Nashville Predators: Takeaways from the first days of Predators camp

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 31: Pontus Aberg
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 31: Pontus Aberg /

The Nashville Predators are four days into their training camp, and there is already much to talk about. Here are the main takeaways from camp thus far.

Excitement is building. The Nashville Predators are holding training camp, leaving social media filled with videos and updates on the activities. Fans are eating it up. We are ready for real games, I am sure a few are practicing their cheers.

With all that is happening at camp, keeping up with the news and notes is challenging. That is where we come in. After watching practice, sorting through all of the media, and (attempting) to keep a realistic view, here is what you need to know.

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All about competition

There are two reasons for camp. The first is installing the foundational items of the team. The playing philosophy. Without the foundation, the team will not stand. And, the better the foundation, the more promising the outcome.

The second true reason for camp is separating the players from the pretenders. This, of course, is done through competition. That is what coach Peter Laviolette is watching with a close eye. So is David Poile. While being interviewed by media on Saturday, Laviolette stated that players are showing “how much ice” they want. The competition could lead to players like Frederick Gaudreau making the roster.

Defensive curiosity

On Saturday, a video of P.K. Subban and Alexei Emelin skating together set Smashville on its head. Could this be a sign of things to come during the season? Or is it just a way to evaluate both players’ ability to adapt and learn in a new setting? The answer to both is yes.

We know there will be some adjustments on the defensive pairings due to Ryan Ellis‘s injury. A Subban-Emelin pairing is possible, but not set in stone. Furthermore, we know that Laviolette likes to make changes to lines throughout the year. Or does he?

When looking over the defensive pairings last year, there were far fewer variations. Subban was paired with Mattias Ekholm over 28 percent of the time. The pairing of Ellis and Roman Josi filled another 26 percent. Then Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber took another 11 percent. Other combinations were used no more than five percent of the time. And that was commonly due to injury or providing a day off.

The fact is, we don’t know what it means. And, we won’t know until the last pre-season game is over. Even then, it can change.

Worth the watch.

With camp comes media attention. And that means videos. Here are a few worth viewing.

First up, Nick Bonino talks injury and about getting ribbed by his new teammates.

All of the Nashville Predators fans want to know how the team feels coming back to camp, and how hungry they are to get back to the Stanley Cup. Ryan Johansen addresses just that.

And, finally, Subban talks about his summer and how the team is ready for more.

Next: The Second Line Is Coming Together

So, buckle up, Smashville. The ride is just starting.