The Nashville Predators’ defense continued to thrive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after two defenseman scored yesterday helping the team defeat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in Game 3 of their Western Conference Second Round series on Sunday. In 12 of the last 13 goals the Predators have scored in the playoffs, a defenseman has been involved somehow.
Nashville’s star defenseman P.K. Subban joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday acknowledging the excellent job his defensive teammates have done thus far, but says the credit is to be shared amongst all in going up 2 games to 1 on St. Louis.
“We know that we have a lot of ability and skill on our defense, but I think it’s our collectively as a group. It’s the way we use each other and play with each other. It’s not just us, it’s our forwards as well,” Subban said. “There have been times during the season where maybe our defense weren’t able to be as active because we didn’t play as a five-man unit, and I think now, we are playing our best hockey because of our ability to play as a five-man unit and move from our defensive zone through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone and play that way, and I think that’s been a huge part of our success.”
The team’s on-ice togetherness seems to be a by-product of their united locker room. Subban talked about his teammates’ ability to block out outsiders’ perceptions of what kind of team they are and focus on their veteran captain Mike Fisher’s message of “We are going to be what we think we are.”
“I think that’s such a true statement in professional sports,” Subban said of Fisher’s message. “A lot of time you see teams that are great teams, but never accomplish what they’re supposed to and the reality of it comes down to what you think about yourselves in that dressing room, and we think that we’re an amazing team and the best, but at the end of the day, you have to go out and execute that.
Subban continued, “And I think sometimes leadership could be misconstrued, but the leadership we have in our dressing room and this organization is second to no one, and it starts with a guy like Mike Fisher and an experienced guy who’s played a long time, who understands what it takes to be successful, and how to lead a team, and he’s done a great job. But collectively as a group, we have a ton of leaders and we echo everything that he echoes, but it starts there.”
The 2012-13 Norris Trophy winner also said it helps to have the fan base of Nashville too.
“It’s amazing. It’s second to no one right now. I mean the energy in our building every night and the team and the city and the state of Tennessee, it’s just been remarkable,” Subban said. “It’s one of those things where this fan base deserves a fan base that’s going to compete for a Stanley Cup, and there’s no question this is a confident group, and a confident city and community that we have here in Nashville that supports this team through and through, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”