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Broadcaster Blog: A Closer Look at the Rinne Workload

Willy Daunic Analyzes Pekka Rinne's Game Through the Season's First Two Months

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

Each 82-game season begins with a Plan A. All NHL teams would love for that plan to run smoothly throughout the course of the six-month adventure, but they know better. You must have Plans B, C, and possibly D, ready if needed.

Certainly, the Predators are having to utilize all available resources to try and maintain their high-performance standards without the services of as many as four star players out of the lineup (Viktor Arvidsson, P.K. Subban, Kyle Turris and Filip Forsberg) over the last month. As Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette has stated, when you lose that much of your firepower, you have "less margin for error."

One thing Nashville has done to try and stem the tide until the lineup is bolstered is to lean heavily on the red-hot Pekka Rinne, who appeared in his 11th consecutive game Thursday in Vancouver. All but one of the games were as a starter. There have been recent concerns raised over potentially overtaxing the veteran. The Predators have benefited in recent years by reducing the 36-year-old Rinne's regular-season workload and using the maturing Juuse Saros more.

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Broadcaster Blog: 5-on-5: The Core of Predator Success

Willy Daunic Takes A Look at What Has Helped Keep the Preds at the Top of the League Standings Into November

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

Yes, I'm aware the Predators' power play is currently clicking at 10.8 percent. Perhaps you've heard some discussion about it? And yes, head coach Peter Laviolette and the Predators are aware of it as well. Trust me, they are working on it.

Hardly any discussion of the team's performance goes by without a mention of this issue. And in addition to trying to work on the physical part of the solution, it becomes a mental hurdle as well. The Predators will persevere and continue to search for a breakthrough.

However, this is not the only facet of the game. The power-play issues have overshadowed the statistical strength of the team's success: 5-on-5 play. Special teams can be a difference maker, but the bulk of the game is played 5-on-5. Despite the team's current three-game skid, Nashville has dominated their opponents this season 5-on-5, particularly defensively.

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Broadcaster Blog: Pekka Rinne - Better with Age

Voice of the Predators Pete Weber Takes a Look at Rinne's Career to This Point

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Voice of the Predators

It's hard to believe that Pekka Rinne made his debut for the Nashville Predators in December of 2005. But it isn't so hard to believe he's still with the team - especially with the way he has performed.

It was Dec. 15 when he made his first start and the beginning was far from auspicious. The first shot he faced - from the Blackhawks' Mark Bell - eluded him for a shorthanded goal.

Demonstrating his resilience - Rinne hung in and the Preds beat Chicago, 5-3.

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Broadcaster Blog: Two Stats of Note Through Nashville's First 10 Games

Willy Daunic Takes A Look at What Has Made the Preds Successful to Start

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

Through the first 10 games of the Predators' season, the most important stat is Nashville's eight wins in 10 contests. After all, as Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette likes to say: "this is a results-oriented business."   

But in today's NHL, there are numbers that can help define why a team or a player is successful. There are also stats that can help project whether a player will continue to be successful. These analytics can be vast and as in-depth as you want them to be, but let's try a couple that hopefully won't fry your brain.


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Broadcaster Blog: Remembering the First Win in Preds History

Voice of the Predators Pete Weber Recalls the Franchise's First Victory

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Voice of the Predators

One of the greatest opportunities of my career was to be named the Voice of the Nashville Predators in August of 1998, a few weeks before training camp opened. That set up all sorts of firsts for me.

Going through training camp, we played all nine games on the road. The team played in Huntsville, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio, and at the home of the team's farm club, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; among others. The team went 2-4-3 in those games, so there still was no real idea how the group would do.

I was thinking about how long the first season might turn out to be. Would the team threaten or approach the marks of the 1974-75 Washington Capitals (8-67-5) or would they be closer to the 1993-94 Florida Panthers (33-34-17)? That's a wide range there. On top of that, with no home games in the preseason, how would the crowd be?

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Broadcaster Blog: Laviolette, Poile and the Predators' Mindset

Preds Broadcaster Willy Daunic Highlights Three Things as Nashville Begins Their Season

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

Another season of Predators hockey is about to begin. The summer, which included very little turnover in last year's roster, has been a buildup of anticipation to start the journey to earn another shot at a Stanley Cup run.

