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Sens Week Ahead: Oct 4 to 10

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It's here! It's here! It's really here!

Scott Hartnell should have realized the "trust exercise" wasn't going to go well
Scott Hartnell should have realized the "trust exercise" wasn't going to go well
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
This one almost snuck up on me - games that count are just about back!

Senators @ Predators

Game 1, Thursday, October 9th, 9:00pm
TSN5, RDS2
Previous game
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Next game
Stars, Saturday, October 11th
Hot
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Cold
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Nashville made a big number of changes from last year.

The first, while technically not actually a change, is the return of Pekka Rinne. Last season wasn't kind to the Nashville Predators netminder - he missed most of the season due to a hip infection, and well, wasn't very good the rest of the time. Time will tell if he can return to the form of previous seasons now that he is healthy again.

As for actual on ice changes, the Predators swapped Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling for James Neal, and brought in veteran presence in the form of Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy, Olli Jokinen, and Anton Volchenkov.

Big changes happened behind the bench, too. Peter Laviolette is expected to transition the team to a more offensive form of hockey, but we Sens fans know from experience how the first few games under a new coach with a new system can go.

It's tough to say how this one will go. We know the Preds are a team in transition, but they may come out strong in their season opener. Or we might see a team that obviously needs a few games to adjust to major changes. Hopefully for the Senators it's the latter.

Former Ottawa fan favourite Mike Fisher is expected to be out until at least November due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.