Sports, Thrill of Victory

The Nashville Predators: A Look Behind, A Look Ahead

The Nashville Predators, making way for the incoming Country Music Awards, cleared out of Bridgestone Arena a week ago having won exciting games over Arizona and Chicago, before dropping a Saturday night contest to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Filip Forsberg scored two goals and assisted on another in the Preds 3-1 win over Vancouver.

Filip Forsberg scored two goals and assisted on another in the Preds 3-1 win over Vancouver.

Our hockey team headed north for a six-game road trip, with the first four contests to be held throughout Canada. On Wednesday, the team’s first stop was Edmonton, Alberta, where they started their trip with a dominant 4-1 win over the Oilers, Two nights later they headed south to Calgary, and dropped a 4-3 game to the Flames.

Last night, in Vancouver, the Preds and Canucks battled hard from start to finish, but before the final buzzer sounded, it was young Filip Forsberg who supplied the offensive spark needed, as the road team from Smashville prevailed by a final score of 3-1. Forsberg netted a pair of goals, and assisted on Colin Wilson’s third period insurance tally.

After eleven games, the Predators have compiled a 7-2-2 record, good for 16 points, which puts them at the top of the Central Division within the Western Conference. Anaheim (10-3-0) leads the West with 20 points, but of course, the Preds have played two fewer games. In fact, Western foes Vancouver, Calgary and San Jose all have 16 points, but again, Nashville holds games in hand against each of those teams. All in all, this is a great start for the team, as they accumulate valuable points in their drive to make the post-season.

What’s in store this week? More road hockey! Game four of the six-game trip is tomorrow night against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets, Central Division rivals, sit at 6-5-1 for 13 points in their first 12 contests, and are coming off back to back 1-0 shutout victories against the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. While the Jets goaltending tandem (Ondrej

Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson) has been great of late, the team’s offensive woes will not be given much of a chance to improve based on the stingy Nashville defense and superb goaltending.

Goalie Pekke Rinne (35) and forward Craig Smith (15) in action PHOTO CREDIT: JOHN RUSSELL, NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Goalie Pekke Rinne celebrated his 32nd birthday Monday before facing off with the Winnipeg Jets, Tuesday.
PHOTO CREDIT: JOHN RUSSELL, NASHVILLE PREDATORS

In a return to US soil, the Predators will play in Dallas on Thursday night, and conclude the trip in St. Louis on Saturday night.The Jets however, did receive a boost this weekend, with their offensive star Evander Kane coming off the injured list. Kane, pointless in his first four games this season, is always a threat with the puck and will be one of the players the Preds need to keep an eye on while the Jets are buzzing around the net.

Dallas, boasts the NHL’s leading scorer, Tyler Seguin, as well as top flight forwards Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn. The Preds hosted the Stars in Nashville earlier this season, and handed them a 4-1 loss.

The St. Louis Blues feature elite goaltending from their netminding tandem, Brian Elliot and Jake Allen, and have high flying forward Vladimir Tarasenko coming out of the gate extremely well, with 11 points in his first ten games.

As stated earlier, Forsberg leads the Preds charge up front, as the 20 year old rookie has netted three goals and eight assists in his first eleven games. His line mates, James Neal with seven goals and two assists, and Mike Ribiero (three goals, six assists) make this one of the most feared offensive combinations early in this 2014 NHL season!

The Preds next home game will be on Tuesday, November 11th vs. the Edmonton Oilers. Game time will be 7pm, and we hope to see you there!

Until next week… keep cheering on our Preds, and watch for more team news right here!

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  1. Stephen