Predators pleased with crowd, win

Friday, September 21, 2007 at 12:44am

The Nashville Predators are preparing for a run for their fourth playoff berth, but coach Barry Trotz was looking at an even brighter future a couple of more years down the road.

The Predators won their second preseason game, beating the Atlanta Thrashers in front of an announced crowd of 13,430 fans Thursday night at the Sommet Center. Veterans Jason Arnott, Vernon Fiddler, Marek Zidlicky and Ryan Suter scored, but it was the play of prospects like defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who scored the Predators’ fourth goal, that interested Trotz.

“I thought a lot of the young guys showed the substance of their game,” Trotz said. “Everybody got substantial ice time. I was fairly happy with some of the tactical and systems things that we did. I thought a lot of our offense came from a real good forecheck and stuff we did through the neutral zone. There was a good pace to the game.”

Trotz didn’t pinpoint one player, but he mentioned several of the youngsters.

“Cody Franson was getting shots through,” Trotz said. “Sulzer played a real hard game and defended hard. Pekka Rinne was under fire in goal when we took some penalties late. Josh Langfeld was throwing his body around and blocking shots. Mike Santorelli used his smarts and his quickness.

“That says a lot about how determined they are to make the team or get a high ranking and put themselves in a situation for a first call-up. There was something I liked about everybody.”

Arnott and J.P.Dumont were part of a line with Steve Sullivan last season. With Sullivan sidelined until Dec. 1 that wing spot is up for grabs. Fiddler played on the same line with Arnott and Dumont at various times last season, but he knows that the lines are not close to being set.

“There are little things you get out of these games that you appreciate throughout the year,” Fiddler said. “You want to have a feel for your linemates and teammates. It is a matter of playing together, but who knows what the line combinations will be.”

Arnott and Dumont clicked like old times with Dumont getting assists on the goals by Arnott and Fiddler.

“I’ve been waiting all summer to play with J.P. again,” Arnott said. “It was nice to work some give-and-goes and get our skating wings back. Now we are waiting for Sully to get back to get our line clicking again.

“Fids played well. He works hard. He is an up-and-down guy, an all-around type player. Anytime the puck gets in there deep we know he is going to be in there to get it. We know he is never going to quit on us.”

Dumont stresses this year’s team might not be as flashy, but it knows how to find a way to win, also a trait of last year’s team which set franchise records for wins (51), goals (272) and points (110).

“Last year we won sometimes just because our defense and goalie played well,” Dumont said. “This year all 20 guys who dress are going to have to play very hard. That will be something that the veteran guys we added like Greg de Vries, Radek Bonk and Martin Gelinas bring to this team. They lead by example. They work so hard that you want to follow them.”

The Predators are not expected to score as many goals as last season, so every one they score in the preseason is a confidence builder, even if they come in front of a 20-year-old goaltender prospect, Ondrej Pavelec, and a defensive unit that included only one player who wore a Thrashers jersey last season.

“It’s definitely nice to score goals whether you are an old veteran or rookie,” Arnott said. “It is a big confidence booster.”

The Predators visit the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 6. They return home Saturday for a rematch with the Hurricanes at 7.

SURPRISE CROWD: The crowd was at regular season form and both the number of fans in attendance and their enthusiasm surprised some of the Predators players.

“The crowd was into it and they were loud,” said Arnott, who received an enthusiastic ovation when he was announced as team captain. “It was nice to be home. We didn’t know how many fans would come out on a Thursday night.”

Dumont said it has been a tough summer for the players, the organization and the fans.

“The fans don’t want to lose their team,” Dumont said. “They showed that tonight.”

Filed under: Sports
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By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I am happy for them and they should make the rest of us happy and stop asking for more money and spoil that warm fuzzy feeling we have for them only giving them 13 million dollars a year.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

idgaf, you really do have issues, so paranoid. Now move on to politics, something else you love to bltch about.

By: theplantsman on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I think Idgaf needs to be comp’d a couple of tickets to a hockey game.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

No thanks hockey don't interest me as it don't interest most of nashvillians as witnessed by attendence.So we come full circle why should they pay (more then 13 million dollars) for the jock sniffers to get their kicks?Many most likely don't even live here so its a complete freebe to them.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I was there, great game and great atmosphere. Id, we get it. A “jock sniffer” gave you a wedgie in high school and you’ve never recovered. Or maybe you were the kid everyone targeted in dodge ball or maybe even the kid no one wanted on their team. Who could blame them?

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I really enjoyed the match last night. The Preds organization puts on a good show, as they should for what a ticket costs. I wish the Preds great financial success...and that the only support I need give them is through my ticket purchase.

By: OneTimer on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Last night was most excellent. Great to get back into the arena and see some pucks. As long as the team stays and the owners break even and are happy, I could care less who here in this town likes them or not.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I second that emotion.

By: SportsFan13 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

God, ID's spelling and grammer makes it so hard to read his post.....And yes, he is going to reply with his common attack the poster not the post....Sad thing is, he tries his best to act like he knows what he is talking about. He also likes to complain about property taxes...guess what, he does not pay them because he does not own property.

By: GenSpecific on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Great game last night. I really enjoyed watching the rookies get so much ice time. I thought Erat was supposed to play but guess not.That new jumbotron is gorgeous. Watching replays on that screen is really impressive.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

SF if I didn't I wouldn't care would I?Do you and the rest of you that want to rob us live here?One thing that does give me hope is that we get to vote on a tax increases and I think that will give them an instant dose of reality.Like to see a few more politicians go to jail too.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Nashville has the government it deserves.

By: SportsFan13 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

ID...it must have happened very recently. If so good for you, because in teh past when this was brought up, you never said you did own prpoerty.Yes, I do live here, my whole life to be exact. I just think that you are so blinded by your own hate for anything that has to do with sports that you let it cloud your rational.As has been said in the past, even if Preds leave that 13 million is still there. Also, heasrd a report yesterday on the economic impact of sprots in our city, estimated at 50M per yer.....will look for source.You have to give a little to get even more sometime.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

You actually believe that proaganda SF.

By: OneTimer on 12/31/69 at 7:00

SF, it's only about money to id. Nothing else matters.

By: Gusdog on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Id id disagrees with it, it's propaganda. If id thinks it, it gospel. Well, how do you argue with that?You know, id, I'd be willing to pay more taxes just to make you have to pay more. I hate taxes, but it would be worth it.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I wonder what id is really like. Does he really believe what he spews, or is it just an act? If it is not an act, he has to be the most miserable person in the world!

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Titian I wonder if you are as loo0se/foolish with your money as you want to be with taxpayer money?