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Preds Morning Skate Report: Oct. 8 Home Opener vs. Colorado

Thursday, 10.8.2009 / 12:12 PM CT / Preview
By Jena Smith  - NashvillePredators.com
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Preds Morning Skate Report: Oct. 8 Home Opener vs. Colorado
Tonight the Preds go head-to-head against the Colorado Avalanche for the 2009-2010 home opener. While the players physically feel prepared, they are looking to the people of Smashville to get them through the game.

“It is so exciting to see all the fans when we enter and then yelling for us when we are playing,” forward Patric Hornqvist starts to explain. “It is like an extra player out there.”

Much of the team voiced similar thoughts today when asked about the excitement and the effect of the crowd in the home opener.

“We have some great fans here. I remember Home Openers in the past and just how loud it was; deafening at times, it’s just a lot of fun to play,” Jerred Smithson added. “It’s been a long summer and to come home and get back playing in front of our fans and just how passionate and loud they are gives us so much energy. It’s tough not to get excited for these games.”

Starting man in goal for tonight’s game, Dan Ellis, is also very excited to be in front of a home crowd. “This is the first chance to play in front of the fans, the first chance to try to impress them, the first chance to show them what our new team is all about. Tonight will be a great game for us.”

However he does not want to come into this game underestimating Colorado, “They are an under rated team. They are a team much like us; they have brought a lot of youth in and that gives a little more spunk. They are off to a great start, they have great goaltending and their top line is kicking real well right now. So we have to come in playing Predators hockey right from the start.”

Tonight holds even more meaning for Ben Guite. Not only is this his first chance to wear a Preds jersey on home ice, but it's Guite's first chance to face his old mates. Prior to this season Guite had been a part of the Avalanche organization. He was signed as a free agent this summer by Nashville, a move Head Coach Barry Trotz is very excited about.

“He is a heart and soul (player)," Trotz said. "He gives you everything he’s got every moment he is at the rink. He’s been a really good add for us. He works at his game; he’s hard to play against. He is a guy that doesn’t quit on anything.”

Due to injuries the Preds will be skating without a few of their key players in tonight’s home opener. J.P. Dumont will not dress tonight after a hard hit into the boards that occurred during Saturday’s game in Dallas. Jordin Tootoo has also not resumed skating after suffering a hip flexor injury leading into regular season. Colin Wilson has just returned to skating but is not ready to return to game action.

Joel Ward did skate with the full squad again today, but will likely be a game time decision for tonight. Coach Trotz stressed the long-term benefits of making sure Ward is 100% over the short-term benefits of rushing him back into the lineup.
SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33