We here at Daneyko’s Missing Tooth (why am I even saying “we” when it’s just me and the Tooth?) would like to nominate Kevin Klein of the Nashville Predators and not Kevin Kline of the “Hey do you remember that actor? He was in that movie….” fame for the inaugural “Does Awesome Things for #TeamD” Award.
For those of you who don’t speak 14-year-old twitter-speak; #TeamD would be Team Defenseman (men?) but I’m sure there is already something TERRIBLE on UrbanDictionary that that means (probably involving men named Richard).
Anyway, Klein’s Nashville Predators as casual viewers to this blog knows, is my #1 team in the West (even if I STILL don’t understand how Nashville and Detroit are in the West, but whatever. I attempted to fix that once and …. well, it didn’t work out very well). Nashville and the D have a pretty good rivalry going on even if it’s mostly (just like all rivalries the Red Wings have; see: Chicago, Avs) an attempt by the other team to be as ~awesome~ as the Red Wings are. If I can get past my completely rational hatred of the Original 6 teams and my general disdain of 99% of the Red Wings fans (WHO IS THE 1%?!) I can completely understand this because the Red Wings besides being around for years (like, say, Toronto) have also been winning awards and Stanley Cups for a large amount of those years (unlike, say, Toronto).
So, the stage is set for Sunday morning’s hockey game. That’s right. I said, morning. Because noon should NEVER be an acceptable time for ANY sport except baseball (and that’s mostly because then I can turn on the Mets on a Sunday afternoon and really just spend most of the night before dinner listening to Gary & Keith talk to me in a half dazed sleep before I have to get up for my big Italian Sunday late lunch/early dinner. It’s one of the nice things of being in my 20s, I can do that because I want to and not because I’m so old that it just happens). So, the game started at noon for Detroit (where the game was) and 11 AM for the people of TN and everyone else in Central Time. I’m sorry but this isn’t the West Coast. There’s no reason for such weird timing on the NHL’s part to start this game, but whatever. They’ll probably be doing it again because early numbers said that Sunday’s 2 doubleheaders of hockey was the best viewership they’ve had in a long time (though I’m sure it had NOTHING to do with Wrestlemania in Philly between the Flyers & Penguins).
DETROIT – The only similarity between Nashville Predators defenseman Kevin Klein and No. 4 Bobby Orr is that their jersey numbers are both divisible by four.
But Sunday afternoon, No. 8 Klein made an Orr-like move to score a memorable second-period goal and then added a goal-saving block and an important assist to key the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 win. Nashville leads 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal. Game 4 is Tuesday in Detroit.
Klein, who has 13 goals in 310 NHL games, made a shake-and-bake move to zoom around Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart inside the blue line and then skated in and beat goalie Jimmy Howard for a goal that gave Nashville a 2-0 lead.
“I don’t know what I was really doing there,” Klein said, laughing. “It was just one of those players when you read and react. Marty (Erat) gave me a nice pass back. It was nice to make a move and go in score and get the boys fired up.”
Klein said he had speed, and that’s why he decided to try a bit of flashiness. “I like to step up and show my offensive talent once a year — that’s about it,” said Klein, who had a career-high 21 points this season.
Coming in at full speed, Klein said he saw the top of the net open and put the shot where he was aiming. “He looked like a 40-goal scorer there,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
At 5:50 of the third period, Klein made an equally important play when he managed to get his stick on a shot from Cory Emmerton that seemed destined for the net. Goalie Pekka Rinne had made the first save, but his momentum had left the net open for Emmerton’s rebound attempt.
“That was awesome,” Rinne said of Klein’s block. “He’s done that a lot this year. I guess he has a little bit of goalie instinct, but he made a huge block … really saved a for-sure goal. That’s obviously one of the key plays.”
Klein became a trend-setter in the Nashville dressing room when he decided to sport a Mohawk haircut. Fellow veteran defenseman Francis Bouillon and rookie Roman Josi have followed suit.
“I had the same shaved head for eight years,” Klein said. “We always do beards, and I thought, ‘Let’s go with a Mohawk and see what the guys think.'”
He said he receives “a chuckle every morning” from teammates when he comes into the dressing room and “spikes up” his new hairstyle.
Klein is further amused because Bouillon has reported that his wife likes the new look. “He has twin boys and they both did it, too,” Klein said. “The family is in on it.”
Captain Shea Weber said there is no way he is going with a Mohawk. “He’s a pretty guy and he gets a lot of face-time,” Klein joked. “He can’t have a Mohawk. Him and (Ryan Suter) I don’t pressure them too much.”
(from earlier this month but still pretty amazing)
Finally, Ken Daneyko is doing a Beard-A-Thon Click here to help him raise money!!!