Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Nashville Predators have a lot of promise, which will make the upcoming season very interesting.
With the addition of Matt Duchene on top of an already solid roster, the Nashville Predators will most likely be one of the more premier contenders in the NHL, which makes every game on their schedule interesting.
However, due to rivalries or familiar faces returning home, some of those games will be more interesting than others.
These games will have more magnitude than others, whether it is the time they are played or the memorable moments that will come with them, I will be attempting to predict which five games will provide the most memories in the 2019-20 season.
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Of course, these type of things are hard to predict, as player debuts and future roster moves could have huge effects on how these games go, plus we never know what exciting moments will come in the future, so these projections are based on what we know today.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
(Note: these games will be ranked in chronological order, these are not in any specific order, I also won’t be counting the Winter Classic, because we all know everyone is excited for that, let’s highlight some other games)
5. Nashville Predators vs Minnesota Wild, October 3rd, 2019: The Season Opener
Yes, the season opener is on this list, as all of the excitement of this offseason leads up to that blessed day.
On that day, Matt Duchene will make his debut in a Nashville Predators sweater and Mikael Granlund will have another shot at playing his former team.
Predators fans will also be able to see a familiar face, as Kevin Fiala comes back to Nashville for the third time since being dealt to Minnesota last spring.
This matchup features two division rivals starting their season on a clean slate, as the Nashville Predators faithful will be all hyped up after a long-awaited season has finally come.
We will also see how loud Predators fans will cheer Matt Duchene when he gets introduced to the fans for the first time on the ice.
4. Nashville Predators @ Colorado Avalanche, November 7th, 2019: Matt Duchene Returns To The Mile High City
As it seems that Colorado Avalanche fans aren’t too fond of the Nashville Predators new star, it should be interesting to see Matt Duchene to return to the place his career began for the first time as a division rival.
Although he has played at the Pepsi Center before as a member of the Ottawa Senators, this matchup will be special as he is now on the roster of the Avalanche’s biggest rivals.
This matchup will also be interesting, as these two teams both have very deep rosters that match up well against each other.
I also have a feeling this game will end with a Matt Duchene overtime winner, sparking some memories that Nashville Predators fans will remember for the rest of the season.
3. Nashville Predators vs New Jersey Devils, December 7th, 2019: P.K. Subban‘s return to Nashville
Love him or hate him, P.K. Subban was one of the most influential players in Nashville Predators history in his time on the team, including the team’s 2017 run to the Stanley Cup Final.
He should be getting a standing ovation, as he is known as an all-around good guy due to his philanthropic efforts and his vibrant personality, which gave life to hockey in Nashville.
Another player who hasn’t had the same impact as Subban, Wayne Simmonds, will also be making his return.
I have a feeling this game will be tightly contended and there will be some magic happening in P.K. Subban’s return to Nashville.
2. Nashville Predators vs Pittsburgh Penguins, December 27th-28th, 2019: A Home and Home 2017 Stanley Cup Finals Rematch
Yes, this list was supposed to highlight individual games, but this two-game set is way too juicy to ignore.
This two-game set will feature two teams that know each other all too well, as they met in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, and the Nashville Predators will be looking for revenge against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Both teams are still two of the best teams of the NHL, with both teams having deep offenses that feature star talent, with Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel joining Crosby, as this game looks to have some serious offensive firepower.
As the two teams play on back to back days, there should be some serious beef from 2017 to be settled, so these two games could be some of the most entertaining this season.
1. Nashville Predators @ Montreal Canadiens, March 10th, 2019: Matt Duchene Inevitably Gets Booed By Bitter Habs Fans
Coming into this offseason, Montreal Canadiens fans fully expected Matt Duchene to sign with the Habs, as he grew up a fan of the team, but quickly saw him fall through their fingers to the Nashville Predators.
Habs fans have been making the fact that they are unhappy with Matt Duchene’s decision known on twitter, including one fan calling him “selfish” for making the decision to go to the Music City instead of staying in the area his family “would’ve wanted to stay” in Montreal, even though his family approves of his choice of Nashville.
I fully expect these bitter fans to boo him every time he touches the puck, much like how San Jose Sharks fans booed John Tavares during the All Star Game, and for Matt Duchene to quickly shut them up.
I can definitely see him scoring a hat trick, much like Mathew Barzal did against the Toronto Maple Leafs, who’s fans and media have been slandering the Islanders and was able to shut them up from there.
Either way, this season looks like one of the most exciting in Nashville Predators history and there is much to look forward to.
All 82 games on the Nashville Predators schedule look like they will be exciting, and there is no telling which of them will be the most exciting of the season.