The Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators gear up for their first pre-season clash
The Carolina Hurricanes look to bring their preseason dominance to Smashville starting tonight against the Central Division’s equally stellar Nashville Predators.
Coming off of a stinging loss in Washington, the Canes look to continue establishing their work ethic and reputation for the 2019-2020 season. With their roster now a bit lighter, thanks to the assignments of goaltenders Jeremy Helvig and Callum Booth to Charlotte, and the breaking trade of Justin Faulk, the competition for a roster spot has gotten a little tighter.
The Predators, who are 3-1-0 in the preseason, should provide an excellent measure in which to gauge the team’s prospective roster players. Nashville, who started with a roster of fifty-three players has recently trimmed down to twenty-six. This means that Carolina will likely see many veteran players in their contest tonight.
It is not a bad thing, however, as it will make for a substantial test. Players such as Jake Gardiner or Calder Cup champion Martin Necas, both of whom have left something to be desired thus far, have an opportunity to impress. It also affords Anton Forsberg another quality opportunity to prove he is still in contention to be Petr Mrazek‘s backup. A position currently vied over by him and James Reimer.
Even with a roster full of studs like Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Jaccob Slavin, there is plenty of young talent on the preseason roster that is worth keeping an eye on. Players like Julien Gauthier, who’s on-ice performance so far has put him in the spotlight. Especially as a right-handed shooter, as fellow CardiacCane contributor, Austin Isham argues in his article.
Steven Lorentz is another up-and-coming forward making his presence known this preseason. The 23-year old centerman logged the opening goal against Tampa Bay on the 18th, which exemplified his work ethic and his determination to keep the play alive.
I had the fortune to watch him here in Estero, FL as an Everblade, and look forward to seeing him possibly break into the roster. He does have to contend with fan-favorite Martin Necas, and others for that roster spot, however.
The Canes’ reputable blue line also has an opening, stemming from the Justin Faulk deal. Despite being a fan-favorite, the trade gives the Canes blue line a chance to transform it into the top in the National Hockey League. With this opening, there are several players that are in contention for that spot, including veteran D-man Joel Edumndson, who was acquired by the Canes from St. Louis.
The Hurricanes face down the Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. The contest will be available by audio courtesy of WRALSportsFan and aired on Fox Sports Carolinas (FS-CR).
Caniacs! Who do you think will take home the big W tonight?