The Weekly Predator
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Predators, after winning 4-1 in Detroit they have won only 4 games out of 11 and have slipped out of the playoffs as of today. They do only sit one point out behind the Kings and 5 points out of 5th.
Since the currently slide and the Preds falling out a lot of fans have already given up on the season saying that it’s over and they might as well start golfing now. I say that people need to relax, as there are still 16 games left in the season with 12 being home games against teams’ right above the Predators in the standings. Looking at the schedule I would say it isn’t a stretch to say that they will qualify for the playoffs, but if they don’t it will be their own doing and not winning games that they needed to.
A lot of the current slide has been due to injuries and having to fill those spots with rookies who have to deal with the learning curve of going from AHL to NHL play. Blum was the first major call-up for Preds prospects after Suter was out for a game and with Bouillon already out they needed the extra defenseman. He performed very well, even causing Poile to trade Sulzer. Another call-up that has been rewarding is Blake Geoffrion, who is a 4th generation player and has 2 goals in 5 games with one being a game winner.
The Preds have gotten younger with all the injuries, so with these call-ups I did expect a little decline in play in the first couple of games, but at the same time the Preds key players such as Erat, Legwand and now Fisher have to step –up and produce. While Erat has been as of late, Fisher has been a slight disappointment whit only 4 points as a Predator so far. Though he has been going against top lines and top D pairings for the most part since he got here. Personally I would like to see Trotz put Legwand against those lines and give Fisher a little break and try to give him a chance to get offensively running as he has proven to be a decent goal-scorer and has more up-side than Legwand does in that department.
I didn’t want to talk about it, but I guess I would be leaving out a big story, which is the scratching of Dumont. A former 70 point player making 4 million is a healthy scratch for a team that has trouble scoring. Now before fans get in an uproar, yes he has lost foot speed and gets lazy but he has shown that if you put him with players who force him to skate he can be effective. MY point is this team should take out Halischuck as he has not looked like he did when he was called up earlier in the season and put in Dumont to play with Geoffrion and Tootoo as both play with an edge and skate quite well.
In recent talks with another Preds fan (@PredsFan_303 on twitter) we came up with some lines that could work to help create offense:
The combination of Erat-fisher and Legwand should help as it can be both a 2-way line and hopefully score some goals. All three are able to puck control and cycle and hopefully Fisher’s style of play will rub off on Legwand as it did on Erat as of late.
The second line is one where both SK and Wilson have been in slumps recently and hopefully putting them with Hornqvist that can create some room for them to be able to make some plays. Wilson has been invisible while playing on the 4th line and right now he either needs to show-up or be sent down to MIL as I’m sure Mueller would love another chance at the NHL.
Well that’s it for this week, I am going to make this a weekly thing and post probably every Monday.
Follow me on Twitter at (@G_Duley)