You can't ask for a much better start to the Arnott/Mason era than last night's 4-0 pasting of the Colorado Avalanche. The new captain potted a pair of goals (helping my fantasy team immensely), the new #1 goalie got a shutout, and Jordin Tootoo got into a scrap to please the crowd.
As Mrs. Forechecker and I got on the escalator to head for the upper bowl, who should step in alongside us but none other than Terry Crisp, who of course does the color commentary for Predators games. With my homemade business card at the ready, I gave him a quick "elevator pitch" (I know, we were on an escalator, but that's splitting hairs) about this blog. Of course, in my rush to talk about the blog, I forgot to introduce myself and tell him my name, but hey, it's a start. Crispy is obviously a fun guy to meet - you could tell he was pumped for the game and his energy and enthusiasm were contagious.
As to the game, the score pretty much speaks for itself. I'm sure the fact that Colorado played the previous night in Denver took some starch out of their game, but the Avs looked like a mess in their own zone. The top Nashville line of Fiddler-Arnott-Dumont looked outstanding, and the Legwand line's speed countered Colorado well most of the night. The Avs got some dangerous chances, but for one night at least, they were half a step slow to some loose pucks around the net.
Some of the more interesting numbers to come out of the game:
Greg Zanon blocked 6 shots,
Ryan Suter led the Nashville D with 25:01 of ice time, after Shea Weber left in the first with a leg injury,
Alexander Radulov only got 12:35 on the ice. In the 3rd, it looked like he was replaced by Jerred Smithson on the Bonk/Gelinas line as the Preds focused on locking down the 4-0 lead.
Nashville has a tough task ahead to follow up on this win as the Dallas Stars come to town on Saturday. The Stars are pretty much the Anti-Avalanche (anemic offense, solid veteran D and a top-flight goaltender), so the style of the game is likely to be quite different. Once again, however, the Preds are catching a team travelling to play on consecutive nights, as the Stars host the Boston Bruins tonight in their home opener. These are the games good teams are supposed to win, and more importantly, win in regulation. Taking two points from a conference rival is nice, but allowing them to steal a point by making it to overtime lessens the victory.
Blogging Note: There's a new addition to the Yardbarker NHL network in Danny Richmond, a homegrown Chicago Blackhawk blueliner. Check out his blog for regular updates from the perspective of a young NHL player.