Predators Clinch NHL Playoffs For Eighth Consecutive Season

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Nashville Predators got the job done and are headed to the NHL Playoffs for the eighth consecutive year.

The Preds had a few opportunities to punch their ticket to the 2022 NHL Postseason, the easiest being to beat the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone on Tuesday night (April 26). However, a goal scored with 0.1 seconds left in the third period tied the game at 4-4. Nashville went on to a heartbreaking loss to Calgary, putting their playoff hopes on hold.

Fans and the team were forced to wait to see the results of the Las Vegas vs. Dallas game, as any Golden Knight loss would secure the Preds a spot in the playoffs. Las Vegas went on to lose in an extremely intense shootout, allowing Nashville to clinch the Playoff spot.

“I thought tonight was a high stakes game. It was very competitive by both teams,” said head coach John Hynes in a postgame press conference. “I think with what obviously happened with Dallas and Vegas, it’s a real tribute to our players. I think we certainly deserve to be in the playoffs after the way we played here and the way the guys battled. No one picked us to be here. We talked about writing our own story and having a strong team identity and a strong team culture along with a lot of talent.

“I think the guys deserve it,” Hynes summed. “They worked their butts off for 80 games to get here, so I’m really happy for our group.”

Though the Predators are back in the postseason, goaltender Juuse Saros sustained an injury with around 6:30 left in the game forcing the team to use backup David Rittich. Coach Hynes did not give any update on Saros or if he is seriously hurt.

The Preds sit in the first Wild Card spot with 95 points and Dallas sits in the second spot with 95 points. Nashville has two games left in the regular season against Colorado on Thursday (April 28) and Arizona on Friday (April 29).

Two wins could solidify the Preds in the top Wild Card spot, meaning they would play the Calgary Flames in the first round. If they wind up as the second Wild Card team, they will face the Colorado Avalanche who are the second best team in the league.

Single-game tickets for Round One of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs will go on sale this Thursday, April 28 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com.

Nashville’s Mark Borowiecki Nominated For Masterton Trophy

Mark Borowiecki. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki has been named as Nashville’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his dedicated work on the ice.

The trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Borowiecki appeared in just 22 contests during his first season with Nashville which was cut short due to injury. This season, he’s bounced back to become a an important force for the Predators. During the 2021-22 season, Borowiecki played 54 games for the Predators offering devastating defense on the blue line. He fought through injury to earn himself a contract extension with Nashville where he lives with his wife and young son.

Borowiecki has been a champion of mental health awareness as well as making the game of hockey inclusive to everyone.

This is Borowiecki’s second career nomination for the Masterton Trophy; the first came in 2018 as a member of the Ottawa Senators. Former Predators forward Steve Sullivan won the award in 2009

Predators Head To Europe As Part Of NHL Global Series In 2022-23

The National Hockey League is heading to Europe next season for the 2022 NHL Global Series and 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge, which will feature the Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Predators will kick things off the 2022-23 regular season with a game against the Sharks in Prague, Czech Republic, at O2 Arena with games on Friday, Oct. 7 and again on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Prior to their games in Prague, the Predators and Sharks will complete their training camps in Europe and will each play in an exhibition match as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge. The Predators will report to Bern, Switzerland, and play an exhibition game against SC Bern at PostFinance Arena on Monday, Oct. 3. The Sharks will then report to Berlin, Germany, and play an exhibition game against Eisbären Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Tickets and VIP hospitality packages to the Oct. 7, and Oct. 8 NHL Global Series games between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Friday, April 29.

Tickets and VIP hospitality packages to the Oct. 3 NHL Global Series Challenge between the Nashville Predators and SC Bern at PostFinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland, will go on sale on at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, May 19.

Next season’s NHL Global Series will mark the ninth season overall that the NHL has traveled to Europe to play regular-season games. These games reward the legions of loyal and passionate fans in Europe that enjoy live NHL games available via international broadcast and media partners.

Bridgestone Arena Ranks Among World Leaders In First-Quarter Reports

Bridgestone Arena. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Bridgestone Arena has ranked among world leaders in Pollstar and Billboard‘s 2022 first-quarter reports, covering the months of January, February and March.

“We are thrilled to see Bridgestone Arena rank among the top venues in the world,” says Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Venues David Kells. “Thank you to the touring professionals, artists, agents, managers and promoters for trusting us to host your events.”

