Preview: Hurricanes at Predators (9/23)

Blake Geoffrion

Location: Bridgestone Arena

Game Time: 7:00 pm Central

TV: None

Radio: None

Preseason Records:
Nashville: 0-0-0
Carolina: 0-1-0

Thursday Predators Roster: Jonas Andersson, Taylor Beck,  Jonathan Blum, Mark Dekanich, J.P. Dumont, Ryan Ellis, Cody Franson, Blake Geoffrion, Marcel Goc, Patric Hornqvist, Sergei Kostitsyn, Teemu Laakso, Cal O’Reilly, Ryan Parent, Pekka Rinne, Nick Spaling, Alexander Sulzer, Andreas Thuresson, Jordin Tootoo, Kelsey Wilson

Thursday Hurricanes Roster: Drayson Bowman, Brett Carson, Erik Cole, Joe Corvo, Zac Dalpe, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison, Jussi Jokinen, Tom Kostopoulos, Jamie McBain, Riley Nash, Patrick O’Sullivan, Justin Peters, Joni Pitkanen, Justin Pogge, Bryan Rodney, Tuomo Ruutu, Sergei Samsonov, Eric Staal, Brandon Sutter

It Doesn’t Count: It’s preseason hockey, and that can only mean one thing…a bunch of players in Predators jerseys who will not be in the Bridgestone Arena on October 9th. In case you are unaware, this came counts for beans. It’s a glorified practice. It gives the coaching staff a chance to see how different strategies work during game situations and gives them a chance to see the chemistry between different lines without having to worry about consequences if the line combination turns out to be disastrous. A lot of players on the ice will not be NHL-ready. The performance of either team on the ice will most likely not be an indicator of the team’s future performance. In other words, don’t get frustrated and don’t panic. It just doesn’t matter.

Unfamiliar Faces: A lot of players for the Predators will be stepping onto the Bridgestone ice for the first time. Both teams nearly have enough players to fill two teams, which means you will see a lot of split rosters for the next few days. Just remember, in recent years, Joel Ward and Dan Ellis made the team based on their preseason performances.

Peks and Dex: Pekka Rinne will most likely not see much playing time this preseason. For the first time in years, Nashville will be going into a season with a definitive starting goalie. However, with the departure of Dan Ellis, the big question that has loomed all offseason has been the backup goalie situation. Barry Trotz and David Poile have given the prospects a chance to make the roster in camp and that appears to have paid off. Expect to see Chet Pickard and Mark Dekanich get a lot of playing time in the 6 preseason games, as their performance during training camp so far has shown that they both capable of making the leap to the NHL, and it’s extremely evident that the competition has come down to the two of them. On Thursday night, the goalies dressing up will be Pekka and Dekanich. Expect to see a lot of Dekanich after the first period.

Geoffrion Comes Home: Blake Geoffrion will be playing his first game in  Bridgestone Arena as a Nashville Predator on Thursday night. The defending Hobey Baker winner and Brentwood native is the first player from the Nashville Youth Hockey League to be drafted into the NHL.

Quick Notes: Expect to see a completely bizarre sight on Thursday, a full house for a preseason game. The team has been giving away free tickets to preseason games and completely exhausted their supply for Thursday night’s game…The Predators preseason schedule consists solely of teams from the Southeast Division…As far as I can tell, the game is not being broadcast on the radio anywhere in either Tennesee or North Carolina. The first game on The Buzz will be next week…There are still seats available for the Cellblock 303 Road Trip on 12/6. E-mail me at patten@section303.com to reserve your spot…For real-time tweets during the game, be sure to follow us at @cellblock303 and, to join in on the conversation, be sure to tweet along with us by following @PredFans.