Nashville took a shootout victory from the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night. The decision, while favorable for the Predators, was Minnesota’s 8th loss a row.
The Preds couldn’t have done it though without their 2001 Draft Pick, Jordin Tootoo.
Netting the team’s lone goal in the 3rd, Jordin put the team in position to endure Dany Heatley’s late 3rd period goal that tied the game. In the shootout, Colin Wilson put in a backhander from close range past Minnesota’s Josh Harding.
Jordin’s a player you can’t really put a finger on why he works. He’s a fan favorite type, a team guy.
Formerly an enforcer, Tootoo’s game has evolved. After a disappointing rookie campaign, he spent time in Milwaukee with the Admirals (AHL) for a season and a half. For those years, and in his return to Nashville, he’s been a 100 PIM a year or more guy.
Plenty of fans would look at those numbers and write him off as a second tier goon; but his energy’s infectious.
Jordin’s new game might be attributed to his fresh start on life. Stepping away from alcohol last December possibly has given him a chance to refocus his energy (although it’s worth mentioning this might be a contract year for him).
Tootoo has 6 goals and 10 assists to date, including a big assist on Nashville’s game winner over Edmonton (2-1) on November 28. He’s certainly off to the best start of his NHL career.
A clean start on this season hasn’t completely reversed his tough guy ways. In a contentious decision earlier this season, Brendan Shanahan suspended Tootoo for two games because of a charge on the Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller.
Whether or not he sufficiently try to avoid contact with Miller, the incident will be just a small blemish on his new start.
Jordin Tootoo is taking life “one day at a time”, and for now he’s giving the fans in Nashville a little more to cheer for than normal.
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