Sunday, February 22, 2009

Digging In

The last game in the season series with St. Louis went as expected: tough, physical play; great goal tending by both goalies; and neither team able to mount a consistent offensive attack in regulation. This was the type of game that was going to be won by the team that showed the greatest heart and refused to give up. Fortunately, it was the Preds that prevailed in overtime with Shea Weber blasting his 15th goal of the season through Chris Mason. This was a game that would have been easy to lose, yet the team was resilient, tough, and persistent. These are the qualities that the Preds have to bring to each game to continue their push to the playoffs.

The Preds now have 60 points and sit 3 points out of the 8th playoff spot occupied by Edmonton. The Western conference continues to be a log jam with six teams jockeying for a play off spot. The stretch drive in the latter part of the season will be as much about mental toughness as quality play on the ice. Veteran leadership in the locker room must come to the fore, and in turn, translate to quality play and maximum effort for the Preds to succeed. It's playoff hockey, and it's time to dig in for the stretch drive. Five straight home games, and the Preds MUST protect home ice. Dig deep- smart hockey and an unbending will to win, boys.

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