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Johansen Making a Home in Nashville

by Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

Ryan Johansen needs to make a grocery run.

Back in town after the Predators spent what seemed like the entire month of January on the road, Johansen, who was acquired from Columbus on Jan. 6, was able to move into a new apartment in Nashville just a few days ago, and now his kitchen is barren.

“It’s nice to start getting settled,” Johansen said after Preds practice on Wednesday. “My girlfriend is driving down today from Columbus with all the rest of my junk, her stuff, and the dog, so I’m looking forward to seeing them. Plus, my fridge is empty right now, so I’ll have to find a nearby grocery store today to load that up a little bit, at least.”

The Vancouver native is also looking forward to showing off his new city to family and friends over the coming weeks as he gets acclimated to not only on-ice systems, but off-ice destinations. Johansen’s parents will come to town in two weeks, as well as some of his best friends to check out his new digs.

While it’s different to now be living in Nashville, Johansen enjoyed playing in Bridgestone Arena as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets for five seasons. He knew what the atmosphere was like inside the building; now he’s getting to experience it in a Gold jersey.

“It’s unbelievable; being in the League for five years and coming here and playing here, it’s great,” Johansen said. “It was always one of my favorite cities to come play in, and now to be a part of it and see the home side of it, it’s been really cool.”

The month of February provides the Preds seven more home games, ample time for Johansen to continue to settle in, but also chances for the club to feed off of the home crowd and gain some ground in the Central Division, as the final stretch of the season approaches, starting tomorrow against Philadelphia.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to really establish our game here at home, and make it a really tough place for teams to come in and play,” Johansen said. “We know how important this is. You really want to take advantage of these situations when you have them in the schedule and we’re excited for the month ahead and the games that we have.”

Lines and Notes:

Forward Colin Wilson (Injured Reserve, lower-body) participated in practice with his teammates on Wednesday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena and continues to make progress. Forward Gabriel Bourque (Injured Reserve, upper-body) also continues to practice with the team.

Forward Paul Gaustad celebrated his 34th birthday on Wednesday. Gaustad, an NHL veteran of 706 games, has been in Nashville since 2012.

Wednesday’s forward rushes looked like this:

Forwards
Mike Ribeiro Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Gabriel Bourque Calle Jarnkrok C. Bass/V. Arvidsson
Miikka Salomaki Paul Gaustad Austin Watson

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