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Preds Practice Ponderings: February 10

Before the Bye Week, Nashville Readies for a Weekend Doubleheader

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

There's rest and relaxation ahead, but the Nashville Predators have to work before they earn the reward.

For the first time in League history, each team is receiving a bye week, a five-day break with no games, no practice, and for the Preds, it begins Monday. The only thing standing in their way is a weekend doubleheader with four points on the line.

Nashville hosts Florida on Saturday afternoon and Dallas on Sunday evening at Bridgestone Arena, two teams that, like the Predators, remain in the thick of the playoff race in their respective conferences. That only figures to magnify the intensity and importance of the weekend ahead.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: February 6

Fiddler Joins the Preds, Subban Featured in Mic'd Up Show and Laviolette Talks Super Bowl

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Vernon Fiddler joins Preds

Vernon Fiddler joins Preds again after trade

Predators forward Vernon Fiddler addresses the media following his first practice after returning to Nashville

  • 02:17 •

It had been a little while since Vernon Fiddler had stepped into the Nashville Predators locker room.

The roster has some different names today than it did back in the spring of 2009 - goaltender Pekka Rinne is the only player that remains from Fiddler's last game with the Preds - but when the 36-year-old centerman entered the Nashville dressing room once more after being acquired from New Jersey on Saturday, there was a sense of familiarity most don't get to enjoy after a trade.

Originally signed by the Preds in 2002 as an undrafted free agent, Fiddler established himself around the League as a player who would do anything to win at the end of the night. The Edmonton native spent six seasons with Nashville - 305 games total - and he figures to add to that number when the Preds host the Canucks on Tuesday.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: February 3

Matt Irwin Skated in His 200th NHL Game on Thursday and Had a Perfect View of the Night's Best Goal

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Everyone saw it.

Filip Forsberg made the improbable move to elude multiple defenders. Viktor Arvidsson dished it off. Ryan Johansen didn't miss.

Nashville's second and final goal against Edmonton on Tuesday night was one of the prettier efforts seen this season on a Predators tally, and perhaps the best view of all belonged to Matt Irwin. The defenseman looked skyward in the moments that followed, almost in disbelief of what he had just witnessed.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: February 1

Roman Josi Continues to Progress in His Recovery as the Preds Prepare for a Three-Game Home Stand

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

After a weekend away from the rink with the NHL All-Star Break in play, the Nashville Predators returned to the ice in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night looking for at least a point in their sixth consecutive game.

But a poor second period, in which the Penguins scored three times against the Preds, sunk Nashville in their first game of the "unofficial second half" of the season. However, a blip on the radar doesn't take away from the fact the Predators are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are now tasked with a three-game home stand over the next seven days.

"It's one of those games where that type of team, you can't [give them chances] and we didn't play well for part of the second and it killed us," Captain Mike Fisher said of Tuesday's game. "That was the difference in the game, and you just can't let that happen going forward. We'll learn from it and just be better going forward."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 18

Alexandre Carrier Talks About His NHL Debut and Defenseman Brad Hunt Joins the Preds

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Anthony Bitetto remembers his first NHL game like it was yesterday. January 17, 2015. Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg across the ice. It's not an occasion that's easily forgettable.

So when Bitetto was paired with Alexandre Carrier on Tuesday night in Vancouver for the young Predators defenseman's first NHL game, Bitetto wanted nothing more than to play the role of mentor this time.

"In my first game, I was nervous, so I tried to keep him calm, kept it light, jokes as much as possible, and I think he played well," Bitetto said after Wednesday's practice in Calgary. "The kid really played well in his first game, and the first thing I said to him was, 'congratulations, man, have fun. I remember my first game, and I know you will, too.'"

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 16

Cody McLeod is "Pumped" to Join Team; Preds Joined by Mario on the Road

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The way Cody McLeod plays the game - that physical, hard-nosed, in-your-face style - can take its toll on the body. But the 32-year-old, now in his third full day as a member of the Nashville Predators, sure isn't feeling the effects at the moment.

A 10-year NHL veteran, McLeod got into a fight and scored a goal in his Predators debut on Saturday, which just so happened to come against his former team in Colorado. All things considered, it couldn't have gone much better.

"It was kind of a crazy couple days there, and all the guys in here were great when I got to meet them before the game," McLeod said. "The icing on the cake was getting that win, especially in Denver. The guys have been great and made it an easy transition."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 13

Preds Trade for Veteran McLeod; Nashville Sees Subban, Neal Take the Ice

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

As far as logistics are concerned, it may be the easiest transaction in quite some time.

The Nashville Predators acquired forward Cody McLeod from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday in exchange for forward Felix Girard, looking to add toughness and leadership to the lineup. Conveniently, McLeod won't have to worry about packing his bags quite yet, as the Preds are coming to him, set to face his former team in Denver on Saturday afternoon.

A veteran presence, who has racked up 1,359 penalty minutes in 659 career games, McLeod is the classic example of a player a club would much rather have on their side than the other.

"You never like going into Colorado and getting matched up with his line," defenseman Ryan Ellis said of McLeod. "He's a big guy, physical, plays the game the right way and plays hard. He gets in your face, it can get intimidating, so it's nice to have a guy like that on our side."

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 11

Josi Discusses Overtime Winner; Bitetto Celebrates Weber's Milestone

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

Roman Josi was sure of one thing.

After playing an integral role in killing off a 4-on-3 Vancouver Canucks power play in overtime for more than 90 seconds, Josi corralled the loose puck - after he'd just blocked a shot in front of his own net - and steamed up ice with everything he had, Calle Jarnkrok joining him on the right side.

Once he knew he had Jarnkrok along for the ride, Josi only had one objective.

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Preds Ready to Face Shea Weber for First Time

General Manager David Poile is Looking Forward to Seeing His Former Captain

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

When the Nashville Predators took to the ice at Ford Ice Center in preparation to host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday evening, there were a few more people in the building than usual.

For one, fans of the Preds came out in force to get a glimpse of their favorite players on Monday during one of the team's annual practices at the suburban Nashville facility. But perhaps just as noticeable was the addition of a handful of television cameras and reporters on hand to document the next chapter of one of hockey's biggest trades of all time.

Former Predators captain Shea Weber will make his return to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, his first game against his former club since being dealt to Montreal on June 29 in exchange for P.K. Subban. Unfortunately, one side of the story will be absent from the contest, as Subban is on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury.

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Preds Practice Ponderings: January 1

Subban Placed on Injured Reserve; Bitetto (IR) Practices Again

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

The Nashville Predators rang in the New Year with a practice on Sunday afternoon, but they did so without one of their top players.

It was announced Sunday that defenseman P.K. Subban, who has missed the past seven games with an upper-body injury, was placed on Injured Reserve and will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks. The update means Subban will not be able to play Tuesday against his former team, the Montreal Canadiens, who come to town for the first and only time this season.

Although the Preds would prefer to have No. 76 in the lineup, they've been making adjustments in his absence for the past two weeks, and Head Coach Peter Laviolette has confidence that his group can continue to handle the void left by Subban on the backend.

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