NASHVILLE -- As the Nashville Predators prepared for a meeting that preceded their season opener on Thursday, general manager David Poile stood in the runway glancing at the players and coaching staff in the dressing room whom he had assembled. Poile admitted to being anxious.
Even for one of the longest-tenured general managers in NHL history, it was understandable. For the first time since 1998, Poile had hired a new coach in Peter Laviolette who brought a new style, and, as a consequence, Poile had remade the roster.
If Nashville's season opener is any indication, then the early returns are positive. The Predators outshot the Ottawa Senators 37-20 and, while down by a goal in the third period, struck three times within a span of less than nine minutes to earn a 3-2 victory.
Nashville ranked 23rd in the NHL last season in shots per game (29.0) and tied for 18th in the NHL in goals-for per game (2.61). As a team that has struggled offensively for the past couple of seasons, the opener brought some welcoming sights.