoo who was the first star of the game. The Preds broadcast team felt Pekka Rinne actually had one of his best games yet by stepping and keeping the Preds in the game through the last two periods.
Tootoo continued to show the hockey world his continued development as a skill player by once again notching a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”. In addition to his 2nd period pugilism, Tootoo had a goal and two assists. The win leaves the Preds with a 2-3 record heading into the preseason finale Sunday at Carolina.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass