It may not count towards winning a Stanley Cup, but the Nashville Predators will be playing the Dallas Stars in an exhibition game before the postseason begins.
This exhibition matchup between the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars will be on July 30, and could very well be a preview of a matchup in the round of 16 following the qualifying round.
Dallas will definitely be in the round of 16 teams regardless of what happens in their round robin play, but the Predators will have to get by the Arizona Coyotes in the qualifying round first.
The Stars will face the Vegas Golden Knights first in their round robin tournament to sort out the top seeds in the Western Conference. The Predators have to earn their way in a best-of-five series with Arizona.
Getting back into playoff form
Every team is now participating in a postseason training camp to get back into hockey shape after a stoppage of nearly four months. Players have to get ready quickly as playoff hockey is almost here.
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Just one exhibition game to get ready for a playoff run isn’t much, but it’s better than having none at all. The Dallas Stars are a team the Predators know plenty well enough, and it’s a good team to go up against to see if how the team will look as training camp will be coming to a close by then.
The Predators and Stars have had some fun games this past regular season and have gradually built quite the rivalry since last year’s playoffs.
The Stars eliminated the Predators in six games in the 2019 playoffs, and then got the best of the Predators again on the national stage at the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl.
However, the Predators have had the last two laughs by shutting out the Stars in two-straight games on the back of Juuse Saros in net. These two wins were critical in propelling the Predators to the No.6 seed in the Western Conference and came just before the pause and eventual end to the 2019-20 regular season.
The Stars are a complete and balanced team that can make some noise in these playoffs. They have outstanding goaltending with Ben Bishop, some great offensive weapons on their top two lines and a respectable defense.
This exhibition game will be a good measuring stick for the Predators before playing another solid defensive team with great goaltending in the Coyotes. I love this matchup with Dallas in terms of seeing where your team is at as it pertains to the Coyotes.
The final score won’t be all that important, but how the Predators look in problem areas like the power play and defensive depth will be the focus area.
Start some prospects
To see what these players can actually do in a game against NHL talent is important, so it makes sense to put a few of these players in the lineup in the exhibition matchup with Dallas.
Tomasino, Tolvanen and Carrier all need to be in the starting lineup against Dallas. I realize it’s important to get all the players back in game shape, but most can accomplish that in training camp.
It will be way more valuable for Tomasino, Tolvanen and Carreier to get these valuable minutes than it will be for playoff veterans like Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi or Filip Forsberg. Ideally you’d want two exhibition games to get ready, but the timetable just doesn’t allow that.
Puck drop between the Predators and Stars is scheduled for 3 P.M. CDT, but broadcasting arrangements haven’t been officially announced yet. Fox Sports Tennessee can hopefully get the broadcast.
The Predators will soon be heading to their hub city of Edmonton to resume their quest for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. They have the veteran playoff experience to go deep in this unprecedented playoff format, and we’ll get a glimpse of how ready they really are against Dallas.