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Patience with Aberg Beginning to Pay Off for Preds

Willy Daunic Explains Why Preds Are Wise to Give Pontus Aberg Plenty of Chances

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

Not long ago, Predators General Manager David Poile joined Darren McFarland and I on the Preds flagship radio station, 102.5 The Game, for an assessment of the first quarter of the season.

A question came up about Pontus Aberg, who had struggled out of the gate and looked nothing like the skilled player that had made significant contributions late in Nashville's postseason run in the spring. He had amassed just two assists in his first 15 games played, and was often a healthy scratch.

Poile, while making no excuses for Aberg's play, stressed the importance of patience. He told the story of Rich Peverley, a player who once was at a similar crossroads in his career.

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Before Preds Face Newest NHL Franchise, Rewind to First Nashville Season

Pete Weber Looks Back at Memorable Moments of Nashville's First NHL Season

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports /

With the Nashville Predators' first meeting with the National Hockey League's newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, coming up, my thoughts naturally go back to the Predators' beginnings.

I had always wanted to be in on the creation of a team, and the Predators were nice enough to give me that opportunity. The Predators were part of a wave of four teams (along with Atlanta, Columbus and Minnesota) that came into being from 1998 through 2000. Last season, the Predators became the first member of that group to make the Stanley Cup Final.

So it was 17 years between that wave of expansion and the debut this fall of the Golden Knights. Never has an expansion team had as generous a pool of players from which to choose than the Knights did.

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November Numbers: Preds Capable of Dominance

Statistics Behind 10-1-1 Stretch for Nashville Show Preds Power Versus Top Opponents

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

The Predators started and finished the month of November with regulation losses. In between, Nashville enjoyed an extremely successful 10-1-1 run.

The dozen games not only represents the tangible - such as a bit of separation from the pack in the Western Conference standings - but more.  

When you look a bit closer at the numbers, the Predators reached a dominant level. They didn't just win. They often won big - and against good teams. In a salary cap system, it isn't easy to achieve this. Everyone has talented players, and relatively little separates the top teams to the bottom.

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The History of the Preds Fathers Trip

Pete Weber Looks Back at Some Memorable Moments of the Predators Annual Fathers Trip

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Voice of the Predators

Hockey is a game that involves the whole family, particularly the parents. Youngsters may want to play the game, but without the support and guidance of their parents, they have little hope.

Today, many NHL teams hold an annual Fathers Trip, perhaps inspired by the Predators, who began the tradition their very first season.

Predators General Manager David Poile explained how it all got started - as a result of a conversation with former coach Barry Trotz.

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Broadcaster Blog: Interview with Preds Assistant GM Paul Fenton

Willy Daunic and 3D Chat with Assistant GM About Turris Trade, Preds Prospects

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

The perspective of any NHL assistant general manager is unique. Paul Fenton of the Predators must not only know everything about his NHL team, but also be tuned into each prospect in the system, the next wave of amateurs and the beat of what is going on around the League. He may be in Nashville watching the Predators one day, taking in a Milwaukee Admirals game the next, then scouting two college games a few nights later.

I caught up with Fenton on "3D" on the Preds flagship station, 102.5 The Game, prior to Tuesday's game at Bridgestone Arena, a 6-3 Predators victory over Washington. He provided detailed insight on some familiar subjects, but also some important Predator news that is under the radar. I hope you will listen to it - here is your roadmap on just a few of the subjects discussed in the interview.

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Kariya, Preds' First Big Free Agent Signing, Enters Hall of Fame

Pete Weber Reflects on Paul Kariya's Impact in Nashville as Forward Enters Hall of Fame

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Radio Play-by-Play

It's that time again. It's the weekend the festivities begin for this year's Hockey Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies. This time around, the Nashville Predators' schedule doesn't put them in Toronto, but one of the inductees will have many of us there in spirit. Paul Kariya is that man.

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A Comparison of Two Octobers for the Predators

After Improvement From 2-5-1 Start to Last Season, Daunic Writes on the Good and Bad for the Preds

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

The Nashville Predators' first month of play is in the books at 5-4-2. With the team getting a three-day break between the back-to-back split of Friday at Chicago and against the New York Islanders on Saturday, and the California swing that begins Wednesday in San Jose, this is a natural time for the organization to assess the progress of the group.

Rarely, if ever, do things go completely as planned. Take last season, as Nashville started 2-5-1. There were issues to say the least. At the time, I made my own assessment of what was happening, and predicted (fortunately) that things would get better over time.

This year, the challenges are different, but they are present nonetheless. Thanks in particular to stellar play from goaltender Pekka Rinne and winger Filip Forsberg, the Predators had a steady October despite missing two key cogs: Associate Captain Ryan Ellis, and (just as he was getting comfortable after four games) Nick Bonino.

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3 Things: Preds Gelling as Young Season Progresses

Pekka Rinne, Viktor Arvidsson and Defensive Pairings Highlight Nashville's Early Success

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

After six games of this young season, the Predators are showing signs of gelling.

Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette preached throughout training camp that despite last year's experience gained from the memorable playoff run, every group is unique. Roles have to be defined. New stripes have to be earned.

To a person, the team was disappointed in their first outing in Boston. A 4-0 loss in Pittsburgh certainly wasn't the desired result in the second contest, but Laviolette saw signs of life. In each game since then, Laviolette has expressed in his postgame comments that the Predators have shown game-by-game improvement. Not coincidentally, the team is on a 3-0-1 stretch as they head out for the next short-term goal: road wins.

Here are a few nuggets contributing to the improvement...

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It's Time to Begin

Preds Broadcaster Willy Daunic Looks Back at Training Camp and the Best Interviews to Start the Season

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

It's here...

I can't even tell you how many different types of people have asked me about last season's memories. Some were season-ticket holders. Some were casual fans, who had become hard core. Some had never paid much attention to the Predators, even though they had lived in Nashville their whole lives. I'm sure that, like me, you met "that guy" at some point this past summer who uttered some version of the following: "I probably watched more hockey in two months than I did in the previous 10 years combined!" And still other questions came from "new fans" who lived far away, some I knew, some I didn't, who would see me wearing Gold and tell me how they were swept up in the incredible madness we all witnessed.   

We will never forget last season. Regardless of what the future holds.

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Not an Ordinary Eight Seed: Preds Since Jan. 10

Since January 10, Predators are 32-15-5 Overall and 19-4-3 at Home

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Predators Television Play-by-Play

As the Predators embark on their first trip to the Western Conference Final, the narrative from the national media often centers on the unlikely run of this Second Wildcard team (also referred to as an eight seed).

In reality, the Preds have slowly blossomed into a team whose stats can match any elite squad's - since Jan. 10. Let's take a look back:

On the night of Jan. 8, Nashville played their 40th game of the season and lost in Chicago 5-2. It was a frustrating affair in which the Blackhawks scored three late third-period goals (two empty-netters) to break open a tight game. The Predators had lost many close games in this fashion to that point in the season - unlucky one night, not doing "the little things" on another. The formula wasn't quite right, but everyone on the team knew they were capable of more. "Inconsistent" was a word used to describe them more than perhaps any other.

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