Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- The Nashville Predators were welcomed back by hundreds of fans on Sunday afternoon, holding practice at the new Ford Ice Center in Bellevue.
“The crowd was amazing as usual when we do these Ford Ice practices. I hadn’t seen the new facility, so it was my first time with a lot of guys as well. It’s so good to see the game growing in Nashville and the South,” said Forward Austin Watson.
The Preds are coming off the All-Star break and while they agreed that rest and recovery was needed, most players were just anxious to get back on the ice and to begin the process of turning the season around.
“Now it’s time to focus on the things that we can control. Right now we are out of the playoff picture and I think we have a good game plan at the moment on what we want to try and accomplish. We need to continue improving our game and at the same time climbing up in the standings,” said Goalie Pekka Rinne.
The Predators have 35 games left in the regular season and sit last in the Central Division, however they’re just six points out of the second Wild Card spot and seven points behind 3rd place.
“We win our games we are in the playoffs, that’s the bottom line. We have the least amount of games played in the league so it looks worse than it is but with that being said we have to win our games. We just need to bear down and take advantage of each night, added Centerman Matt Duchene.
And that starts this upcoming week with four games. The Predators will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, then play in back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils. The end the week with a home game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
Rinne added, “From this point on I think that every game is the biggest game of the season and you have to treat it that way. Hopefully we are able to do it.”