Luckily, the first game of the season never really means much. Did your team win big? So what? There's still 81 games left to play, don't get cocky. Did your team fall flat on its face? Big whoop. You weren't going to go 82-0, so might as well get a loss out of the way before it really hurts you.
The Predators did just that last night, but don't have any time to dwell on the loss. Strap on your oxygen masks and climbing gear, the boys are right back into it tonight in the Mile High City versus the Avs.
Be sure to head over to our SB Nation pals at Mile High Hockey for the other side of tonight's game.
Last Season's Stats
|Nashville Predators||Colorado Avalanche|
|5-on-5 Save %||.915||17th||.909||22nd|
|# of PP's/Gm||2.92||27th||2.92||27th|
|# of PK's/Gm||2.90||3rd||3.81||29th|
Giving up three goals in the first period was not the way the Predators wanted to start the season. Swapping Carter Hutton for Pekka Rinne was not the way the fans wanted to see the season start. However, he looked pretty great considering he wasn't expecting to play. It's also hard to fault him for giving up a power play goal when the team in front of him was 29th in the league on the PK last year.
Hopefully the rust is shaken off and the team decides to play as soon as the puck is dropped, rather than 10 minutes after. If they can put together a full 60 minute effort against this team, the Preds are more than capable of coming back home with their first win.
For being a team that is supposed to be cellar dwellers this year, the Avs sure put their critics to shame, if only for a night. Their 6-1 whooping of Anaheim on Wednesday night may have been a bit of a surprise, but not really when you see the weapons they are deploying this year. Between Landeskog, O'Reily, Duchene, Stastny and MacKinnon (who notched his first point in his first game) they have the firepower to produce. Will they on a nightly basis though? It's impossible to say right now, (see opening paragraph). We have no idea who they are right now, and likely won't for a few more games. I'd suggest treading lightly.
Their biggest weakness is their defense, even though they had a chance to make it a little better over the offseason. How did that go? Erik Johnson is their top guy on the back end. Yup, the same Erik Johnson drafter first overall in 2006. Their goaltending is much less suspect, though. Semyon Varlamov is a talented number one option, and would likely be putting up way better numbers if his team wasn't on the tail end of a rebuild. Stanley Cup Champion J.S. Giguere backs him up.
Forsberg sits out again tonight for Nashville.
Gabriel Landeskog sat out of yesterday's practice with a leg injury. No word yet on the severity or if it will keep him out of the game. We'll keep you updated with the latest.
8:00 p.m. Central, RDS2, FS-TN, ALTITUDE
Even though I said during the summer we should quash the Jones/Avs narratives before they start, Seth Jones is going to get his first NHL point tonight. You heard it here first.