Before you hunker down for the night, here's a pointer on what the Nashville Predators have coming up this week...
Faceoff Event & Meet The Team Party, Tuesday
The team's annual private event for season ticket holders takes place on Tuesday, which includes attending a practice, a player Q&A, a tour of the Zamboni room, and the party afterward.
The Home Opener vs. Phoenix, Thursday
Expect a big night on Thursday, complete with a red carpet event at Bridgestone Arena, and all the festivities that go with the first home game of the season. The Coyotes are undergoing a bit of a transition, having lost goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov via free agency over the summer, but coach Dave Tippet is still there to provide the disciplined, defensive style of play that has Phoenix looking like the Nashville of the Southwest. In many ways, the Coyotes remind me of the 2007-2008 Predators team, working hard to overcome off-ice controversy and focus on their competitive mission.
Make sure to check out our tickets page, which in partnership with TiqIQ, features seats on re-sale from a number of different sites, such as eBay, StubHub, and more. It's a great way to find the seat you want, for the game you want, even those games in the 2nd half of the season for which single-game tickets haven't been put on sale by the Preds.
The Devils Come to Nashville, Saturday
Saturday night should prove a major test for the Preds, with Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, and the rest of the New Jersey Devils coming in to Bridgestone Arena. After an awful start, the Devils played like one of the top teams in the East over the second half of last season, and aim to challenge for the Atlantic Division title this time around.
Injured Preds on the mend
Martin Erat was a surprise scratch from Saturday's lineup with an "upper body injury", so the big question is whether he's able to spring back into action quickly - the concern with Marty has always been durability, and having him out of the lineup already is concerning. We'll also continue to keep an eye on the recovery of Francis Bouillon and Mike Fisher. Last week, Barry Trotz expressed hope that the Cube might be ready to "get in a game or two" relatively soon, while Fisher's timetable is less certain.
We're talking about practice...
After seeing his team pull off two quick victories, Trotz and his staff will have plenty of time to evaluate forward lines and defense pairings before the Phoenix game on Thursday. Will Mattias Ekholm and/or Niclas Bergfors get a chance to work their way into the lineup? While the Wilson-Legwand-Smith line appears to be a smashing success, will adjustments be made to the others?
Fan Confidence Riding High
The OTF Fan Confidence Poll, which can be found in the upper left corner of the main page, is riding pretty high these days, which is hardly surprising given the 7-1-0 preseason record and back-to-back wins over Columbus and St. Louis. Check back Monday morning to vote in the latest weekly poll!