Well, the Predators are already on top of the Central Division standings thanks to a sweep in Prague against the San Jose Sharks. We saw our newest guys competing and scoring - Nino Neiderreiter and Ryan McDonagh contributed on-ice and on the scoresheet. Kevin Lankinen impressed as a backup, and Juuse Saros was stellar.
I’m excited to see the puck drop this season, and I’ll tell you why: This Nashville squad isn’t an underdog, and they’re not a favorite. They are perennially “not enough for a Cup” but also described as belonging to the “mushy middle.” All those descriptions might be true, but here’s something else that’s true: This is a team with a healthy mix of veterans and youngsters. This is a team with incredible goaltending. This is a team with a great blue line and a leadership core hungry for a Cup. The puck dropped on Nashville’s season last week, but this opportunity to square off against a Central Division foe and set up a strong season is huge.
Will Ryan Suter be booed in Bridgestone? You can freaking bet on it.
Dallas has some new pieces, including new head coach Pete DeBoer. Here’s what he said at yesterday’s practice:
“It’s going to be tough,” new coach Pete DeBoer said. “I watched the San Jose games and listened to some of the comments, and they talk about [the Predators] looking like they’re in midseason form. You’ve got a veteran group of guys who had a really good year last year. They have the same coaching staff, so same systems. They’ve look like they’ve hit the ground running, and they’re two games in already, which helps. So it’s a big test for us, and we obviously want to get off to a good start.”
New guys Ty Dellandrea, Nils Lundkvist, and Colin Miller will try to contribute. Miro Heiskanen will be a force on Dallas’s blue line, and I’m excited to see what young goalie Jake Oettinger can do this season. He’s a gem for the Stars.
Reasons to Watch
- Yall ready? Hockey in Nashville. I’m pumped up....are you?
- I hear there’s new food options in Bridgestone Arena, and even though they’re probably $70 a serving, they’d be worth a try.
Keep Your Eye on This Guy
Nashville: Nino Neiderreiter.
Dallas: Roope Hintz. He’s dynamic and a force when he’s on the ice.