The home of the Nashville Predators ranks 11th in Pollstar‘s 2022 First Quarter Worldwide Top 100 Arenas, grossing $11,609,408 in revenue and selling 147,587 tickets. Additionally, according to Billboard‘s Boxscore for Top Venues in January 2022, Bridgestone Arena ranks fourth for venues with 15,001 or more capacity.

Bridgestone Arena ended the month of January with six shows, $3,858,591 in total revenue and 53,959 total attendees.

A nominee for the Pollstar Arena of the Decade, Bridgestone Arena has 13 consecutive Pollstar Arena of the Year nominations, winning the award in 2014 and 2017.

The arena has a huge two weeks ahead as it hosts six Preds games and seven concerts or other live events.

Roman Josi Sets Franchise Record For Most Points In A Season

Roman Josi. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

In an already historic season for the Nashville Predators defenseman, Roman Josi sets yet another franchise record–this time for most points in a single season after assisting three goals in the Preds 3-2 win over Ottawa.

He picked up his 85th, 86th and 87th point of the season with his three assists. Josi beat the previous Predators franchise mark set by Paul Kariya back in 2006. He also became the 10th defenseman in NHL history to record at least 87 points in a season. The Predators are now the third active franchise to feature a defenseman holding a single-season record for points among all skaters. The others include Denis Potvin with the NY Islanders and Norm MacIver 1992-93 with Ottawa.

“His numbers speak for themself, but I just think it’s really impressive,” said Predators head coach John Hynes in a postgame press conference. “All of us–the coaches, the players, [the media] and the fan base–are around a player that’s a highly talented guy with unbelievable character. The way that he plays the game and continues to improve [shows that] he’s a special player, a special guy, and a special leader.”

Josi’s historic night against the Senators was his 12th three-point game of the season, the most in a single season since Paul Coffey in 1993-94 with the Red Wings (12). The last blueliner with more was Al MacInnis for the Calgary Flames in 1990-91 (13).

“As a teammate, right now I just see him doing his thing so consistently,” said teammate Ryan Johansen postgame. “Dominating the puck, dominating the ice, making big time plays every game. It’s really a pleasure to be a part of and watch.”

Josi is having one of his best seasons ever with multiple point streaks throughout the season. The most recent one was a 12-game point streak in late March where he scored four goals, 22 assists and 49 shots on net during the streak.

“No matter how much success he has, he’s the same guy,” Hynes added. “He’s humble, he works hard, he’s a great teammate, he’s a coachable player and I think that’s what makes him special. That’s why he’s the captain of the team.”

With the Predators 3-2 win over Ottawa on Thursday night (April 7), Nashville sits in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with 86 points, two points ahead of Dallas. They are four points ahead of Las Vegas who are just outside of the two Wild car spots with 82 points.

Next up for Nashville are the Florida Panthers who will visit Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, April 9 at 5 p.m.

Predators Foundation Awards SuperGrant To Bridges Domestic Violence Center

The Nashville Predators Foundation and SmileDirectClub have donated a SuperGrant totaling $29,840 to Bridges Domestic Violence Center.

Bridges Domestic Violence Center serves women, men and their children affected by domestic violence, ensuring a safe transition to successful independent living through education, intervention and case management.

“We are so proud to partner with SmileDirectClub and present SuperGrants to deserving Nashville and Middle Tennessee organizations,” says Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations Rebecca King. “For over 20 years, the Preds Foundation has been committed to serving the community, and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our support and provide funding for essential resources at Bridges Domestic Violence Center.”

Domestic violence organizations have discovered that many people will not leave a violent home and escape to safety because they fear what their abuser will do to the family pet if they leave. The SuperGrant will also help in providing food, leashes, bowls, care and exercise for the animals who are staying in safety at the shelter.

“The Predators Foundation has supported Bridges for years, funding children’s extracurricular activities like camps, birthday parties and insurance on the transportation used for the activities,” says Bridges Domestic Violence Center Development Director Lynn Schroeder. “The Predators Foundation and SmileDirectClub’s SuperGrant could not have come at a better time for the care and safety of our families’ pets. Both organizations continually maintain their status as fantastic community partners in providing these services and we couldn’t be more appreciative. ”

Introduced during the 2019-20 season as part of the partnership between the Predators Foundation and Nashville-based SmileDirectClub, multiple SuperGrants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will be awarded each season to Middle Tennessee community organizations. Including the funds awarded to Home Street Home Ministries, Monroe Harding, Retrieving Independence and Maple Built, $200,000 in financial support was distributed by the SuperGrant program last season.

