1. Roman Josi is a Playmaker
Even though he may not always get the credit for the assist, Josi is worthy of his All-Star title. His ability to feed the puck to capable forwards has been crucial in these high scoring games.
Fun Fact: Josi hit 50 points in Thursday’s win
2. Forsberg-Duchene-Granlund line is heating up
These three forwards have contributed 9 points (4 G, 4 A, 1 SO Winner) in the last two games. Even more than that, these three know how to follow up on the puck when it’s loose.
Not only can they score the pretty goals, but they know how to get the points we need to stay alive.
3. Rocco Freaking Grimaldi
I’ve been wanting to write this sentence for months now: Rocco Grimaldi is SO fast.
Better yet, he knows exactly where to be in terms of puck placement. While he can still score some absolutely beautiful goals, he knows when to get the pass off too.
I highly suggest just paying attention to him on the next game you watch. You’ll be extremely impressed with his knowledge of the game.
4. Nashville can control the attack
If we’ve learned anything from these high-scoring games, it’s that Nashville knows how to produce when it counts. Players like Josi, Duchene, Grimaldi, and Arvidsson really know how to control the puck and make plays, allowing for so many new scoring opportunities.
5. Don’t count out the new guys
Jarred Tinordi, Yakov Trenin, and Colin Blackwell are names you should get used to hearing. They play hard and they play well and have each collected their first goal of the season in the last month. Bottom-line producers like these are what keep teams alive when the heavy hitters are smothered by opposing defense.
6. Defense, where you at?
Speaking of defense, I really miss Ryan Ellis.
A lot of the goals taken against the Preds have come from a clearly overextended goalie. I would notion to say that the goalie wouldn’t feel the need to overextend if the defense was able to lock the puck down.
That being said, I hope Ellis returns soon to help bolster these lines.
7. You can’t rely on Rinne all the time
Thehockeywriters.com just place Pekka Rinne at #26 out of 31 NHL starting goalies in the midseason. While it is not certain the sands of time have broken down a once impervious wall, it is clear that the Nashville defense has to start playing like they have a less talented goaltender.
It kind of hurts me to say that about Rinne, but if we want to make the playoffs, it’s better safe than sorry.
8. Nashville needs to shut down plays in their own ice
Again another defensive comment.
Poor planning and execution in our own zone has cost us some serious points in the past, but it’s hurting even more now.
Mistakes from Jarnkrok, Saros, and Bonino have cost the Preds crucial and embarrassing goals in the game in Washington, and a lack of defense pressure kept New Jersey alive in the second period last Thursday.
Either way, the Preds picked up four very important points on the back-to-back road trip. It may have been whacky and sloppy, but they’re still a big four points.