Predators facing Tough Times
The Nashville Predators have it rough right now, while their 5-1-3 record might not show it fully they have a tough road ahead of them.
Mostly right now the problem that seems to plague the Preds are ones that have plagued them for years. Everytime they seem to get on some sort of roll the injury bug bites, and it seems to bite the most important players on the team. Just 1 and a half games in the Predators lost Mathew Lombardi who was their main acquisition over the summer and suppose to be their number one centre for this year. Many fans had him pegged for more point production than last year and is seen as an overall good upgrade from Arnott. There is no current timetable for his return and is seen as week to week due to a concussion.
Than the injury bug struck again this time just two games later Marcel Goc was pushed into the boards and suffered a separated shoulder, now to those who do not watch Goc on a regular basis may think that he isn’t that big of a loss for the Preds but he is a key player for them. Last year while mostly centering the third and fourth line he registered 30 points and averaging just 14 minutes a game. This year in 4 games he had 3 points and seemed to have started to find his scoring touch that the Sharks had drafted him for. He also helps defensively as with him in the line-up Legwand is allowed to play a more offensive role and isn’t forced to play against the other team’s top line all night.
Than possibly the second best player on the team in Ryan Suter was injured with a knee injury in a game against Calgary. He was put on the IR the next day and hasn’t fully resumed skating yet. Suter not only eats up tons of ice time but also helps both the PP and PK function properly. He helps the Preds create offence as he is able to move the play up the ice with relative ease and can get into the offensive zone to allow the forwards to set up their forecheck.
With these injuries alone anytime may crumble and start off poorly, and this isn’t even mentioning losing Rinne for 3 games and Erat as well for 3 games this season already. All fans can hope for is that the team works hard and that our depth keeps us in games and that our goalies do their job.
The second problem that the Preds have had is not a new one to fans; we have only scored 21 goals in 9 games. That is quite the problem as scoring just over 2 goals a game won’t cut it as our goalies won’t be amazing every night as they have been so far. The injuries obviously don’t help the problem with scoring as our some of main offensive guns are out currently we still have players that should be scoring more. One of which is Erat, he is currently playing with Wilson and Dumont and that is a skilled line for us. While does have 3 points in 6 games he has yet to score and doesn’t seem to be getting closer each game but instead he is becoming more and more invisible on the ice which is a bad sign.
The team is attempting to rectify the problem as they have recently called dup AHL player Linus Klasen who was scoring at a goal a game pace and had 10 points in 7 games. He was recently named AHL player of the week and may have the best hands in Nashville Predators history. Trotz has said he will be given an opportunity on a scoring line to see what he can do.
Hopefully the Preds can get healthy soon and continue their impressive season