Predators set to play first game ever in Winnipeg
The Predators get ready to play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday to close out their pre-season slate.
Friday night, Nashville plays their first ever game in Winnipeg against the new Jets team. Last Saturday, the Predators beat the Jets 4-3 on home ice in their first pre-season game at Bridgestone Arena.
While playing one night in Manitoba and the next in Nashville might seem like a lot of air miles, Matt Halischuk says it’s a good way to wrap up the pre-season. “The guys are excited to go to Winnipeg with all the excitement that’s been going on there. The guys are looking forward to playing there. It should be an exciting building. It’s going to be a good game” the forward said.
Halischuk, who scored the game-winning goal for Nashville on Wednesday night against the Capitals, says that he’s ready for the pre-season to be over.
“I think everyone is. We have a couple more games to focus on here, but I think everyone is looking forward to the first game. We’ll just take it day by day,” he said.
Nashville’s record is 5-1 in pre-season action going into Friday night’s game. The Predators have received solid goaltending and have found the back of the net often. Typically the preseason cannot be used to judge performance during the regular season, but the team can hardly be blamed for wanting to get the season started while the offense in general and, more specifically, the power play is clicking.
Formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, the Jets moved to Winnipeg during the off season. The original Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996 and remain the Phoenix Coyotes. The Jets remain in the Eastern Conference’s South East division for this season. NHL realignment is expected for the 2012-13 season.
Friday also marks the first day of the third annual Preds Fest. Festivities kick off with a Kids Club Members-Only Skate at Bridgestone Arena from 5:30-6:30 p.m. You can also attend a public skate from 7-8 p.m. The Sixth Avenue garage will be free for parking and the canteen will be open inside the Arena. There is no skate rental available, so be sure to bring your own skates.
On Saturday, Preds Fest will kick into high gear as the team closes out the pre-season by hosting the Carolina Hurricanes. Game time is 7 pm.
Photo credit: AP