Deoxyriboneucleic Acid. The fundamental building block of cells that makes us what we are- short, tall, slender or husky. We are what our DNA says we will be. A sports team has a DNA as well. Competitive, skilled, gritty. A team's DNA says what they will be. Last night, after the game, Brandon Felder asked a question of Greg Zanon that I believe captures the DNA of the Predators.
Felder- "Over the years it seems like you guys, when everyone counts you out, that's when you guys rise to the moment. Where do you think that comes from?"
Zanon- "It's just the love we have for each other in here. It's a team and that's the way we look at it. We lose a big part with Leggy not playing tonight but everybody steps up and we get it done. That's the way it works around here and that's the way we are bred here."
That's powerful. To hear a skilled pro athlete talk about the love the players have for each other. To know that whatever happens, they will shut up and play. It's bred into them. Do what it takes, regardless of the obstacles and challenges that are before you. It is in the makeup of this team. Call it DNA, heart, or character. It is who the Predators are game after game. That's the way we are bred here.
The DNA of a team comes from the coaches. Barry Trotz, Brent Peterson, Peter Horachek, Robert Bouchard, and Mitch Korn have instilled into this team a DNA of caring for each other, competitiveness, and a never say die attitude. This DNA, this essence of who they are, translates into play on the ice. Last night, against the Sharks, it would have been easy to quit, easy to say it won't happen being down 2-0. Instead, this team reached down and captured a critical win against a superior opponent. That's the way we are bred here.
At the All-Star break, this team was dead in the water. Since then, the team has gone 16-7-5 to play themselves back into playoff contention. That's the way we are bred here. Injuries have exacted a major toll on this team, yet they manage to not only be competitive, but win. That's the way we are bred here. Sure, this team is offensively challenged, but the D has stepped up and the goaltending has been exceptional. That's the way we are bred here.
Take heart Preds fans. This is a team that has been bred to handle adversity and deal with obstacles. It's in their DNA.