Currrently in Glendale, AZ., with the Preds as they prepare to take on the Coyotes at the start of a crucial four game road trip. The outcome of this trip will probably determine if the Preds make the playoffs, so it is essential to get off to a good start. Jason Arnott will be out of the lineup and will not return to action until the San Jose game at the earliest. Radek Bonk is probable for tonight's game, and should be back in the line up consistently beginning Monday. Pekka Rinne is expected to start in goal.
Glendale is well north of Phoenix (way north of downtown and an hour from the airport) and in the middle of.... nothing. There is a a shopping and dining area that is adjacent to the Jobing.com arena; the team hotel is next door; and the University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the Arizona Cardinals) is across the street. This means that a hockey night in Glendale doesn't generate the same kind of foot traffic and energy that a hockey night in Nashville would. It makes you wonder if some of the financial woes of the Desert Dogs are a result of their venue.
The mood of the team is calm and focused and is reflective of their head coach. In talking with Coach Trotz, he indicated that the team knows what it has to do and knows the challenges they face in trying to accomplish their task. The will to win, regardless of the injuries and shortage of personnel, courses through this team. Veteran leadership and the youthful exuberance of the young guys must meld and produce the results that will carry us to the playoffs. Time to shine, boys.