Nashville Predators: Predators Must Remember Ackbar As Season Opens

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The opening weeks of presents a challenge never witnessed by the Nashville Predators. Safe to say, they may well fail should they overlook Thursday.

It is easy to focus on this week and miss something. Just as easy to overlook the obvious. Yet, it is still the opening week and the REIGNING Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators will take the ice.

Twice. And while the focus will be on the game Saturday versus the team that beat out the Predators for the Stanley Cup, there is a game on Thursday. Against a playoff team. On their home ice.

In the words of the veteran commander of the Rebel Alliance, who hails from Mon Cala, Admiral Ackbar…

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“IT’S A TRAP!!!!”

They may have lost in the opening round of the 2017 NHL playoffs, but the Boston Bruins are still a team to be respected. The hype surrounding the Predators and the rematch against the Penguins is the focus of the week. All eyes are pointing to Saturday. That is dangerous.

The game in Boston is a trap game. On the road. Versus a good team, but not receiving much talk this preseason. A “statement” game against the team that ended your season before. The Predators need not overlook their opening opponent.

In 2016, the Bruins proved to be one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. Allowing only 212 goals all season, they finished the season tied for eighth in the NHL. Twenty-six players finished the season with a CorsiFor of 50.0 or higher. Compare that to 17 on the Predators. The same could be said about their Fenwick scoring. Let’s not forget that Tuukka Rask is a Vezina Trophy winner. Can Ryan Johansen and the offense score enough points?

The Bruins were just as potent on the offensive end. Five players on their roster scored 50 or more points. That includes Brad Marchand with 85 points and David Pastrnak with 70 points. Pressure will be on P.K. Subban and Roman Josi to hold the Bruins at bay.

Adding more complications to the matter is the fact the Predators lost in Boston back in March. The final score was one to four, with the final goal coming on a empty netter for the Bruins. The Predators committed five penalties, though they held the Bruins to zero power play goals.

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While it is easy to see Saturday, the important game is Thursday. After that, we can talk about the rematch.