Predators defenseman Seth Jones was pointed and direct.

When asked whether he enjoys playing for Peter Laviolette, Jones — a blueliner on Laviolette's Team USA World Championship squad — gave a ringing endorsement.

"He has been great," Jones said of the recently hired Predators coach. "He's a great speech-maker. He knows how to motivate us. He wants to win, and that's the most important thing. We came here to win a tournament."

Jones and Predators forward Craig Smith — another Team USA player — both have the ability to give Laviolette a proverbial test drive before the coach comes to Nashville. And both have spent time starting to mesh with Laviolette at the tournament, which takes place in Minsk, Belarus.

"He's a pretty high-octane, high-powered offensive coach," Smith said. "He wants to outscore the other team versus trying to win 1-0, so I like that type of run-and-gun style and take care of your own end. It's a little different right now. We're playing on a big sheet. We're going to run different systems, but we're trying to score goals."