Coaches talk all the time about the "24-hour rule", and it will be in full effect tonight. The Predators, coming off of a beating at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes in their home opener, are looking to put the loss behind them and focus on the task at hand: beating the New Jersey Devils.
"We had no effort. We had a non-Predator effort," head coach Barry Trotz said this morning of his team's performance on Thursday. "We didn't have any structure."
Here are some story lines to watch for tonight:
Preds looking to get back on track
It was a rough outing on Thursday, but Nashville has a chance to correct its mistakes tonight and start anew. Veteran forward David Legwand says the team is anxious to get back on the ice. "I think they're all ready to go tonight," Legwand said. "I think they all know to put it in the rearview mirror and go forward."
Trotz said the team's been making adjustments across the board to try to correct some of the issues that arose during the loss against the Coyotes. "It's been on the ice, it's been some individual stuff, it's been review stuff. It's been on and off the ice. We gotta get it corrected."
Devils bring in potent offense; Brodeur out
Zach Parise is healthy again, after missing almost all of last season with a knee injury. "I know that Zach Parise in the lineup, he's another element they didn't have for most of last year," Trotz said. And the new captain is off to a hot start, with three points in his first three games.
The Devils also boast forward Ilya Kovalchuck, the big free agent signing two summers ago. Like Parise, Kovalchuk has already tallied three points through three games in the young season.
Goalie Martin Brodeur is out for tonight's game, but backup Johan Hedburg is no slouch. Hedburg is 2-0 this year, since taking over for Brodeur. In two games, Hedburg has posted an impressive 1.14 goals against average and .952 save percentage.
Will Patric Hornqvist play?
Hornqvist participated in the team's morning skate today, but is still questionable for tonight's game. Trotz said he doesn't know whether or not Hornqvist will play yet. "He'll be a game time decision. He's making progress, we'll just see where he's at tonight. It'll be his decision, not mine."
Hornqvist said he'll participate in warmups and see how he feels. "We gotta make a decision later on after pre-game warmup and see what they say," he said. "We'll see if they think I'm ready or not. That's up to the doctor and the coaches to tell me."
Other scattered notes from this morning:
- Trotz hinted that there could be some line shuffling tonight. "I tinkered a lot during the game last game too, because nothing was going right. I'll probably go in with a plan A and plan B." He then joked: "When you're going into plan C, you're not really liking your matchups. If you go to D you're really not liking your matchups."
- Trotz also said that Fisher would not make the upcoming road trip to western Canada, but Bouillon will. However, he said it was unlikely that Bouillon would play, and that it would be more to get practices in with the team.
The puck drops at 7 P.M. central tonight, but there will be some pre-game festivities so come on out early. And if you can't make the trip to lower Broadway tonight, be sure to come back here at 7 for our game thread!