Spirits were high Friday morning around the Predators’ locker room complex. Credit Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche—a bounce-back game from a disappointing performance Tuesday against the L.A. Kings.
“It was a huge game,” Predators left wing Gabriel Bourque
said, seated in his locker room stall after practicing Friday. “You lose two points like that [on Tuesday], you have to bounce back and get the next two. We did a really good job. Everybody showed up for the game and I think it was a great win for the team.”
Right wing Brandon Yip
, who scored a goal Thursday in his first game against his former team since the Avalanche waived him in January, expressed feeling some vindication. He was less focused on his own accomplishment, though, and more focused on the overall performance of the team, which he liked Thursday.
“[Colorado] came in a couple waves last night and I thought we did a good job of containing them. Obviously [goaltender Pekka Rinne
] back there is always really solid. We got back to our game, working hard and sticking up for each other. It was a little bit of a hard-nosed game.”
After a short Friday practice designed to work briefly on breakout plays and keep players sharp, Predators head coach Barry Trotz echoed Yip’s assessment while framing it in a larger context.
“I like the fact that we discussed a few things, we discussed how we wanted to play and we went out and played that way,” Trotz said. “It means that the guys have a lot of pride and they’re listening, and have that ability to ramp up their game.”
The team’s goal now, of course, is to carry that level of intensity, focus and attachment into tomorrow night’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings.
“When we’re attached to the game emotionally and physically, as we were last night, you see the results.”