While many teams view the comfy confines of a nice home stand I think there are times when a little road trip is just what the doctor ordered. That, I believe, is the case right now with the Preds.
Mired in the a four game losing streak (3 at home and one on the road) the Preds step away from comfortable home beds, wives, children and any sense of routine. The road forces you to depend on those around you more than you ever do at home. The Preds have often done a great job planning team building activities when out on the road and it would not surprise me if they did some of that in their three game California swing.
This years edition of the Preds, more than the last two, needs to understand that team model. There are no superstars on this team. No one is going to score 80+ points the way Kariya did the last two years. This years team is going to have to do it the hard way. They are going to have to work as a team with different guys stepping up each night.
Sure we should expect Arnott, Erat, Dumont and Radulov to lead this team in scoring but the real success will come from role players who take their turn in the spotlight. We will need huge games, from time to time, from the likes of Bonk, Gelinas, Fiddler and yes even Tootoo. Goalie Chris Mason will also be called upon to single handily win games for us as well but the end result, if these Preds are to make the playoffs, will be a team of faceless players who understand what team is all about and are willing to sacrifice their body and their stat line for the better of the team.
Crotch Bang to Steve Sullivan's back. Yes I know that is crazy to even write that but I am getting ticked off at that back! Heal already! (this by no means is a reflection on Steve. I know Steve wants to be back there, this is just a sign of my frustration)
NOTE: A 'crotch-bang' is where you take both arms and slam them down on either side of your crotch while jumping up a little bit. Most times it is accompanied with a little bit of a primal scream.