VIEW FROM THE TOP: Nashville Predators

As the self-appointed spokesmen/woman of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, we are using the idea of "To the victors go the spoils" quite seriously. What we will do between now and the night the Stanley Cup banner is raised in the United Center is point out the shortcomings of all the teams that won't have four crisp new banners in their rafters. We continue this series with the Nashville Predators.

Two things happened with the Nashville Predators last season. One was the usual - playing a defense-first game with very little in the way of offence. The other was unusual - they missed the playoffs for only the second time in 9 years. But coach Barry Trotz is not going to deviate away from what got him here. But where are they going? Let's take a gander:

FORWARDS:

Is it possible to add Viktor Stalberg to a team and actually see the offense improve? Well, when his 23 points would have placed him third on the Predators last season, yeah. Their top three goal scorers, in order, were David Legwand, Gabriel Bourque and Hockey Star Mike Fisher. These guys make the Jacques Lamaire-led Devils teams look like the 1985 Oilers. It's so bad here that the hope is for Stalberg to replace the offense provided by Marty Erat. They're going to have to figure out a way to get more games with Columbus. Not to mention one of the season's highlights will be Trotz's reaction the first time Stalberg doesn't stay with his man when the puck goes in the corner and it results in a goal. I've already predicted that Trotz will grow a neck, just so he has something that a vein can bulge from. They also picked up what's left of Matt Cullen, who everyone thought was going to retire. He probably was too, before Poile offered him actual money to play for the Preds. Filip Forsberg, who came over in the Erat deal, will also be looked upon to contribute. If he gets into double digits in goals, they'll want to retire his number.

DEFENSE:

There is no defensive corps better in all of hockey, including the Blackhawks. On Draft Day, Poile probably figured Seth Jones would be off the board, and he'd get his pick of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Aleksander Barkov. Instead, Jones was there, and Poile actually saw his defense potentially get better then it was before Ryan Suter left. Not only is Jones phenomenally talented, but with Shea Weber, Roman Josi and Kevin Klein rounding out the top four, there's little to no pressure on him to be a star out of the gate. Nobody will be showing up in Bridgestone Arena looking to fluff up their offensive numbers.

GOALTENDING:

Pekka Rinne is their goalie. He's really fucking good when he's healthy. If he is, Magnus Hellberg and Carter Hutton will duke it out for the privilege of spending all but maybe a dozen games enjoying the best seat in the house.

MUNDANE FACT:

Articles in music magazines about Carrie Underwood refer to her husband as "Hockey star Mike Fisher" unironically.

ARE THEY BETTER THAN THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS?

In all honesty, I'm not sure any of their forwards could crack the Hawks' lineup. They don't figure to make the playoffs, but with that bunch on the blueline in front of Rinne, there is no such thing as 2 easy points against these guys.

 

What did you think of this article?




Trackbacks
  • Trackbacks are closed for this post.
Comments
Page: 1 of 1
  • 9/6/2013 10:53 AM Dave Morris wrote:
    Kevin Kline and Roman Josi were really good in iNGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, EH).

    But BETTER than the Hawkz' D? NO WAY!!!!

    DunkinSeabs + HamSandwich With O'Duya sauce trumps The Trotztaters.
    Reply to this

Page: 1 of 1
Leave a comment

 Name (required)

 Email (will not be published) (required)

 Website

Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.