The Nashville Predators defense of their Presidents' Trophy and Central Division title will get underway on Thursday, Oct. 4 in New York against the Rangers.
The full 2018-19 regular-season schedule for all 31 NHL clubs was revealed on Thursday by the League and NHLN, and below we have the Preds' highlights you need to see:
Click here to see the schedule in list or calendar view (may take a few minutes to populate) and click here to sync the schedule to your mobile device or computer (if you've already synced through Stanza, your calendar will automatically update).
Only in Smashville:
The Predators will open the regular season with two road games (at Rangers and at New York Islanders) for the second consecutive season, but that first homestand in Nashville? Ripe with drama.
First, the Predators will host the Calgary Flames (Tuesday, Oct. 9) in a game that will feature the raising of two banners to the Bridgestone Arena rafters in celebration of the Preds' Presidents' Trophy win and Central Division title during the 2017-18 season.
Next, a club that is quickly rising the ranks as a bitter rival, the Winnipeg Jets, make their first return visit to Smashville (Thursday, Oct. 11) since the teams fought to a seventh game in Round Two of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The third of four acts concludes the Predators' two-game season series with the New York Islanders and will feature a familiar face behind the visitor's bench (Saturday, Oct. 13). Recent Stanley Cup Champion (with the Washington Capitals) and first-year Isles Head Coach Barry Trotz will guide New York into a building where he spent more than a decade coaching the Predators from an expansion team to a perennial playoff contender.
Finally, the four-game homestand pulls up one more dramatic opponent for its finale as the Minnesota Wild travel to Smashville for the first of two games (Monday, Oct. 15). Former Preds Assistant GM Paul Fenton, now the lead man in Minnesota, will go head-to-head with David Poile, the man he studied under for 12 seasons. Plus, Dean Evason, previously the head coach of the Preds' AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals, will also be on the other side, serving as the Wild's assistant coach.
Eight of Nine at Home, Six Away:
For the first time in four years, the Predators will embark on a six-game road trip. The nine-day trip in January includes two sets of back-to-back games and five Eastern Conference opponents, beginning in Detroit (Friday, Jan. 4) and finishing up in Carolina (Sunday, Jan. 13).
Preds defenseman P.K. Subban and former Nashville captain Shea Weber are scheduled to square off at the Bell Centre in Montreal in the second game of the trip, before the visitors turn to Toronto (Monday, Jan. 7), Chicago (Wednesday, Jan. 9), Columbus (Thursday, Jan. 10) and Carolina (Sunday, Jan. 13). The Preds were tops in the NHL with 25 road victories last season, and they'll see if they can pick up a heavy chunk of that number again in a single pilgrimage away from Tennessee.
Nashville's potentially season-defining road trip in January will fortunately come after the club's two longest stays at home: the aforementioned four-game homestand and a five-contest stay in Smashville from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3.
The Predators, who finished tied for the NHL's third-best home record in 2017-18, will play eight of nine games at Bridgestone Arena starting in mid-November. The Preds will host the Kings (Saturday, Nov. 17), Lightning (Monday, Nov. 19) and Blues (Wednesday, Nov. 21) prior to one game away and then the start of a five-game homestand.
Last season's first-round opponent in the playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche, will make their initial trip to Music City during the five games (Tuesday, Nov. 27), to go along with visits from the Anaheim Ducks (Sunday, Nov. 25), Arizona Coyotes (Thursday, Nov. 29), Chicago Blackhawks (Saturday, Dec. 1) and Buffalo Sabres (Monday, Dec. 3).
Gold vs. Golden Misfits:
Calling themselves the "Golden Misfits," the Golden Knights beat just about every odd stacked against them during their inaugural season, a record-breaking campaign that saw Vegas fight all the way to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.
Will the magic be back for the defending Western Conference Champions during the 2018-19 season? The Predators will have three games to try and keep the rabbit in the hat.
The Golden Knights will play a single game in Nashville on Oct. 30, while the Predators will venture to Las Vegas twice (on Wednesday, Jan. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 16).
Let's Play Two:
Nashville's battle with the regular season's most grueling test - two games in two nights - will be limited to some of the fewest in the NHL - only 10 sets of back-to-back games, after facing 13 last season.
Five of the 10 back-to-backs will feature both games on the road, while four will be road-home and one will be home-road.
Nashville's back-to-back games are as follows: at Calgary, at Edmonton (Oct. 19-20); at Anaheim, at San Jose (Nov. 12-13); at Ottawa, at Chicago (Dec. 17-18); at Washington, vs. Philadelphia (Dec. 31-Jan. 1); at Detroit, at Montreal (Jan. 4-5); at Chicago, at Columbus (Jan. 9-10); at Florida, vs. Dallas (Feb 1-2); at St. Louis, vs. St. Louis (Feb. 9-10); vs. Edmonton, at St. Louis (Feb. 25-26) and at Pittsburgh, vs. Columbus (March 29-30).
Auld Lang Syne:
The Predators will pull off the extremely rare holiday back-to-back set of games during the 2018-19 campaign.
Nashville is set to pay their lone visit to the nation's capital to challenge the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals in a matinee tilt (11:30 a.m. CT) on New Year's Eve. The next day - and the first of 2019 - the Preds will host their first home game on New Year's Day in seven years by hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m.
Two wins in two days in two years? The Predators will have an opportunity to complete the New Years sweep for the first time in franchise history.
Shortest Month, Most Home Games:
The six full months of the 2018-19 regular season each include at least 12 games for the Predators, with November, December and February taking home the title of busiest months with 14 games apiece.
Despite being the shortest month of the year, February will again feature a home-heavy slate for the Predators, highlighted by nine games at Bridgestone Arena. Dallas will play Nashville twice in the same opening three-game homestand of the month (Feb. 2 and 7) before two other Central Division rivals will make their way to Music City (St. Louis on Feb. 10 and Colorado on Feb. 23).
Every Saturday in February will feature a Predators' game, a trend that helps the week's most fun day take home the crown as the most commonly played on day during the 2018-19 season.
In total, the Preds will play 23 times on Saturday during the season, including 13 games in Smashville. Other frequent game days include Thursday (18 total: 10 home, eight away) and Tuesday (17 total: 11 home, six away).