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.