Saturday, November 14, 2009

What We Learned from 4 Game Road Trip West

The Preds have to feel pretty good about the west coast trip. Battling injuries and uncertainty as to the #1 netminder, they produce a solid effort with only a bad 3rd period against Anaheim in the trip's first game. Four points(2 wins & 2 losses) and Pekka Rinne entrenched as #1 goalie later, the Preds are ready to make a run up the western conference standings with 8 of the next 9 games at home. Quick thoughts on the trip:

* I really like the 2nd line of Legwand, Hornqvist and Ward. Ward and Hornqvist bring hard work, energy and toughness around Legwand. I think it will take Legwand's production even higher. Legwand has turned in some solid performances over the last few weeks. The kind of production needed for the Preds to be playoff contenders.

* Pekka Rinne had some spectacular saves against St. Louis to keep the Preds up 2-1 before Legwand added the empty netter. You see the skills that make him a #1 netminder. Let's hope Trotz gives him the reigns to take this team on his back the remainder of the season. One bad performance should not be an automatic switch to Dan Ellis.

* Welcome back Jordan Tootoo. The game winner vs. the Blues and toughness to the team. His willingness to get hit as he shot the game winner should be motivation to Erat, Legwand and the other youngsters on the team.

The Preds only leave Nashville 1 time the remainder of November. Let's hope they take advantage of being home. They have survived the heavy road trips on the first part of the schedule.

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