The Predators open the second week of training camp today with a split practice session. The group slated to play in tonight's preseason game against Columbus took a morning skate practice at Sommet Center. The remainder of the team had a practice session at Centennial Sportsplex, focused heavily on drills.
After a 4-2 road win last night against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Predators are looking for the home crowds support as they are back at the Sommet Center facing Central Division rivals Columbus Blue Jackets. After a morning skate at the Sommet Center, the starting team of veterans and rookies alike are excited to continue the great preseason play in front of their fans.
Nashville forward Joel Ward, expected to make his preseason debut tonight, looks forward to the home crowd advantage tonight.
“Especially after watching the last home game, it was a great crowd and great turn out for our first home exhibition game,” Ward said. “Hopefully tonight again we will get a good crowd and be able to feed off of that again. I’m defiantly looking forward to it.”
Rookie Jonathon Blum
is also energized to be a part of the action at home. “Any time you can be part of the 20 guys who are playing on home ice it’s a great feeling. I just want to go out there and have a solid game and hopefully get the win.”
Blum admits that he is a little tired after playing in last night’s game, however more importantly the nerves are gone. Blum commented it was nice to get the first one out of the way after playing in his first preseason game last night against Carolina. He also added that his confidence is up and now he can enjoy it a little more and have some more fun.
Goaltenders Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne
both participated in the morning skate and appear likely to split time in tonight's game. Rinne, who made 10 saves on 11 shots in last night’s game, is looking to this back-to-back opportunity to help him get ready for the regular season.
“It’s good to get right back into the game; I think it’s fun to play back-to-back games. It’s a good way to get the energy going and get back to the game motion and form.”