- Sergei Kostitsyn is far-and-away the best forward on the ice for the Predators at this moment. He plays with great effort and “detail”. He sees the ice extremely well. He does a terrific job of bringing the puck up the ice. He is the most dangerous scoring threat not named Hornqvist (when Hornqvist is in front of the net).
- Patric Hornqvist is criminally underused. Steve Sullivan is criminally overused. Pair Steve Sullivan with J.P. Dumont. It might spark both. If not, it hopefully limits his minutes as well. Sullivan is much too easy to knock off the puck and turns the puck over much too often to be bringing the puck up the ice. Right now, there’s just too many better options for Coach Trotz in many situations. Sullivan’s still very crafty and can score, but he really needs someone else to feed him the puck- hence J.P. Dumont.
- The Predators really can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries. Hopefully Martin Erat will not be out long. He’s really come on since being put with Goc and Kostitsyn.
- Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat should not be taking draws. Then again, neither should many of the centers.
- Pekka Rinne looks pretty good, even coming back from injury.
- This team can’t win a face-off and establish zone presence to save their life.
- Cody Franson is very good offensively. In my opinion, he’s Nashville’s best point shot on the power play- and it’s not even close.
- Right now, O’Brien needs to play with Klein and Bouillon with Franson. Bouillon needs to be protected almost as much as Franson when he’s on the ice. I’m coming around triggrman.
- Put the following folks on the first power play unit: Wilson centering Hornqvist and Kostitsyn with Suter and Franson on the backend. Put Wilson and Hornqvist in front of the net and Franson, Suter, Kostitsyn left-to-right on the umbrella. Wilson, Hornqvist and Kostitsyn are all strong on the puck and along the boards. Wilson and Hornqvist make a strong combination in front of the net. Franson and Kostitsyn can both get shots on net. Suter is a good quarterback and Kostitsyn has the ability to be great as well. Kostitsyn, Suter, and Wilson can all bring the puck up the ice and establish the zone. Hard to understand how this combination hasn’t been tried when just about every other has been.
- A line of Wilson, Horvqvist, and O’Reilly would look pretty good. If Erat is down for a while, and the Predators inevitably recall their best defensive forward, Sullivan might do pretty well with Goc and Kostitsyn. Especially if they are the ones bringing the puck up the ice and Sullivan concentrates on using his speed to drive to open spots. Kostitsyn and Goc would find him.
Hopefully, the injured Predators have better luck against the injured St. Louis Blues on December 26th.
Looking Around the NHL
- This past week, Donald Fehr was brought in to head up the NHLPA. What does that mean for the upcoming CBA negotiations? My expectations are that he will lead a very strong push for even more revenue sharing.
About the Author: Nashville Predators Blogger, Software Engineer (C#.NET), Novice Woodworker, Southern Cook, Husband, Father of Two. You may contact me at David.R.Singleton AT gmail.com.