Nashville Predators: Stalking the Competition in Training Camp

The Nashville Predators have had playoff duds in the past couple of years. After reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017 and losing in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville was hoping to get back there and win their first Stanley Cup Title in franchise history, but they have not yet.

The Predators lost to the Dallas Stars in six games in the first round of the playoffs last season. Nashville was the number one seed for the second consecutive season in the Central Division. They will both play each other in the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl site.

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The Nashville Predators won the Presidents’ Trophy the season before and they lost to the Winnipeg Jets in seven games in the second round of the postseason.

Nashville will have high expectations once again this season under Head Coach Peter Laviolette.

The Predators window could be closing sooner than you think, but Nashville decided to make some big moves in the offseason. They traded away defenseman P.K. Subban to the New Jersey Devils. The Nashville Predators did not re-sign Wayne Simmonds after they acquired him at the trade deadline from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nashville plays a physical defensive game, but they need to open up the offense more and score more goals. Another key move they made in the offseason was signing Matt Duchene to a seven-year deal that is worth $56 million.

This could be the year the Nashville Predators take a step back because of the improvements of the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars. The St. Louis Blues will float around even though they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

The Winnipeg Jets will also be good this season. It is very likely the Central Division sends five teams to the postseason again.

The projected lines for the Nashville Predators this season will be Filip ForsbergRyan JohansenViktor Arvidsson, Mikael Granlund-Matt Duchene-Kyle Turris, Calle JarnkrokNick BoninoCraig Smith, and Rocco GrimaldiColton SissonsAustin Watson.

The projected defensive pairings will be Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Dante Fabbro, Dan Hamhuis and Steven Santini.

Pekka Rinne will be the starting goalie. Juuse Saros will be the backup.

This is going to be interesting at the goalie spot because even though Rinne is a lot better than Saros, Pekka Rinne is 36 years old and he will only start like 50 games so Rinne could be fresh for the postseason.

Juuse Saros is the future starting goaltender of this team. He is 24 years old.

Some of the potential players that could step up for this team in case of an injury will be Frederick Gaudreau, Rem Pitlick, Miikka Salomaki, Yannick Weber, and Matt Irwin.

The training camp schedule has not been announced yet. The Nashville Predators will be doing something very rare during the preseason. On Monday, September 16, they will have two preseason games at home against the Florida Panthers.

Both of those squads will be split up. Nashville will be the home team for both games. The first game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Central Time and the second game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central Time.

The Predators will begin the season at home on Thursday, October 3 against the Minnesota Wild.

How do you the 2019 season of the Nashville Predators playing out? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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