Nashville Predators: Critical Keys to Crushing the Carolina Hurricanes

Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators skates against Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 27, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators skates against Vincent Trocheck #16 of the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in Game Six of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 27, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

To paraphrase a quote from the once-great Bill Belichick (okay, fine, he’s still great…), “We’re on to Carolina”. The Nashville Predators are looking to avoid falling into a deep hole early in the season in a difficult October schedule.

That is the simple, short message after the Nashville Predators became the official trivia answer to the question, “Who did the Seattle Kraken earn their first-ever NHL victory against?”

Well, it had to be somebody and as much as it stings, the Nashville Predators are now focused on renewing hostilities with a team they have become quite familiar with over the last 12 months, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Sure, the preseason victories were nice, but those don’t count for much come mid-October when the games start to matter, and for the Preds, this one certainly does, as they have the opportunity to exact a little revenge for their first-round loss in May to these Hurricanes.

Some of the familiar faces of both squads have moved on to new NHL homes, but the logos and memories remain the same for a large amount of the cores of both combatants.

Let’s take a look at the keys to the contest for the Nashville Predators to crush the Canes at Bridgestone Arena tonight, and write another chapter in this growing rivalry.

1. Be a goldfish…

Sure this key may be a little niche for fans of the series, “Ted Lasso” but it is the perfect metaphor as the Predators aim to find their first victory of the season, in addition, forget the result of Thursday night and the painful defeat in six games to these Canes just a little under 5 months ago.

There were some easily identifiable miscues and structure-based issues with the infusion of many new pieces to the roster for the Preds in their season opener, but here’s the good news, there’s only room to improve, and what better opportunity than against a team you have a newfound hatred for in the Carolina Hurricanes (yeah, we remember the cheeky tweets following the series @Canes on Twitter…).

After the Canes earned a 6-3 victory in their season opener, they look to come into Bridgestone Arena and do exactly as they did last year many times and walk away with a win.

The Predators will have to channel their inner goldfish and have a short memory with their last two meaningful results coming in the loss column, the most painful against these Carolina Hurricanes.

2. To kill the penalty, or not kill the penalty. That is the question.

We aren’t going to dive too deep on this key as it is blatantly obvious, but the Nashville Predators simply need to do a better job on the penalty kill against a much more formidable attack than the one the Seattle Kraken boasts.

No disrespect intended to the Kraken, but the elite levels of talent on what last year was the second-best power play across the entire NHL, clipping at an eye-popping 25.6% (as per pose a much more threatening challenge that the Predators will have to neutralize if they have any hope at earning two points tonight.

It goes without saying that the special teams battle will undoubtedly be a big factor in who emerges victorious from tonight’s contest, but for the Predators, they’ve got to get it right on the PK or they could be in for a long night against the talented, and relentless attack of the Canes.

For the Predators, it’s a tale as old as time, stay disciplined, keep the emotions in check, go to the box a few times less than your opponent, and the chances will be there.

3. Take it ONE game at a time

There’s an old saying in sports that you cannot win five games in one night, the Predators and the fanbase need to subscribe to this mentality as this season presses forward.

There seems to be a ton of negativity across social media right now after the Predators opening night effort against the Seattle Kraken. I for one would like to kindly remind everyone that we are now back to a traditional 82-game season.

There is a myriad of new, youthful components to this roster that quite frankly is going to take some time to gel. So in the spirit of that, look for the positive notes to build from on a nightly basis as the team figures it out.

Look at the sustained pressure from young pieces like Philip Tomasino, Eeli Tolvanen, and company. Look at the late-game surge that nearly resulted in another memorable comeback. Look at Captain Roman Josi‘s highlight reel power play bomb that found the back of the net.

This team will have its ups and downs, but what’s important to remember is that Nashville Predators hockey is back and there is a number of reasons to be optimistic about where it’s going.

Let’s just let them get through more than 1.2% (yeah, I did the calculation myself) of the season before we as a fanbase completely abandon hope on the 2021-2022 season.

Next. Mattias Ekholm Inks New Contract With Predators Before Season Opens. dark

Bally Sports South. 0-1-0. 151. 109. Saturday, October 16. . 7 PM CT. 1-0-0

News and Notes:

  • Connor Ingram was recalled from Milwaukee as David Rittich heads to the COVID-19 Protocol List.
  • As of the time of posting, there has been no official announcement of starting goaltender but with the day off and being early in the season, expect Juuse Saros to check back in between the pipes for the Preds. In the 2020-2021 Playoffs, Saros posted a 2-4 record with a 2.78 GAA and 0.921 SV% against the Hurricanes. (As per
  • In an ironic twist after becoming the opposing team of record for the Seattle Kraken’s first-ever franchise win. The Predators earned their first-ever franchise win against the Hurricanes on October 13th, 1998 with a 3-2 victory. (As per Nashville