“Every day at SmileDirectClub, we see the ways confidence can transform a life through the power of a smile,” says SmileDirectClub Chief Marketing Officer John Sheldon. “We are proud to partner with the Nashville Preds Foundation to support a community organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence transition, regain confidence and increase self-esteem.”

Predators Aquire Defensemen Jeremy Lauzon, Poile Comments On Forsberg Contract Talks

Jeremy Lauzon. Photo: Courtesy of the Seattle Kraken

The Predators made a few moves prior to the 2022 NHL trade deadline, including acquiring defenseman Jeremy Lauzon from the Seattle Kraken for a second-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The 24-year-old was selected by the Kraken from Boston in last year’s expansion draft. Lauzon has appeared in 129 games with Boston and Seattle since making his League debut during the 2018-19 season.

So far, he is fifth among NHL defensemen in hits with 176 and has 49 blocked shots, five shy of a career high. He averages the second-most shorthanded ice time among Kraken blueliners at 1:54, has started a career-high 65.4% of his shifts in the defensive zone, and is logging 17:49 of TOI per game, the second-best mark of his NHL tenure.

Lauzon brings youth and muscle, and will be a much needed addition to give the Predators fresh legs when games begin to get tighter as the season winds down.

Along with Lauzon, Nashville traded for veteran defenseman Alex Biega from the Toronto Maple Leafs for future considerations. Biega is in his 12th professional season this year, the majority of which has been spent with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He eclipsed the 100-hit mark four times at the NHL level, dishing out a career-high 126 with Vancouver in 2017-18.

Both of these moves show the emphasis on bulking up the Pred defense prior to the upcoming NHL Playoffs.

Filip Forsberg. Photo: Courtesy of the Nashville Predators

After much speculation, the Preds decided not to trade star forward Filip Forsberg prior to the deadline.

Predators General Manager David Poile addressed the decision after Monday’s deadline and spoke about the situation regarding a new contract for Forsberg.

“I wouldn’t want anybody to think any less of our desire to retain him as a member of the Nashville Predators for the next several season because we haven’t announced a new contract for him today,” Poile explained in the press conference. “We’re gong to continue to work quietly with Filip and his representative towards the contract that pays him equitably while giving the organization the flexibility to build and maintain a roster to compete for the Stanley Cup.”

The indication is that the team plans to sign him to a long-term contract and be competitive for years to come. Poile made it clear that the interest in bring Forsberg back and for the long-term is mutual, but he also said that the current focus is getting this year’s team back in the playoffs to compete for the Cup.

“In the short term, we’ve all agreed to place our focus on the task at hand, and that’s solidifying a spot in the 2022 playoffs and competing for the Stanley Cup,” Poile added. “I continue to believe that Filip feels the same way, that he will be a part of the Predators for a long time.”

Predators Partner With UnitedHealthcare To Promote Small Businesses

The Nashville Predators are partnering with UnitedHealthcare to help promote Nashville-area small businesses through the Spotlight on Small Business Sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes, which is accepting nominations now through April 6, will award three small businesses with the opportunity to display their company logo and website on the Nashville Predators’ website, have a social media post on Preds channels, one autographed jersey, and four tickets to a Preds home game.

“We are thrilled to partner with UnitedHealthcare and help small businesses in the community,” says Nashville Predators Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Chris Junghans. “We are committed to keeping small businesses healthy, and the Spotlight on Small Business Sweepstakes gives us the opportunity to celebrate these businesses through promotion and advertising.”

The Spotlight on Small Business Sweepstakes provides the opportunity for these businesses to be highlighted and promoted on a large platform, as many may not have the time or resources for advertising.

“We started this promotion because small businesses are the heartbeat of our community, and we wanted to do something to lift them up, build awareness and hopefully help them keep their doors open and staff employed during a very difficult time,” adds UnitedHealthcare CEO of the MidSouth Steve Wilson. “When small businesses are healthy, our communities are healthy–more people have jobs and can provide for their families, and more money is invested back into the local economy. This is a program we strongly believe in for the overall health and well-being of our community.”

Previous 2020-21 Spotlight winners include Crosstown, Garner Therapy Services, Perfectly Cordial, SPRSI and Taco Mama. Businesses must have between 10 and 100 employees to qualify. Business who want to enter can head to the Predators website.