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Preds Delivering on Laviolette's Request for Hot Start

Nashville Off to Best Start in Franchise History After 13 Games

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

It may have been the first topic Peter Laviolette broached on Day One of training camp.

After two consecutive years of subpar starts, Nashville's head coach wanted a better beginning from his club. Sure, the past couple of seasons turned out just fine - one with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the most recent with the best record in the League and a Presidents' Trophy.

Laviolette believed that winning from the opening puck drop could bring even better results in the near and long term.

Well, whatever the exact message was on that day back in September, it's working.

Fast forward approximately 45 days and the Predators find themselves atop not only the Central Division, but also the Western Conference and the entire NHL as the calendar changes from October to November.

They prevailed through a difficult test away from home to start, a pair of games in the Big Apple to kick off the campaign. Those two victories were soon followed by a trio of wins at home, a two-game sweep through Alberta, and most recently, a 42-save performance from Pekka Rinne in Tampa Bay, triumph No. 10 on the young season.

Want some scientific results to back things up?

Nashville is still perfect away from home - 6-0-0 to be exact - and they've scored at least three goals in each of those outings. That streak, the whole six road wins and three goals thing, is now tied for the second-largest such streak to start a season in NHL history. Only six other teams in League history have posted longer winning streaks on the road to begin.

Perhaps even more impressive? Thursday's 4-1 win on Florida's Gulf Coast made these Preds the fastest to reach 10 victories in franchise history. It took them just 13 games this time around.

Laviolette is getting what he asked for - and then some.

Video: Turris, Johansen pace Predators to 4-1 victory

"I remember during this training camp, we had a tough game where we didn't play well and we had a hard practice afterward," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "Even then, Lavi was emphasizing that we need a good start to the season and guys kind of woke up and realized that it's time now to start that in camp. It's been a good start for us, and it's definitely a goal we had coming into camp."

Of course, championships aren't won in the season's first 30 days, and the Predators know there will be plenty of challenges to come. But, given the choice, the group would much rather use their start to propel them forward as opposed to having to chase the rest of the division all winter.

The Predators believe they still have plenty to work on in the early going, and understandably so. However, if these are the results they're getting prior to skating at their full potential, then imagine what could be.

"There's so many good teams in this League, and I think the start is one of the most important things," Josi said. "It gets you that good confidence early in the season, but at the same time, when you're in front, there's so many teams close behind you and they're all trying to catch up to us. We have to make sure we stay on it and get better as the season goes on."

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