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The Deb Zone: Preds Review Week 1 | Predators

Hello, Everyone! Deb here with thoughts from the Nashville Predators‘ first week of play.  The 2016-17 season is underway in fine fashion.  The team hit the ground running as they faced Central Division rivals the Chicago Blackhawks in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday nights, followed up with an additional divisional foe, the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night—–nothing like starting the season off with a bang!!!

On Friday, Bridgestone Arena was electric for opening night in Smashville! Our Preds took on “that team in red….(a true Preds fan can barely speak their name)….for game 1.  The power play shone brightly as the Predators eeked out a 3-2 victory in a game that was a nail-biter from the puck drop.  After falling behind 1-0 early, the Preds responded with a power play goal from P. K. Subban, his first goal wearing Predators gold.  The Preds went on to score two more goals from Roman Josi and Mike Fisher, both also on the man advantage.  With 3 assists from Ryan Johansen, and stellar play from Pekka Rinne in the net, our Preds sealed the victory.

Fast forward 24 hours, and the Predators were in Chicago at the United Center to face the Blackhawks on their home ice in what would be the “battle of the back-up goalies.”  Chicago rested their starting net-minder from the previous night, Corey Crawford in favor of Scott Darling, and Nashville gave Marek Mazanec his first start in the net.  Maz had what was clearly a rough game early as the Hawks gained a 3-0 lead in the first 11 minutes.  Although it was a difficult first period, the Predators pulled to within one goal twice during the remainder of the game, with even-strength goals from Colin Wilson and Viktor Arvidsson, and a power play goal from Craig Smith.  However, the early-game deficit proved too difficult to overcome, and the Preds suffered their first loss, 5-3…splitting he home wins with their divisional rivals.

After a couple of days’ rest, our boys were back on home ice Tuesday evening, taking on the Dallas Stars.  It was a disappointing outcome in game 3, as the Preds were out-shot, out-scored, and out-played by this yet another Central Division opponent.  Pekka Rinne was back in goal for the Preds, and was a bright spot making 35 stops on 37 shots.  Nashville‘s lone score for the night came on a power play goal by Captain Mike Fisher.  Trailing late in the game, the Preds emptied their net and made a strong push, but ran out of time and came up short, giving them their second loss, 2-1.

As we end the first week of the young season, Predators fans have several things to feel good about.  Solid play by our starting goalie, lots of speed on the ice, and a strong percentage of power play goals head the list of strengths.  We need to be better at starting games strongly and playing all 3 periods with consistency, continuing to capitalize on power play opportunities, and being careful to stay out of the penalty box.  These early games were tough ones, and it doesn’t get easier anytime soon—–(yikes…..who made this schedule???)  With 3 divisional opponents in the first week, the storied Detroit Red Wings next upon Friday, followed the next night by the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, the gauntlet is down, and the Preds must bring their “A” game.  We know they can do it!

Go, Preds!

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