It was a tough way for the Predators to open the season against the St. Louis Blues. The three goals allowed at the beginning of the game made the Nashville faithful wonder if we were going to repeat last season’s performance, but the Preds settled down and scored twice to make the game interesting. It wasn’t enough to win against a tough Blues team, and the Predators demonstrated some good qualities to build off of. Nashville will try and bounce back tomorrow against Colorado.
Here are some quick notes from the game tonight.
-Pekka Rinne looked human in the first period. In the past, Rinne has been the superhero that bails out his defense with incredible saves. Even though the goals weren’t entirely his fault, this isn’t the Rinne we are used to seeing. Maybe he is just rusty, but the speculation about his performance will start to buzz. Let the questions of his surgery come back up again.
-The defense looks a little rough. On the second and third St. Louis goals, it was the result of a busted transition on defense. If Rinne can’t bail out mistakes, Nashville can’t be too aggressive on the forecheck.
-This is a gritty team that looks pesky in the offensive zone. Whether this will turn into goals this season is hard to tell, but put Filip Forsberg and Viktor Stalberg into the lineup and we will know how the Preds will fare this season.
-Special teams is an area that haunted Nashville last season and the same might be true for this season. It’s one thing to not score on your power plays, but it is another thing to have your opponent score in their first two power plays when you can’t even score on one of four. If the Preds can’t make opponents pay for penalties, it’s going to be a rough year.
-It is comforting to seek Carter Hutton do a decent job coming in for Rinne. Many fans (including me) were wondering where we would turn for another goaltender. He looks like a better option than Chris Mason was last year.