Regular Season Game 10: Pre-Game Notes, Predators @ Islanders

3:35 PM — There will come a time in which I’m covering an NHL game and I’m able to give it the proper pre-game blog treatment it deserves.  Now is not that time.  So yes, it’s three and a half hours before game time, and I’m just now able to throw up a quick preview post.

In tomorrow’s Trentonian, you’ll read my latest notebook, which features quotes from Kyle Okposo, Radek Martinek and Rich Clune.  But I also spoke with Jack Capuano, Victor Bartley and Carter Hutton today as well, and I’m sure I’ll have a good haul post-game too.  Tonight’s matchup between the pipes warms my little goalie nerd heart: Marek Mazanec makes his first NHL start for the Nashville Predators, while Kevin Poulin gets the nod for the New York Islanders.

Capuano on Poulin starting: “We haven’t given him a couple starts back-to-back here, and I think he’s deserving of it…we’ve got both goalies giving us a chance for the most part, and we’ll go with Kevin tonight.”

Capuano on Rinne not being in Preds net: “It doesn’t change anything.  Guys are in the National Hockey League for a reason.  A lot of guys come up through the minors and play well, and this guy is no different; the guys that they have.  And they’ll play hard in front of him.  So my mindset doesn’t change on how we need to play.”

Nashville HC Barry Trotz on Mazanec getting the start: “I think any goaltender, if you ask him, will say the first time he went in was fast and it was chaotic.  It was all those things, because it’s a different level.  It’s the best league in the world, the best players are out there making really good plays at a high pace.  So he’s fine.”

Okposo on how his game has improved this season: “I think my down-low play has been a lot better.  I move my feet a lot more this year, I think, in the offensive zone.  I’ve been able to create more shot opportunities, whether it be for myself or for my teammates.”

Martinek on returning to the Islanders: “It was always my priority to stay with the Islanders.  I was happy and lucky to get the contract during a season.  But I was lucky too because two guys got hurt, and in Bridgeport somebody was hurt too.  They knew I was practicing here.  I know the system, I know everything about this team.  It was an easy fit for the coaches and for me too.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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