With that in mind, here are some insights into the mindset of the Predators through Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette and General Manager David Poile. Each of them joined Preds flagship station, 102.5 The Game, this week on the Darren & Daunic Show as training camp came to a close. These two conversations will get you ready for the opening week in New York City, which begins Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

Here are some key topics covered:

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Broadcaster Blog: Scott Hartnell Retires

Voice of the Preds Pete Weber Recalls Scott Hartnell's Time Spent in Nashville

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Voice of the Predators

It came out Tuesday on Twitter - Scott Hartnell announcing his retirement.

I was immediately shaken by it. I saw him open up his NHL career in Japan at the Saitama Super Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his draft year of 2000. Not many players make their teams to start the season in their draft years, and certainly the opening series in Japan made that all the more special. An 18-year-old Scott Hartnell, whom Terry Crisp oftentimes referred to as "Bull Hartnell," implying the old adage about a bull in a China shop, made Barry Trotz's team.

So far, only two players have started the season with the Predators in their draft year: Hartnell in 2000 and Seth Jones in 2013. Hartnell was the Predators' third first-round selection, taken sixth overall in 2000. He has played more games (1,249) than anyone else in that draft, though Carolina's Justin Williams (with 1,162) could possibly catch him. Marian Gaborik (407) and Dany Heatley (372) both have scored more than Scott's 327 NHL goals, but Williams' all-around contributions are the only ones similar to Hartnell's output.

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Broadcaster Blog: Summertime Thoughts on Hartman, Saros

Willy Daunic Speaks with Ryan Hartman and Rob Vollman on What's to Come

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-by-Play

The Nashville Predators offseason theme has been simple: few changes. They are confident they have the formula for success in house.

That said, Preds General Manager David Poile was able to cross off some subtle - but important things - from his summer checklist this week, making deals with forward Ryan Hartman and goalie Juuse Saros.

On the Predators Flagship Station 102.5 The Game, we had a great conversation with Hartman, and got excellent insight from analytics specialist Rob Vollman from Hockey Abstract on the underrated value of Saros. They are both worth listening to - and here is your guide:

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Broadcaster Blog: Barry Trotz - A Big Congrats

Willy Daunic Interviews Preds Broadcasters on Their Memories of Barry Trotz

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

I just don't think it's like this for very many former coaches. When the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup on Thursday night, the reaction by Predators fans, media and staff, was a universal outpouring of positive emotion. For me, it was heartwarming because of its simplicity: just a sincere appreciation for a special man - Barry Trotz.

It says a lot about the classiness of the Predators' fan base that they can put their own Stanley Cup aspirations aside and sincerely be happy for a competitor's success (believe me - we want it as badly as ever and we will be back!). But somehow Coach Trotz makes it easy.

The words of congrats continued Friday on the Preds Flagship Station 102.5 The Game. The "Darren and Daunic Show" had three interviews from people who go back to the beginning of Barry Trotz's history with the Predators franchise. They spoke not only of how the Capitals broke through for a championship after 44 years of existence, but also what they appreciate about coach Trotz as a person. Here is your guide...

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Broadcaster Blog: Former Preds Coach Trotz Wins Stanley Cup

Pete Weber Writes on Nashville's First Head Coach and His Championship Run in Washington

by Pete Weber @PeteWeberSports / Voice of the Predators

Barry Trotz was an against-the-grain hire as the first head coach of the Nashville Predators by general manager David Poile in 1997. Poile asked for advice from many in the League about what type of coach he should hire. Most of the time, he was told to hire someone with NHL experience.

Instead, Poile brought Trotz to Music City from his regime with the Washington Capitals, where Trotz served as an American Hockey League assistant for two years, then head coach for another five. When he came to Nashville, he was basically an unknown asset.

However, my path had intersected with his previously. I wasn't around when he won the Calder Cup with the Portland Pirates in 1994. But two years later, Trotz's Pirates were in the final against the Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the club I then worked for, the Buffalo Sabres.

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