Back in Action
After the most successful season in the history of the Nashville Predators franchise, the NHL season kicks back up for the Western Conference Champions on the road against the Boston Bruins. The Preds have not fared well against the Bruins on the road (3-6-1-2), but Nashville will look to start the 2017-18 campaign with a win. The Predators were able to finalize the roster and look to use last year’s experience and continue that success. With a new captain in Roman Josi, new faces, and dedication to return to the Stanley Cup Final, it will be interesting to see how the team will do on opening night. With the Preds back in action tonight, the expectations are higher than they have ever been for this franchise.
Both the Preds and Bruins are excited about the youthful movement going on with their respective team. The Predators official roster finalized with the usual suspects, but also included the 19-year old defenseman, Samuel Girard, a 2016 2nd round pick of the Predators, along with many active players under the age of 25. It will be interesting to see, in what capacity, they use Girard, and if he will be in the lineup tonight. The Bruins are excited about their youth movement including forwards Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk. The bevy of new faces will be a trend to look for in the near future to see their level of impact and production as the season progresses.
General Manager David Poile made some intriguing signings and trades during the off-season to bolster the lineup. Nashville returns the top four scorers from last season which comprises of Viktor Arvidsson (31g-30a), Ryan Johansen (14g-47a), Filip Forsberg (31g-27a) and Roman Josi (12g-37a). Poile brought back the 1st round pick from 2000 in Scott Hartnell. Hartsy has played in 1,187 games with 314 goals and 369 assists. Last season, he was able to produce solidly with 13 goals and 24 assists. Also, GMDP was able to sign center, Nick Bonino, to fill the void of the retired Mike Fisher. Bonino has the ability to be the second-line center and average 20 goals a season, and be a strong presence on faceoffs. These two players will need to step up immediately and produce at a high level.
The Nashville Predators are to the point now where the expectations are no longer just making the playoffs. Tonight begins the quest to make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops tonight at 6:00 pm!