Tales from the PredsMobile: Are We Home Yet?
By: Miranda Martin
It’s been pretty quiet in the PredsMobile recently.
When I say that, I definitely don’t mean that I just sit there absentmindedly silent without engaging with passengers. I have and always will be that obnoxiously chatty person. I mean that a lot of people aren’t really talking Predators hockey when they get into my car.
Sure, occasionally passengers will bring up that they want to go to a game or have gone to a game recently. Mainly, I just get the “I take it you’re a Preds fan” comment; lately, there’s been an annoying surge of “I take it you’re a Penguins/Blackhawks fan” comments. (Please stop that one, friends. It’s the equivalent of “Oh this isn’t ringing up? It must be free!” gimmick that cashiers go through.) But the discussion doesn’t go much further than that. If it does, it’s usually followed up with “well I haven’t paid much attention this year.”
I’m sure there are plenty of reasons for the lull. The excitement of having hockey back is wearing off as all the teams start settling in for the 82-game stretch. Maybe it’s the selection of rides that I’m getting that are primarily tourists or newcomers to the city, perplexed by the “stuff” on my car. Also the Titans decided to win 3 games in a row and somehow lead their division. I’m not a football fan, but I’ve watched my Titans fan friends and family suffer the last few years, so I’ll applaud the effort.
Of course, there always seems to be a lull around the “CMA West Coast” trip for the Predators. It happens every year in early November, while the CMAs take over downtown. But the promising part is that after last years playoff run, the Preds have made a lasting impact on the Nashville business world. Recently, Nicole Kidman, wife of country artist and occasional Preds anthem singer Keith Urban, brought up how much she loves the Nashville Predators in her appearance on Late Night with Stephen Colbert. And of course, our favorite Preds cheerleader Carrie Underwood is co-hosting the ceremony, and more than likely, retired Preds Captain Mike Fisher will assume his role as purse-holder on the red carpet with her, which will continue the discussion in a non-hockey platform
Fortunately, the Preds will be finishing the month with a lot of home excitement. Seven of their next ten games are at home, with some major games occurring in that time. Starting with Saturday, the Predators face their Stanley Cup Final foe Pittsburgh Penguins in the only home matchup, and they’re going to want to get back at the Pens for the last time they were in town. That game is followed by the annual Barry Trotz’s Washington Capitals appearance; then, the following week Shea Weber’s second return with the Montreal Canadiens on November 22nd. The end of the month also includes the first home game against the Chicago Blackhawks, which will be the first home game against Chicago since the proverbial sweep last playoffs.
Even more importantly, the Preds are coming home with a new face in tow–centerman Kyle Turris. Turris was dealt in a blockbuster 3-way trade with Ottawa and Colorado where the Senators claimed Matt Duchene and the Preds got Turris in exchange for Girard, Kamenev, and a 2nd round draft pick. Fans will get a chance to become acquainted with his new presence, and the complaints I’ve heard over rides this offseason about lack of center depth will hopefully be null. I look forward to hearing reactions of the trade, as by the time it was officially announced, I was already off for my “weekend.”
November may have started off quietly, but there’s big opportunity with the rest of the month, and hopefully the Preds capitalize going into the middle of the regular season. No matter what the result, I feel like it won’t be quiet in the PredsMobile for very long.