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Predatorial Pregame Warmup: October 4, 2013


Oct 4, 2013

Written by: Patten Fuqua


Last updated: October 4, 2013 at 12:43 am


Nashville Predators (0-1-0) vs Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0)
Gametime: 8:00pm CT / 9:00pm ET
Television: FS-Tennessee
Radio: 102.5 The Game



Nashville Predators - Viktor Stalberg

Colorado Avalanche - Ryan Wilson

Projected Goaltending Matchup

Pekka Rinne


Semyon Varlamov

Keep an eye on...

Nashville Predators -

Pekka Rinne.

On Thursday night, Rinne had an uncharacteristic performance, giving up 3 goals in the first 9:45 of the game before being given the hook by Barry Trotz. Going back to last season, Rinne has given up 3 or more goals in his last 4 starts. However, at the end of last season, Rinne was playing on an injured hip and was not remotely the player that Nashville is used to having between the pipes.

A resilient and tenacious goaltender, Rinne should come into Friday night’s game looking to put Thursday night’s performance behind him. With a chip on his shoulder and with Colorado’s significant firepower upfront, the former Vezina finalist could put on a very entertaining show.

It is worth noting that in 2008, Rinne was pulled after his first start of the season and went on to win his next 6 decisions.

Colorado Avalanche -

Nathan Mackinnon.

Colorado passed on Seth Jones in order to select Mackinnon first overall at the 2013 NHL Draft. In his last year of junior with the Halifax Mooseheads, Mackinnon racked up a grand total of 121 points in just 65 games as he led the Mooseheads to the Memorial Cup title.

Mackinnon wasted no time making his mark at the NHL level, putting 2 points on the board in the Avalanche’s 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Look for Mackinnon to continue to create chances in front of Nashville’s net.

Main Storylines

Nashville Predators -

Nashville’s season opener obviously did not go the way that they would have wanted, but they have very little time to dwell on it as they roll into Denver to play Colorado less than 24 hours after Thursday night’s game.

Despite losing, the Predators did a lot of things right on Thursday night that they struggled with during last season. Most importantly, they outshot their opponent, putting 30 shots on net to St. Louis’ 27. However, Nashville continued to struggle on special teams, wasting 4 power play opportunities while giving up goals in 2 of 4 penalty kill situations.

One major question mark of the for Thursday was the pairing of Mattias Ekholm and Seth Jones, but the pair appeared to work well together. Likely, this means that Ryan Ellis will be the scratch on Friday night along with Filip Forsberg, who did not make the trip.

Nashville is 27-21-7 all-time against Colorado and 12-10-4 at the Pepsi Center.

Colorado Avalanche -

Will Patrick Roy end up paying the NHL to coach the Avalanche?

After a questionable hit on Mackinnon on Wednesday by Anaheim, the new Colorado bench boss was livid and sent out his enforcers to take the final shift of the game. After a little pushing and shoving, Roy proceeded to involve himself directly in the situation, yelling at Anaheim players before attempting to push down the stanchion between the two teams’ benches to get at Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. Boudreau referred to the move as “bush league”, but Patrick Roy has never, ever, ever been one to back down from a fight. Roy was fined $10,000 for the incident. One NHL game. One fine.

Roy has always had a temper and he earned a reputation while coaching junior for being a fiery, passionate coach (and as a player for being a fiery, passionate goaltender). That style won him a Memorial Cup as a coach and 4 Stanley Cups as an NHL goaltender.

Will Roy’s style translate to NHL coaching? Obviously it will take a while to be sure, but it will likely be extremely entertaining either way.

Last time out...

On April 2, Nashville defeated Colorado 3-1 to win their second to last game of the 2012-13 season. Following the game, Nashville would lose 8 straight contests.

The game was locked in a 0-0 stalemate for the first two periods before Colorado’s Matt Duchene opened the scoring at 1:01 of the third. However, Nashville’s David Legwand, Patric Hornqvist and Paul Gaustad each scored goals to put the game away, while Pekka Rinne saved 25 of 26 shots. Hornqvist, Legwand and Taylor Beck all had multiple-point nights for the Predators.

Nashville would only win one more game for the remainder of the season.

One interesting fact...

With Thursday’s loss, Nashville established a new franchise record by going winless in 11 straight road games. The losing streak was already a franchise record. However, prior to the elimination of ties, Nashville had three separate 10-game winless streaks on the road.

The Predators 17 of their last 18. The last road win was a 4-0 win against the Dallas Stars on March 12.

Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua


Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua