Historically, the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators have always been pretty even when it comes to player’s individual numbers. Taking the top point-scorer from each team since Nashville entered the league, they have a “record” of 4W-9L-1T against the Panthers when it comes to point totals by players. That number can be a bit misleading however, since 4 of those losses were to Pavel Bure and Olli Jokinen. On a few occasions the difference between the teams top two point producers has been 3 or less as well.
Wanting to make a bet between the two teams, I figured that overall team points in the standings wouldn’t quite be fair. Considering the Predators consistently finish around 100 points season after season, with the exception of last season of course; and the Panthers, who lately have finished towards the bottom. I contacted Glynne Blackwell of the PBR show, asking if she’d like to make a wager on Nashville having a player with a higher point total by the end of the season than Florida’s highest point producer. The wager will not include money swapping between us directly, but the person who loses must purchase a shirt from the opposing team and pose for a picture. The winner will have some nice bragging rights, while their team is being supported by an opposing teams fan.
Looking at the upcoming season, there are a few question marks on both teams. Will Jonathan Huberdeau continue at the pace he set in his rookie year, or will off-season surgery slow him down? How will rookie Filip Forsberg impact the Predators’ roster, and can he lead the team his rookie season? Throughout the season I’ll be updating everyone on the progress of both teams’ players, including who’s currently Hot and Cold in the lineup for both teams.
Glynne: Colin Wilson, 69 points. Glynne believes Wilson is capable of being Nashville’s leading scorer as long as he gets off to a good start and can stay consistent throughout the season. However, her pick is also risky since he’s coming off of an injury from last season that could easily prevent him from leading the team if it reoccurs.
Rob: Jonathan Huberdeau, 75 points. I was torn between Huberdeau and Tomas Fleischmann, but figured I would take a risk as this is just a guess anyway. Huberdeau will most likely be playing with second overall pick Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov and will look to improve on his lockout shortened rookie season. However like Wilson, Huberdeau finished this past season with an injury and had surgery in the off-season. He could start the season playing with some discomfort, or could end up re-injuring himself, which could be disastrous for Florida’s season.