Who knew the Preds were invited to a coming out party last night? I didn't...but that is exactly what happened. The Preds, and the rest of the NHL, got a look at the force that is Fabian Brunnstrom. The 23 year old Swedish talent became the third player in NHL history to net a hat trick in his first game and in the process has everyone wondering just how good this guy will be.
In the midst of all this last night I couldn't help but notice that Fabian (as hard as it will be, I won't ever make fun of that name again!) shares a number with another pretty good Swedish player Tomas Holmstrom...number 96. How good is this guy? Well he plays a pretty physical game, isn't afraid to park in front of the net and showed some good speed and nifty puck handling last night. I think he is gonna be okay.
Our Own Party Was Overshadowed: In the midst of an incredible night from Fabian (I'm not going to make fun of the name but he doesn't sound so intimidating when you use his first name) two young Predators also made their marks on the NHL. Young Ryan Jones and Patric Hornqvist both scored their first career goals last night. A great sign for Pred fans as we will need production from both of these guys if we want to make it back to the post season again.
What I Liked:
Obviously I liked that we got production from Jones and Hornqvist but I really loved Jones goal. It wasn't pretty but it was made because he was positioning himself right in the crease looking for a loose puck to pounce on. He did and it went in. We need those dirty Espisito junk type goals this year more than ever.
Coming back: After two backbreaking goals seperated by mere seconds (the first with 9 seconds in the first and the second just 29 seconds into the second) the Preds could have packed it in but they didn't. They kept going and began to chip away at the Stars. Tieing it up a 2-2, then again at 3-3 and again at 4-4. They didn't quit.
I am really liking Joel Ward. He is playing with energy and seems to be playing every shift with purpose and intensity. Wish I could say that for every Pred.
What I didn't like:
David Legwand. Listen...I know that there is an ongoing love hate thing with Leggy. Pred fans fall on either side. They either love him or hate him. Me, to be honest, tend to give him the benefit of the doubt more often than not but last night was unacceptable. I don't know if I heard his name called three times by Pete and Terry. He was invisible. He was someone I called out in yesterdays post and he did not show up.
Shea Weber seemed to be like a new accessory in the penalty box last night. There are good and bad penalties. there are times to take a penalty. I don't think any of his were good and none were the right time. He is too valuable a player to be sitting down three different times in the box. Play more disciplined Shea. (I know you read this!)
Overall: It was a heartbreaker. I felt the Preds had the momentum so many times last night but could not finish the Stars off. Maybe it was just young Fabio's (okay...I lied...maybe I will make fun of him but he is one heck of a hockey player!) night or maybe this is just going to be the way it is this year.