The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. By the time you read this, qualifying games will be just two days away.
The Nashville Predators are taking on the Dallas Stars in an exhibition game in just a few hours. Their first qualifying round game against the Arizona Coyotes is on August 2.
Months of preparation and planning are finally coming to fruition. The NHL playoffs are happening this week. The Predators arrived in their hub city of Edmonton on Sunday.
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While we are waiting on more news and updates from the bubble, we will continue to follow some of our favorite Nashville Predators players and the team to see what they have been up to this week.
In this week’s check-in with the Predators, I take a look at some of the fun things going on with the players, including what life is like in the bubble, a King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominee, and the final installment of the Duchene Diaries.
Reminders Of Home
The Predators players and staff got a pleasant surprise when they checked in to their hotel rooms in Edmonton.
The Predators organization had framed family photos for each player waiting in their hotel rooms when they arrived. This was a remarkable gesture from the organization. Hopefully, it will help their hotel rooms feel a bit more like home.
This isn’t a vacation
The Predators got to work on Monday when they held their first practice while in Edmonton. Every moment of practice counts, and the coaching staff will use that time to continue to tweak their strategies.
The hard work that they put in at training camp will be put to good use in a few days.
Unlike any scenario hockey has ever seen before, practices inside the bubble have to be a sight to see. But all indications are that the team has been laser-focused and look refreshed.
Duchene Diaries – Episode 4
Matt Duchene started a video blog to chronicle his preparation for training camp and the upcoming playoffs.
In this final episode, Duchene is interviewed by none other than former Predators goaltender and current broadcaster, Chris Mason. They discuss the Return To Play plan and what it will take to beat the Coyotes.
King Clancy Memorial Trophy Finalist – Pekka Rinne
The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is given to the “player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.”
I can think of no better human being on the planet that exemplifies this statement more so than Pekka Rinne.
A Good Reminder
We’re all loving the fact that hockey is back and that the Predators are taking the ice.
The video below is a good reminder that these players are away from their families during this time and that they are missed.
The Predators are hours away from their exhibition game and days away from their first qualifying round game.
So far, so good with the Return To Play plan. Let’s hope things stay this way.
During these trying times, it’s good that we can continue to follow our favorite teams on social media to help provide some form of comfort and normalcy.
For more information about COVID-19, visit CDC.gov or the website for your state’s Department of Health.