It's quite fascinating what a difference a new contract for one player makes for a team.

Earlier this season, even in victory, there didn't seem to be much joy around the Predators. Players talked about where the team needed to improve. A lot of the wins felt like losses.

And when the real losses started piling up, the words turned bitter, especially after games against Edmonton and Vancouver.

But Nashville's victories against Phoenix and San Jose on this trip actually felt like true wins. You could see players mouthing the words to Lionel Richie's "All Night Long," the team's unofficial victory anthem, in the locker room.

You can't say that this all has to do with the signing of goaltender Pekka Rinne to a seven-year, $49 million extension. But the news of the contract has changed the dynamic around this team.