In a new feature we're going to try out here, we'll celebrate a Hero of the Week for your Nashville Predators, using a set of frustratingly opaque, entirely arbitrary guidelines that merely aim to celebrate that Pred who made an especially large contribution to the team during the week gone by. - Dirk
|2011 - Anders Lindback||6||286||2||2||0||12||2.52||124||112||.903||0|
As the Preds headed in to Edmonton Monday night, the mood among the Predators fans base was getting a little sour. Riding a four-game losing streak, we all knew that Pekka Rinne had probably played a bit too much, but with the need for a win, any win, getting more urgent, how could you not want to see the #1 guy in net?
Anders Lindback answered a host of questions Monday by stopping 17 of 18 shots to help the Preds turn things around, and assure everyone that yes indeed, Peks could take a break now and the team would be just fine. Take this 3rd period stop on Shawn Horcoff while the game was tied 1-1, for example:
What followed Thursday night in Vancouver was perhaps even more remarkable, however. As Nashville surged to an early (and unlikely) 3-1 lead over the Canucks, and Pekka Rinne in goal, Preds fans prepared themselves for a tight-checking, white-knuckle ride to see if the team could grind out a tough road win. Instead, the second period turned into a Chamber of Horrors, and as Peks headed off to the bench with the scoreboard reading 5-3 Vancouver, it was time for Anders The Giant to step into the breach once again.
Anders turned out to be the only goalie on the night who could stop a beach ball, and he weathered a furious B.C. storm to eke out another improbable win, and salvage 4 points out the 5-game road trip. Here, for example, he makes a nice stop on Aaron Rome after the Canucks wheeled around the offensive zone seemingly at will:
Sure, Saturday's start against Buffalo didn't work out as well, but Anders' performances in Edmonton and Vancouver were the bright spots in what otherwise could have been a pretty disastrous week for the Nashville Predators. So, for outstanding meritorious service in goal, providing a jolt of confidence to teammates and fans alike, we celebrate you, Anders Lindback, as our first OTF Hero Of The Week.