Starting on the Road
The Nashville Predators will begin their 2018-19 season on the road against the New York Rangers. With the game being a nationally-televised game, the expectations are high for this year’s squad. The Predators bring back most of the team that ended last year’s early exit in the Second Round against the Winnipeg Jets. New York can be a difficult place to play, and tonight will be no different. We will see how fast the Predators come out to quiet down the Rangers crowd.
Keeping the Band Together
David Poile, as always, has done a masterful job in keeping this strong lineup together. Since their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, the expectations have remained high. The Predators have brought in a few new faces to this year’s squad in Zac Rinaldo and Dan Hamhuis, both who will be playing on the bottom lines moving forward. The JOFA line has been brought back together and Nashville is expecting strong play out of their young stars. Tonight, keep an eye on the lines to see if Peter Laviolette moves players around for cohesion purposes. Laviolette has been known for shaking things up and we could see that early this season.
Built on Defense
It has been long overdue, but it is great to have Pekka Rinne as the current Vezina Trophy receipient from last season. But, that was last season. As I have stated many times, and other commenters have done, the Nashville Predators will go only as far as Pekka Rinne will take them. When Rinne has great play in front of him where he can see the puck, the Nashville Predators are one of the best teams in the league. The Nashville Predators have always been built on defense with Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, and PK Subban. Keep an eye on Rinne’s glove hand early in the match. If he is catching a lot of pucks early on, that is usually a great sign that he is seeing the puck well and bodes well for Nashville. If he is giving up a lot of rebounds, watch out.
It is an exciting time to be back to hockey season! The Predators look to start the season with a win on the road. Be sure to catch all of the action on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 6:30pm!