Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- It’s another Saturday Night in Smashville and the Predators have their eyes set on an important Western Conference meeting with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Coming off of back-to-back wins on the road, there seems to be a new found confidence with this team and after collecting four points in two days, the Predators are now just three points out of a Wild Card spot.
“This is a huge game if you look at the standings, Vegas is right in front of us. It’s a big game for us, it’s a big game for them and we want to build off those first two wins and keep getting better,” said Roman Josi.
But in order to keep trending in the right direction, the Predators will have to stick with a new, improved ‘tough’ mentality. That’s something Predators head coach John Hynes has been working on improving since arriving in Nashville back in January.
“We’ve had some situations where we didn’t do it and didn’t have success, but we did do it and have had some success. That is usually the most important thing when you implement things. You can get some success out of the messages you’re sending to the guys because that is ultimately what really I think gets the buy in,” said Hynes.
And that message received this week, with several players taking their game up a notch. The Predators have seen increased production from guys like Mikael Granlund and Filip Forsberg, who just recorded his first multi-goal game this season.
“Filip Forsberg played both sides of the puck very strong. There were two backchecks where basically it was a clear cut 3 on 2 against Jersey. He (Forsberg) was behind the net in the offensive zone and he bypassed Kyle Turris on the backcheck to be able to get a stick on the play. It wasn’t just the things he did offensively, I think he game in general was at a high level.
The Predators have enjoyed their offensive production this week, scoring 13 goals in three games, but players don’t want to forget about improving defensively.
“We definitely need to be a little tighter defensively. I think in Washington we had some weird goals but against New Jersey there were some breakdowns in our D-zone and I think we need to keep on working on special teams, penalty kill and 5-on-5 but defensively we need to do a better job,” added Roman Josi.
The Predators will host the Golden Knights tonight at Bridgestone Arena,, then it’s the start of a four game road trip, starting Tuesday at Winnipeg.