Found October 07, 2013 on Fang Faction:
Photo Source: Mark Buckner, Getty Images A disappointing week had the Predators going 0-0-2 to open up the season and dragged many frustrated Preds fans out of the woodwork. Blaming everything from offense, to Rinne to defense and, of course, coach Trotz, few of them took the time to remember that it was still early days.  The two losses weren't the optimal results, and a lot of players still looked like they were gliding around in offseason. But there were some success stories over the last week. Notably Carter Hutton who was anything but bad in only his second NHL appearance.  Read the full play rankings below, and check out last weeks here. Player Position Rank Movement Short Description Mike Fisher C 1 +2 Fisher is clicking very well on his new line with Nystrom and Spaling. Registering a goal and an assit in two games. He had tremendous hustle in the opener against St. Louis and seemed to be one of few who were still involved when the odds were against the Preds.  Eric Nystrom LW 2 +18 Nystrom was leaps and bounds above my expectations. He has been phenomenal on the second line with Fisher and on the PK. The winger works the boards with the best of them. He also fought that pissant Downie on Friday.  Seth Jones D 3 +12 Jones has been one of the best defenseman in the first two games. His passing has been top notch and his physical presence is impressive for a rookie. Jones played 25 minutes in the Colorado game. I bet we see him on the first line during Josi's absence.  David Legwand C 4 +4 Legwand has been on par, chipping in a goal in the early campaign. Neither of his linemates seem to be showing much enthusiasm yet this year. Never helpful.  Paul Gaustad RW/C 5 +9 Gaustad has the team's third goal this season which is more than most would have expected from him. He has also managed to stay out of the penalty box while still having a physical presence.  Patrick Hornqvist RW 6 -2 A nice assist on the Legwand goal in the season opener is a good start for Hornqvist. But many fans will expect more out of him in what should be a break out year. Nick Spaling C 7 +10 Spaling is making a case for himself as the third unit in the successful Nystrom/Fisher line. He is certainly playing in a way that would guarantee him a spot on a fully healthy lineup Craig Smith C 8 +8 Smith had an assist in the Colorado game, but has been quiet otherwise. He spent his first game on the nearly invisible line with Cullen and Bourque. Smith had a VIP membership in Trotz's doghouse last year - he will want to turn it around quickly to not return.   Pekka Rinne G 9 -7 Rinne was pulled in the first game on little fault of his own. The three goals in 9:45 were the result of a complete lack of defense. Rinne bounced back against Colorado where he earned a 2nd star for his .943 SV% Carter Hutton G 10 +13 Hutton blew all expectations out of the water during his solid fifty minutes in the season opener. The Blues were on fire when Hutton hit the ice, but the backup was solid in a 21 save performance Victor Bartley D 11 +7 Bartley has been the more convincing defenseman in a pairing with Kevin Klein. I'm quite impressed with his use of his body this year as well.  Mattias Ekholm D 12 +9 I thought Ekholm would be the odd man out defensively, but playing on the third pairing he has looked good enough.  Shea Weber D 13 -12 Weber has a -2 and 6 penalty minutes in his first two games. He is a contributing factor to our abysmal powerplay. The captain needs to step up immediately.  Colin Wilson RW/C 14 -8 Wilson has also been under-contributing in the first two games. It could be a big season for Wilson, but right now he isn't earning the minutes he's getting. Kevin Klein D 15 -5 Klein has been a bit underwhelming. His head just doesn't seem to be in it yet, and he has a had a few bad mistakes in the opening two games. Gabriel Bourque LW 16 -7 Bourque has been too quiet in the opening two games. On the line with Cullen and Smith he has talent to work with, but we haven't seem him do anything so far. Richard Clune RW 17 +5 Clune has an unbelievable 0 penalty minutes in the first two games. A member of the "Grind em till they cry" line, Clune has been looking not too bad offensively. His play defensively does need to improve though.  Roman Josi D 18 -13 Hasn't been a big presence defensively or offensively. Playing like a man who will soon be replaced by Seth Jones. Got injured by Steve Downie on a hit that was preventable.  Matt Cullen C 19 -12 Cullen has been my biggest disappointment so far. He is playing like our worst center. He has the worst faceoff % on the team. He's slow and he has not demonstrated the ability to set up a play.  Matt Hendricks LW/C 20 -8 Hendricks is the only Predator at -3, the worst +/- on the team. I'm not sure if he is adapting to his role as a winger very well.  Ryan Ellis D 21 -8 Ellis was scratched for the first two games in favor of Ekholm. He will get a chance to prove himself with the Josi injury...unless the Preds call up Piskula Filip Forsberg C/RW 22 -11 Forsberg should make his season debut on Tuesday after being day-to-day with an upper body injury during the first two games. Not sure who he will play with though. Viktor Stalberg RW 23 +1 We're closer to seeing Stalberg play, but that's all that can be said for now.  Simon Moser C 24 -4 Sent down to the AHL. I thought he might hang around the NHL roster for a bit, but the Preds sent him to Milwaukee. Maybe we'll see Moser later in the season.   

