Well, folks...here it is! This is your very first game preview of the 2021-2022 Nashville Predators season. Let’s go!
The Preds made a bit of news on Wednesday by extending Mattias Ekholm and re-signing him to a very team-friendly four-year deal. Filip Forsberg remains able to be extended, but I wouldn’t think his agent will have any talks with Nashville once the season starts. A new contract should be sufficient motivation for Forsberg, but keeping him healthy is key.
In net is Juuse Saros. The young Finn has taken over Nashville’s net after Pekka Rinne’s retirement earlier in the summer. He’s backed up by “Big Save Dave” David Rittich.
The Predators are now one of the youngest teams in the NHL, but there are sufficient veterans to guide the youngsters along - veterans like Mikael Granlund, Roman Josi, Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Ekholm are able to provide a veteran/leadership presence. I’m fairly excited to see what Philip Tomasino can do. I’m also excited for Cody Glass, Tanner Jeannot, Yakov Trenin, and Phil Myers.
We might not know what the on-ice product will look like, but it’s going to be a unique “transitional” season for Nashville as they discover their identity, fight for a playoff spot, and make another run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. This season’s success is going to depend on outstanding goaltending, the unique veteran-rookie lineup, and effective special teams.
Tell us below what you’re most excited for.
There’s a lot to like about the Kraken. They answered Vegas on Tuesday night with three goals, showing resiliency and a little bit of the “chip on their shoulder” mentality that’s common on expansion teams.
The Kraken feature some well-known guys like Mark Giordano, Philipp Grubauer, Brandon Tanev, and former Predator Calle Jarnkrok. While a few of their players ended up in Covid-19 protocol, the Kraken were able to respond on Tuesday and give the Golden Knights a very competitive opponent.
Head coach Dave Hakstol has a lot of talent to work with, and I look forward to monitoring Seattle’s progress this season. Will they end up in the Stanley Cup Final in their first season? We’ll have to wait until April.
Here’s Seattle’s first goal from Ryan Donato:
Reasons to Watch
-The 2021-2022 season is here!
-Are you confused about what this season can bring? Me too!
-Are you otherwise unoccupied on a Thursday night? Me too!
-Do you love hearing the Nashville goal horn? Me too!
-Will Calle Jarnkrok get a tribute video if he’s not in the lineup??????????????
-Do you love hockey? Tune in!
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
How about the recently re-signed Mattias Ekholm?
Tonight’s Theme Song
How to Watch
Tonight’s puck drop is at 7 PM Central. Bally Sports South will have the broadcast (as will NHLN), and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.