The second part of the four-part series “Behind the Glass” by NHL Network following the Nashville Predators training camp was full of emotional swings, and an inside look at deciding on the final roster spots.
This episode picks up on the Predators’ third preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning as they prepare to go overseas to play in the NHL Global Series in Bern, Switzerland. A solid 2-0 win with goals from Nino Niederreiter and John Leonard, and the shutout in net for Kevin Lankinen.
Head Coach John Hynes along with General Manager David Poile are tasked with deciding on who will claim the remaining roster spots that will travel to Europe and is a main theme of Episode 2.
Glass’ hard work finally pays off as he makes the Nashville Predators roster
The main focus in the episode is on Cody Glass. The moment he finds out from Poile that he will be going to Europe as part of the Nashville Predators roster is enough to get the waterworks flowing, courtesy of Alex Daugherty of AtoZSports:
What an amazing moment to be included in this series, and if you already weren’t rooting heavily for Glass to succeed, then you probably are now after watching this clip. My guess is Glass has a whole new contingent of fans all over the hockey world, and even beyond sports who may have come across this clip.
Glass has worked his tail off since being sent down to the Milwaukee Admirals last season. He took off from there and seized the opportunity to get better. Just an outstanding lesson for other aspiring athletes out there to keep working hard at your craft and not giving up.
We also saw the flip side of that as Egor Afanasyev got the news that he will be starting the season with the Admirals.
A much different situation than what Glass is in, and Afanasyev is on the right track to be on the Predators roster as soon as sometime this upcoming season. Just not right out of the gate.
Poile even mentions in the episode that “we hope to see you play some games with us this year” and you hear coaches say, “anything can happen” and “it’s a long season”. An encouraging moment from coaches to a young prospect in Afanasyev who was probably feeling disappointed he didn’t make the NHL roster, but knows he has a big year ahead of him in Milwaukee.
Afanasyev will play a critical role for the Milwaukee Admirals in 2022-23, and he’ll likely be one of the first call-ups to the Predators if injuries occur or something else forces a roster change.
Boro doesn’t have an “off” switch
Aside from the emotional moment that Glass finds out he has made the Nashville Predators roster, the scene that stood out the most for me from Episode 2 was Mark Borowiecki and his mission to bring mental health to the forefront.
Borowiecki has had his own personal battles with mental health and is now looking to make it easier for younger players to be open about their own struggles. He brings up that it’s a high-stress, and results driven profession that can be difficult to manage, especially for younger players looking to make a roster and not show weakness.
We also get to see a sequence of crushing hits laid out by Borowiecki, and that awesome smile. Filip Forsberg talks about how relieved he was when Borowiecki joined the Predators so that he doesn’t have to go up against him anymore.
In the preseason game against the Lightning, Mattias Ekholm gets in a couple scraps and Hynes makes a joke after the game about whether Ekholm is going to get in more fights than Borowiecki this season. Hilarious moment in the locker room.
You’re seeing why Borowiecki was re-signed by the Nashville Predators back in February to another one-year deal, and to the benefit of the team, a modest $900,000 AAV. His intangibles and leadership can’t really be measured in importance.
You’re really seeing how tight knit this team is and that can go a long way into success on the ice. They just all seem to mesh well with each other and play as a collective unit. No egos, no “me” mentalities. Just a roster full of guys who want to win and be a hard team to play against.