On Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings visit the home of country music when they play the Nashville Predators. Friday’s game is the season opener for the Red Wings. Detroit has several young talented players including Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha amongst others and several veterans including goalie Jimmy Howard. Valtteri Filppua returned to the Red Wings and Detroit traded for Adam Erne.
Steve Yzerman is going through a restructuring process with the Red Wings and will have to wait until next summer for more flexibility due to seven players under contract with no-trade clauses. Look for Filip Hronek to have a breakout season for Detroit. The 21-year Czech scored 23 points in just 46 games last season on defense and will remain one of the Red Wings top four blue liners.
Nashville opened its regular season on Thursday with a solid 5-2 victory against the Dallas Stars. Filip Forsberg and Ryan Ellis each scored one goal and assisted on another and the Predators came up big with four goals in the third period to win. The Predators trailed 2-1 entering the last period, but scored four unanswered goals at home to win. Pekka Rinne made 22 saves in net for Nashville.
After just the opening game of the regular season, Ryan Ellis and four teammates each have one goal to lead Nashville. Matt Duchene leads Nashville in assists with three and in points with three. Pekka Rinne is 1-0-0 in net with 2.00 goals against and .917 save percentage.