By Jim Diamond
After an impressive performance in his NHL debut Tuesday night, Predators rookie Samuel Girard looked even better Thursday night.
At 3:27 of the second period, Girard had the moment all hockey players dream about when he scored his first ever NHL goal. When asked about it after the game, Girard answered like a grizzled veteran, well beyond his age of 19, but did give himself a little metaphorical pat on the back.
“It was my goal before the game to bring some more pucks at the net,” Girard said. “It was a great shot, so it (went) in.”
After celebrating with Girard, Austin Watson made sure the goal was in fact Girard’s, as Colton Sissons was parked right in front of Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. Once Watson knew it was Girard’s, he peeled away from the group hug to retrieve the puck from linesman Scott Driscoll so that his teammate was sure to have the souvenir he will cherish for the rest of his lifetime.
“Once we figured out that it was him that got it in there, I couldn’t tell if Siss got a piece of it or not,” Watson said. “Unbelievable. He’s been so good, just with the opportunity that he’s been given… so much poise and doing a lot of things out there that I wouldn’t have even dreamed about doing at 19-20 years old.”
Friend o’ Rinkside Mike Strasinger from Sports Nashville caught the celebratory moment.
Asked about Watson grabbing the puck for him, Girard was honored.
“All the players are great teammates,” he said.
Fox Sports Tennessee cameras caught Girard’s family’s reaction to the goal.
Girard said that he didn’t look up in the stands to see his family after the goal.
“I will see them after the game and I will talk with them,” he said. “They were probably like very happy for me.”
For sure they were Sammy. Bien sur.