Game 1 - @ Chicago
Sunday, January 16 - 6 pm CT start
CHI 6, NSH 3: Dumont 2g, Erat 1g; Lindback 28/34
Game 2 - @ Phoenix
Tuesday, January 18 - 8 pm CT start
NSH 5, PHX 2: Dumont 3g, Hornqvist 2g; Rinne 32/34
Game 3 - @ ColoradoNSH 5, COL 1: Halischuk-1st goal w/NSH, 12 Preds with a point; Rinne 32/33
Thursday, January 20 - 8 pm CT start
Game 4 - @ Edmonton
Sunday, January 23 - 7 pm CT start
NSH 3, EDM 2 (SO): Sulzer-1st career NHL goal, Franson-1g, 1a, shoout winner; Rinne 22/24 + 3-for-3 in shootout
Game 5 - @ Calgary
Monday, January 24 - 8:30 pm CT start
CGY 3, NSH 1: Legwand 1g, Ward 1a (pts in back-to-back games); Rinne 24/27
Game 6 - @ Vancouver
Sunday, January 26 - 9 pm CT start
VAN 2, NSH 1: Weber 1g; Rinne 33/35
The Preds head out on the road trip off a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind shootout win over Chicago. The team flight to Chicago leaves in just about two hours, so a quick turn around for the locker room staff and equipment guys to pack everything and drive it out to the airport. A lot of energy in the locker room tonight as the team opens the trip in 5th place in the Western Conference with 54 points. During the road trip, we'll be checking in with Preds defenseman Cody Franson -- click here to ask Cody a question and then check back in to the road trip blog over the next two weeks to see Cody's answers.
January 18 (9:15am) - Jay Levin
Forward Marek Svatos joined the team out in Phoenix. Svatos stayed in Nashville during the weekend, rehabbing after his injury Thursday night in Florida. He's expected to morning skate with the team today to determine his status for tonight's game.
January 18 (2:15pm) - Cody Franson
Thank you for all those questions and well wishes. We'll start of the road trip e-mailbag today.
Jimmy D. from La Vergne, TN asks: How do you decide what to pack and what do you take to entertain yourself during your downtime?
Well, Jimmy, I pack a shirt and tie for each game. I’ll usually take two suits depending on how long the trip is. I usually take my laptop and DVDs of a TV series I like to watch, like Dexter, Californication, or Entourage --- those are my shows.
Meghan C. from Indianpolis, IN asks: Do you think that traveling so much together makes the team closer and stronger?
Meghan, I do think traveling does make us a closer team, especially long trips like this. We’re just out here on the road trying to win games. And when you play six games on the road in two weeks; it’s almost team-building in itself – just so many different adversities you face on stretches like this whether it be injuries, wins and losses, travel plans, playing in hostile arenas. We're a pretty close-knit team to begin with, but you go through those experiences together as a team and it only helps but make you a closer group.
Keep sending those questions and check back later in the trip as I'll continue to answer your e-mails.
January 18 (10:55pm) - Jay Levin
Big win tonight. Congrats to J-P Dumont; his first hat trick as a member of the Predators organization and fourth career regular season hat trick (Dumont also had a playoff hat trick). Five goals already on the road trip for Dumont. By the way, just the third Preds player to score back-to-back multi-goal games (joining Scott Walker and Denis Arkhipov). Dumont's effort overshadowed the
January 19 (11:00am) - Ryan Suter
Last night after the game I got a chance to meet Senator John McCain. It was pretty neat. Our PR guy, Gerry Helper, arranged for him to come down to the locker room after the game. We talked for a little bit. It was the first time we've met, but Sen. McCain is a big hockey fan, so we talked hockey for a bit. He said he watched me during the Olympics. It was a good talk; big thrill for me to meet him like that.
January 19 (4:15pm) - Cody Franson
Looking through your e-mail questions -- and there are a lot of really good submissions -- keep sending them in and I'll keep answering.
Barb H from Antioch, TN asks: Do you get to do much, if any, sight-seeing? Or is it, pretty much, just packing and unpacking?
On most road trips it is pretty much just packing and unpacking. When we get time to relax its usually just staying close to the hotel, so not too much sightseeing. Some days maybe I get out for an hour or so just to kill some time, but for the most part it’s just relaxing. On most road trips we’re flying into a city the night before the game, going through game day, and then flying out right after the game, so it’s rare when we get a non-game day in a city.
January 20 (1:15pm) - Cody Franson
A little time here after practice, so I've got some time to look through the e-mail questions
Susie D. from Franklin, TN followed up on a question from Tuesday's e-mails: You mentioned in your answer to Meghan in Indy about the adversity of playing in hostile arenas. Would you talk about that a little more? I've always wondered if the home fans have any affect on a visiting 'rival' team?
Susie, crowd has a Big Time affect. When you get a loud crowd behind you in a home building, it’s big in terms of momentum. If the home team gets up a few, the fans help keep the momentum going; they’re excited and it excites the players. They can get on a goalie if he’s having a rough night. As much as we try to tune that out, you do feel the difference in energy in the arena, so the fans play a big part game-to-game. Our fans help us big-time when we’re at home (in Bridgestone Arena); when we’re on the road we definitely want to take the crowd out of the game early and prevent them from helping the home team gain momentum.
And Richie M. from Nashville followed up on the question about packing for road trips: Cody, how many sticks do you bring for a road trip like this??
On a long road trip like this, our equipment guys usually plan for around one stick per game. I think that’s around the average – so I left Nashville with six, seven sticks for this trip. During the course of games sticks will break, but by planning for around one a game we should be safe.