Preds must move forward without Josi

The Predators confirmed on Sunday that Roman Josi suffered a concussion on Friday night in Colorado. Now the Predators must move on without Josi for the foreseeable future...

Predators look to replace injured Roman Josi

Wanted: a smooth-skating puck-moving defenseman to complement captain Shea Weber on the top defensive pair. With the announcement that Roman Josi — who plays the left side with Weber — suffered a concussion during Friday’s game at Colorado the Predators must find a way to replace his two-way skill-set. “Injuries happen. No team goes without them for the full year” defenseman...

Strong performance from Pekka Rinne finally lands Nashville in the win column

With disappointing results in a back-to-back performance to open the season, Pekka Rinne had another opportunity to get Nashville’s first win of the season. In their home opener at Bridgestone Arena, the third time was the charm for Rinne and the Predators. After being replaced in Nashville’s 4-2 season opening loss to St. Louis, and playing strong but dropping the second game...

Seth Jones A New Face For The NHL

from Katie Carrera of the Washington Post, On June 30, Seth Jones became not only the highest-drafted African American player in NHL history as the fourth overall pick, but also the new face of diversity in the league. It’s not a position he asked for, but one that he is ready to fill. “Anything I can do to help the sport of hockey grow,” Seth Jones said. “Whether...

Nashville Poutine, S’mores Waffle, other delicious treats debut tonight

Last year’s unexpected off-the-ice hit at Bridgestone Arena was Bacon on a Stick. Starting tonight, you can expect more off-the-ice hits. Wade Gnann, Executive Chef of Delaware North Companies Sportservice, walked us through some of the new menu items so you can start planning your trip to the Nashville Predators’ home opener ahead of time. After all, most fans make it an all...

Predators' 0-2 record doesn't reflect improvement

There are a couple of ways to look at the Predators’ first two games. One is the optimist’s view. Nashville didn’t play all that poorly and in some ways outplayed its two opponents — St. Louis and Colorado. The pessimist’s view would be that a team with a bevy of offensive questions before the season scored only three goals and is winless. If the Predators play like...

Nystrom’s Penalty Shot the Difference in Nashville’s First Triumph

Eric Nystrom may never win an Art Ross Trophy, but he has certainly unleashed a scoring touch early this season. In the first period of Nashville’s Tuesday night contest against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena, with the Predators up 2-1, Nystrom had a break on netminder Niklas Backstrom but was slashed by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard, sending him crashing into Backstrom...

SLIDESHOW: Preds roll out the gold carpet for the home opener

The Nashville Predators rolled out the gold carpet for their 2013-14 home opener. Below is a slideshow of the festivities.

Predators beat Wild 3-2 for 1st win this season

Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson scored power-play goals 39 seconds apart in the first period, and the Nashville Predators earned their first win of the season with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in their home opener. Eric Nystrom added his first career penalty shot goal all in the first period for Nashville, matching the goals the Predators had totaled in...

Predators defenseman Roman Josi out with a concussion

The start to the season for the Nashville Predators has gone from bad to worse. In addition to losing their first two games they have also lost one of their top defenseman in Roman Josi. Josi was on the receiving end of a huge hit from Colorado's Steve Downie on Saturday night and according to the team Josi suffered a concussion.

Preds confident goals will come

Will the Predators be able to score enough goals this season? Despite only have three in the first two games, the Predators are confident the goals will come...

VIDEO: Game 3 Post-game

The Nashville Predators (1-2-0) were able to record their first win of the season against Central Division rival the Minnesota Wild (0-1-2), 3-2, Tuesday night. Minnesota now remains the only team winless in the Central, but are tied with Nashville in points. Head coach Barry Trotz, goalscorers Filip Forsberg and Eric Nystrom, and captain Shea Weber speak about the win below. ...

Game 3: Minnesota Wild @ Predators

Refresh often. Nashville Predators 0, Minnesota Wild 0: Pregame Warmups SOG: NSH - 0, MIN - 0 PP: NSH 0/0, MIN 0/0 Attendance: Scoring Summary None Predators scratches:  Predators starters: Opponents scratches: Opponents starters: Tweets by @Fang_Faction Tweets from @Fang_Faction/predators-vs-wild  

Minnesota Wild @ Predators (Game 3): Preview

The Nashville Predators (0-2-0) will play their home opener against the Minnesota Wild (0-0-2) at 7:10pm CST. Tuesday night's match will be the first time these teams faceoff as divisional rivals. TV/Radio Coverage Nashville: Fox Sports Tennessee and 102.5 The Game Minnesota: Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin and KFAN 100.3 Stream (Do not click on any ads...

Wild-Predators Preview

Ryan Suter has played in seven Nashville Predators home openers in his career while establishing himself as one of the NHL's top defensemen, but he almost certainly won't be celebrated in the eighth. Suter makes his second visit to Nashville on Tuesday night while looking to help the Minnesota Wild avoid dropping their first three games for the first time. Suter departed...
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