It was a memorable scene from Bern, Switzerland as the Nashville Predators and Captain Roman Josi wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 4-3 win over SC Bern in the NHL Global Series.
How fun was this? And also, how impressive were the over 17,000 fans that got to attend this rare exhibition match between an NHL team and a European hockey club like SC Bern?
Josi returned to his hometown and was greeted by the fans to a huge ovation, and he delivered by scoring two goals and getting the Nashville Predators on the board for the first time with a backhand goal in the opening period:
A special atmosphere from Bern
This place was loud. The fans brought the energy and just hearing the crowd noise you would have never guessed it was just a friendly exhibition. Both teams wanted to win, and the game was back and forth early on.
To the credit of SC Bern, they had the Predators on their heels early on. They were outskating their NHL opponent and snuck a couple goals past Kevin Lankinen. The spin-o-rama style goal to open the scoring was gorgeous to watch.
Josi would score again in the third period to widen the Predators lead to 4-2, with assists from Tanner Jeannot and Yakov Trenin. He added an assist on Filip Forsberg’s second period goal to tie it at 2-2.
It was a truly special event not just for Josi, but also for Nino Niederreiter who also had his own cheering section in attendance decked out in Predators gear:
Matt Duchene would score a goal as well with a surgical display of passing as Josi got it started, followed by the puck going to Ryan Johansen and to Mikael Granlund for the primary assist.
Even though the hockey wasn’t as crisp as maybe you would’ve liked to open the game, the Nashville Predators eventually settled in to secure the win to finish their five-game preseason schedule with a 4-0-1 record.
The penalties were an eyesore out of this game. The Predators gave SC Bern six power play opportunities but did kill off five of those.
Philip Tomasino missed the game for an undisclosed reason. Maybe Head Coach John Hynes wanted to see a different look from the lineup, or possibly Tomasino needed a maintenance day. Kiefer Sherwood got second line playing time in Tomasino’s place, who has been one of the surprises out of training camp.
Nashville Predators enjoy a fun experience, now get ready for the Sharks
Games like this are special for the players. This trip was not only beneficial to Josi and Niederreiter to play in their home country, but also for the entire team to build chemistry before the 82-game regular season grind that is about to begin on Friday.
You can’t make any sweeping conclusions one way or the other from this game. Both teams wanted to win and brought the competitiveness at a high level, and ultimately the Predators found ways to secure the exhibition win.
Josi enters the 2022-23 season once again under the spotlight as the top superstar for the Nashville Predators. He nearly cracked 100 points last season. Fans around the NHL will be tuned in to see if he can replicate that insane production level again.
The Nashville Predators now set their sights on Prague and their regular season opener against the San Jose Sharks on Friday. The 27-player roster is set with a couple newcomers looking to possibly get a surprise starting spot.