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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
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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.

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61