Tuesday night's game at the Bridgestone Arena between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators produced 65 minutes of the most intense hockey action seen this year in Smashville.
It was a real shame that it had to be decided in a six-round skills competition with the Canucks taking the extra point in the standings when Alexander Edler sealed the win with his game winner.
The newest Predator on the roster, Brandon Yip, played what may have been his best game yet as a Predator since coming over from Colorado on waivers on January 19. He did not show up on the scorecard but played with inspiration and passion at both ends of the ice, previously unseen in a Preds uniform.
There was a good explanation according to Yip, "I like the rivalry. I'm from Vancouver so it's always a game that I get up for. I'm also trying to get a little more overall consistency in my game."
"I was a die-hard Canucks fan growing up but that quickly changed once I was on the opposition. It's always cool when you play your hometown and all your buddies and your family are watching so it makes it a little more exciting. Vancouver is a good team and they had a good playoff with Nashville last year to make a good rivalry."
Yip was playing on a gritty line, mostly with Jerred Smithson and Nick Spaling. "We were trying to get pucks out and put them deep. Unfortunately we didn't get as much offense as we would have liked but we did a good job in our own zone and that's what we needed in the third."
Yip was disappointed in the loss but understands the game of hockey. "I thought we showed good character after the first period being down and fought hard to the end. We just came up a little short in the shootout and like Trotz said, 'Anything can happen in the shootout'. I thought we played well in the second and third periods."
Barry Trotz was realistic about the loss of a point. "It was one of our better efforts in terms of our games against top opponents when we did not get two points. Both teams played well enough that it was probably fitting that it would go to a shootout where anything can happen."
"I'm disappointed that we didn't get two points, but at the same time we were down 3-1 against a really good team so to get a point, you have to be a little bit satisfied. I'm not jumping for joy but it was a good point."
Then Trotz got down to brass tacks, "You never know what point will make the difference between being in the playoffs or in a different place in the standing so we'll take the point and head to Ottawa."
The Predators will practice at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday before packing up and leaving for Ottawa where they will face the struggling Senators on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass