Keys to Watch
The Reception for Jimmy Vesey
Tonight, the Nashville Predators fans will “welcome” Jimmy Vesey to Bridgestone Arena. Vesey was selected in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators with the 66th overall pick. Throughout his amateur career, he stayed at Harvard University, and the common thought was that he would finish his career at Harvard and come to Nashville upon graduation. In 2016, Vesey won the Hobey Baker Award and spurred the Predators to sign with the New York Rangers. Vesey said about playing in Nashville tonight, “It’s going to be the worst of it, and once this game is done with, maybe it’ll settle down.” Settle down? He has no clue how passionate the people of Smashville are regarding their team. This fan-base does not forget things such as this. He better prepare to booed for the remainder of his professional hockey career.
Head Coach Peter Laviolette has decided to give Pekka Rinne the night off and will go with Juuse Saros in net tonight. Saros has played well in Milwaukee this season with a record of 11-2-0. 1.76 goals-against average, and .938 save percentage. While in Nashville, Saros is 1-2-0, 1.70 goals-against average, and .940 save percentage. The Predators have not given much help to Saros while in Nashville, and will need defensive help tonight against a very potent Rangers offense.
One bright spot for the Nashville Predators in the month of December has been the play of Viktor Arvidsson. Arvidsson has a point in five straight games with six points over this span (two goals, four assists). He is also excelling on special teams with three power-play points, and two short-handed goals on the season. The Skellefteå, Sweeden has been a “bull in a China shop” and many on the roster need to follow his lead.
The Nashville Predators will look to take down Jimmy Vesey and the New York Rangers. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 7:00 pm!