NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When the Nashville Predators take the ice for Wednesday’s opening round matchup against the Blackhawks, it will be the team’s first playoff appearance since 2012.
It will also be nine Nashville player’s first NHL playoff appearance ever.
Filip Forsberg, Seth Jones, Calle Jarnkrok, Taylor Beck, Mike Santorelli, Kevin Fiala, Mattias Ekholm, Victor Bartley and Carter Hutton will all make their NHL postseason debuts on Wednesday.
They face the Chicago Blackhawks whose roster is filled with veterans that have won the Stanley Cup twice in the last five years. But the Predators don’t consider their inexperience a concern.
“I think we are a fast team and we can wear teams out,” says defenseman Seth Jones. “They have a lot of guys who have been there and been all the way but I think this room is just as talented and just as good.”
Predators forward Mike Ribeiro has played in 49 career playoff games with other teams before joining the Predators this season. He says this team is ready despite the postseason inexperience.
“At some point you have to play games to get experience,” Ribeiro says. “The game has changed with a lot of younger guys but I’m not worried. They are really mature players and I think we have a good mix of veterans too.”
The Predators and Blackhawks meet in game one at 7:30 Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.