January 20 (10:50pm) - Jay Levin
Epitome of team effort by the Predators both in the game and on this trip – defensively, Rinne with 32 saves for his second 30-save effort on the trip; offensively, 12 different Preds recorded a point tonight and now 16 of the 19 Preds skaters to play on the trip have registered at least one point.
An interesting observation from tonight’s game – just one week after Bridgestone Arena hosted NCAA hockey, tonight’s Preds/Avs game featured 12 skaters who played college hockey, including five NCAA Champs (NSH: Chris Mueller-’07 Michigan St., Colin Wilson-’09 Boston U.; COL: Kevin Shattenkirk-’09 Boston U., Paul Stastny-’05 U. of Denver, Brandon Yip-’09 Boston U.) and one Hobey Baker Winner (Kevin Porter-’08). College Hockey, especially during the Frozen Four, is a great chance to see future NHL stars … hopefully Bridgestone Arena is able to host a Frozen Four soon!
The Preds used the non-game day on Friday as a chance to do a little team building. The players, coaches, and locker room staff went on a bowling excursion in Denver. David Legwand's team with Pete Rogers, Nick Spaling and Cody Franson took first place. Goaltending Coach Mitch Korn's team with Ryan Suter, Matt Halischuk and Chris Mueller finished in second.
January 22 (2:25pm) - Cody Franson
Practice day here in Edmonton. Second straight day without a game, which is nice with a heavy schedule coming up -- three games in four days to enter the All-Star Break. And it also gives me a chance to catch up on your email questions.
Susie D. from Franklin, TN asked: I was wondering if you have any trouble with climate changes on trips like this. cold to hot, hot to very cold and very cold to very very cold.
Susie, we're pretty used to the weather changes. Colorado is a tough one to go into but more with the elevation change. It makes it a little tougher to breathe just not being adjusted to playing at altitude like that. Other than that, not too much. It’s nice to go in to sunny places like Phoenix and get some warmer weather, and it’s a little colder in the cold places, but we’re used to it.
Jack B. from Anthem, AZ asked: Can you explain if you prepare differently for the ice and buildings in your road trip? Example, the boards in Detroit that give great rebounds vs. potentially softer ice in Phoenix, loud rocking crowds in Vancouver?
Jack, we do review the different buildings and go over those notes in our pre-game meetings. We try to make notes of the places that have the older-style glass. If you put the puck up on the glass when you try to dump it in and it has a tendency to bounce around and sometimes direct toward the net, so we make notes on that. Other than that, not too many differences in the buildings. Know if it’s lively boards or not; a lot of teams like try to throw it off the back wall so it will bounce hard out in front of the net, so you need to know the differences there. Some guys might ask for their skates to be sharpened a little differently depending on ice conditions, but I don’t.
Thanks for all the great questions. I'll catch up with you guys again in a few days.
The Edmonton Oilers were using Rexall Place for a team skills competition today, so the Preds went down the road a little further and held practice today at Leduc Recreation Center in Leduc, AB (Leduc is actually closer to the Edmonton airport than downtown). There was a strong showing of local hockey fans out at the practice and afterward the Preds rewarded the young fans with an open autograph session.
January 25 (10:25am) - Cody Franson
Back-to-back game days made for a busy schedule, but we've got an off-day here in Vancouver, so I'm getting back to your e-mail questions.
Rainy R. from Fairview, TN asked: I have recently become very interested in hockey, and I was wondering when you are out on road games are you and your team recognized by people in that city?
Rainy, the answer really depends what city we’re in. If we’re in a Canadian city, a lot of times you do get recognized. Especially guys like Webs (Shea Weber) and Sutes (Ryan Suter) who played in the Olympics and have been in international events. Their names are out there quite a bit and they’re at the top of the league. And Weber’s on TV a lot up here in Canada. And a guy like Peks (Pekka Rinne); he’s one of the top goalies in the league. He’ll get recognized. But for the most part, we're not recognized a whole bunch.
Grace G. from Donelson, TN asked: Who is your roommate on the road? Do guys get to pick who they room with or is it decided for you? Is it only veterans who get their own room?
Grace, there’s a rule in the CBA that determines whether you get your own room – you need a certain number of games played and a certain number of years in the league to qualify for your own room (ed note: 600 games dressed and 10 years service). Other than that, you have a roommate. For me, when I first came up, I was placed with with Marcel Goc and I’ve been with him the whole time. I didn't really have any input, that’s just who I was put with, but we’re good roommate, I guess. We have the same sleeping patterns and stuff, so it works well.
January 26 (2:40 pm) - Cody Franson
Well, the road trip wraps up tonight, so time for one more crack at your e-mail questions.
Anita W. from Vancouver, B.C. asked: Do you ever play pranks on your teammates on the road?
Anita, I’m not much of a prankster, but a couple guys on the team are. There are pranks from time to time and there are some inside jokes among the team. But the pranks aren’t my cup of tea.
Annie D. from Nashville asked: Do you guys get to sample the local food/restaurants or do you rely mostly on the hotel and/or room service?
Annie, we usually mix it up, sometimes going out and sometimes ordering through room service. If we’ve been in the city for a half a day or longer, then usually most guys will go out to a restaurant. A good steakhouse is always a safe choice, or something along those lines. But if we’ve just flown in and land close to dinner time, some guys will get room service. So a lot of it depends on the timing of when we get in to the city and if other guys are up for going out.
Thanks for all the questions. Glad to know we have so much support from all you fans, even when we're out on the road. Look forward to seeing you all back at Bridgestone Arena when re-start after All-Star Break.