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Predator Feels Good After Global Series Sweep, Memorable European Trip

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Prague — As the Nashville Predators walked the ice at the O2 Arena on Saturday, they danced to victory songs blaring from the locker room.

“I’m fine. Yeah, it feels good…”

Yeah, they should feel okay. This was not a vacation in Europe, but I haven’t had this much fun overseas since Griswolds.

The Predators kicked off the regular season by sweeping the San Jose Sharks in the 2022 NHL Global Series with a 4-1 victory on Friday. Saturday 3-2 in Prague.They received a large contribution from the new addition: Forward Nino Niederreiter When kiefer sherwoodDefenseman Ryan McDonaghgoalie Kevin Rankinen.

And that was just part of it. I was asked what I would remember from this experience on and off the ice at Predators Center years from now. Ryan Johansen I thought for a moment.

“Oh, off the ice, it’s a Prague pilsner,” he said.

[RELATED: Complete coverage of 2022 NHL Global Series, Czech Republic]

Johansen mentioned Kneaderreiter and defenseman in reception Roman Joshi Received in Josi’s hometown of Bern, Switzerland, where the Predators beat SC Bern 4-3 in Monday’s exhibition of the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge.

But he also mentioned the shark center at the reception Thomas Hertl Received in his hometown of Prague when introduced before each match and after scoring on Friday.

“Overall, this is the whole event,” said Johansen. “The NHL has done a great job. Every day was fun and exciting.”

One of the benefits of NHL teams traveling abroad is team bonding. Athletes spend a lot of time together on flights, meals and on the rink. This is especially important for a team like Nashville, which acquired McDonagh in a trade and acquired Niederreiter, Rankinen and Sherwood as unrestricted free agents in the offseason.

The Predators left home on October 1st and had team dinner that night. They practiced in Bern on Sunday and then spent time at the youth clinic. The kids know that from the PostFinance Arena she grew up less than 3km away and before coming to North America she got to play for SC her Bern is ready. They hosted another team dinner for her. This time it took place in a restaurant overlooking the picturesque city.

Video: Niederreiter Pushes Preds To Global Series Sweep

Josi was Monday’s first star of the exhibition with two goals and one assist, and he and Niederreiter, who grew up in Chur, Switzerland, were welcomed by the fans. Each had family and friends in the stands who were rarely seen playing live.

Between working out and flying to Prague on Tuesday, Josi and Niederreiter found time to visit children at a local hospital.

“It was amazing just to see the applause the boys got in Bern, it was just special.” Predator’s Center Matt Duchen Said. “I saw the emotions that ‘Joss’ had. He’s got a big heart and he’s a really great, emotional guy. Things meant a lot to him, and it was great to see that.”

The Predators were off to explore Prague on Wednesday, practiced in front of thousands of fans on Thursday, and picked up back-to-back victories on Friday and Saturday.

Sherwood was the first star to record a goal and an assist on Friday. McDonagh recorded an assist on Friday and blocked a shot to save the goal on Saturday. Niederreiter has scored three goals in his two matches, including the winner of Saturday’s game. Rankinen earned his first win for the Predators on Saturday, recording his 31 saves, including his 15 in the third period.

“I think they all did their job this summer,” said Johansen, who has played for the Predators since 2015-16. and as seniors, we have put a lot of trust and effort into making sure they are ready, comfortable and confident. It looked like we played our best game, and the result was two wins.”

Rankinen credited the leadership group.

“Frankly, they have a great core group that made us feel welcome here from the beginning,” he said. “We have dinners and we do team things a lot, and that makes the team bond.”

Video: Catch Memorable Moments from the 2022 Global Series

It’s only 2 games, but it’s quite a start. The Predators will return home on Sunday and have a chance to recharge for their next game against Dallas his Stars at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Johansen said they definitely gained confidence.

They’re fine, yeah they’re fine

“Obviously there is a lot of work to do,” Johansen said. “We have 80 games left. But we definitely feel pretty good about ourselves and know that when we are doing the right thing on the ice, we can be a successful team and cause a lot of problems for our opponents. should