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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 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 148 152 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 120 142 54
12 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
13 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36