It’s an hour before game time. Fans with tickets in tow are shuffling into Bridgestone Arena in search of high-priced hot dogs, beer, pretzels, sodas and other multifarious foods whose main ingredients are banned in at least ten different European countries.
Up near the nosebleeds, a man dressed in a yellow Pikka Rinne jersey claims his spot. He turns to the hooded man to his left and says, “Hey buddy…gonna be one helluva goalie duel tonight, huh? Rinne and Miller, right?” Slowly, the hooded man raises his head, lowers the cloak, and reveals himself to be none other than David ‘Olympian’ Backes.
Backes rips off the hoodie, revealing a radiantly white Bluenote sweater underneath, grabs the man by his collar and yanks him nose to nose. Backes grins and barks, “Nah son! That Finn is gettin’ lit up like the FOURTH OF JU-LY, BABY!”
After tickling the man’s ear, Backes mysteriously produces a skateboard, shreds out of the isle into the nearest section entrance, and grinds all the way to the boards, where he pops off the board, does a triple flip over the boards, has his gear magically assemble on his body, hits the ice, and begins leading the pre-game warm-up. All during the warm-up, the boys periodically levitate, just to strike terror into the Predators’ hearts.
Over the course of the next two-and-a-half hours or so, the Blues refuse to shift down from fifth gear. The team skates, checks, shoots and chirps on a level the Predators have never seen. “My momma wears what kind of boots in the shower?” cries Shea Weber to Barry Trotz, while Ryan Reaves winks at Weber.
Mike Fisher attempts to intimidate Ryan Reaves by explaining during a T.V. timeout how he once stubbed his toe while watering his spice garden and he only cried for twenty minutes… Reaves was not impressed.
Moments later, an electrified Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates his powerplay goal by claiming Fisher will soon meet his maker – Fisher Price. The downhearted Predators can’t solve the Miller enigma, especially when they have a four-line wrecking ball crew breathing down their neck all game.
Late in the third, the Predators almost gain some life after a Gaustad wrister dings off the post. Hell, even Roman Josi catches himself thinking aloud: “We have time…three goals is doable, baby!” It was not to be, though, as Timothy J. Oshie cruises past the Predator blue line, fends off Josi with a forearm, breaks in all alone and pulls a WU-WU-KENNY WU-esque goal to put his second of the game past Rinne, giving the Notes a 4-0 lead. The clock soon drains to zero, and a deflated Predators team can barely make it off the ice.
Barry Trotz disgustedly enters the locker room and tells the attendants to lock the team out while he spends some quality time with Downton Abbey and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Hitch and the boys walk into their locker room elated, run train on a decent barbecue buffet, and look forward to their matchup against Winnipeg. “We’re gonna slaughter em,” Steener remarks to Ott. “That’s no Jokinen,” responds Ott with a smirk.