Thursday, September 20, 2018

Nashville Predators 2018-19 season preview



            In a season where they finished with 117 points and a Presidents trophy, the Nashville Predators failed to win the first Stanley Cup in team history. They followed that up by having a boring offseason, not making many changes. Before we look at the few moves they made, here's a look at some fast facts for the Nashville Predators.

Head Coach: Peter Laviolette
General Manager: David Poile
Arena: Bridgestone Arena
AHL Affiliate: Milwaukee Admirals
2017-18 record: 53-18-11 (117 points)
2017-18 placement: 1st
Division: Central
2017-18 goals leader: Viktor Arvidsson (29)
2017-18 assists leader: PK Subban (43)
2017-18 points leader: Filip Forsberg (64)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): PK Subban (59)
Captain: Roman Josi
Assistant Captains: Ryan Ellis, Ryan Johansen, Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg
2018 first round pick: None, selected Jachym Kondelik 111th overall.

Offseason additions: Dan Hamhuis

Offseason subtractions: Scott Hartnell, Mike Fisher, Alexei Emelin

Forwards: Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson both failed to hit 30 goals, and Ryan Johansen had just 54 points. The defense carried them. Their depth on the wings is great. Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Hartman on the right side is pretty good. The highest scoring teenager in KHL history, Eeli Tolvanen comes to America looking to score. He'll get top-6 minutes.

Forward lines:

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Eeli Tolvanen - Kyle Turris - Kevin Fiala
Calle Jarnkrok - Nick Bonino - Ryan Hartman
Colton Sissons - Frederick Gaudreau - Craig Smith
Other: Mikko Salomaki
Suspended: Austin Watson

Defenseman: PK Subban and Roman Josi may not be the league's best defensive duo anymore (Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson), but they are both great players and all-stars. Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm are also really good players. Welcome to Nashville, where defensemen grow on trees.

Defensive pairs:

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - PK Subban
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber
Other: Matt Irwin, Anthony Bitetto

Goalies: Pekka Rinne is 35 and in the last year of his contract, but for now, he's still a great goalie. Juuse Saros is a young backup that can play 30 games if needed, if Rinne happens to go down.

Goalie alignment:

Pekka Rinne
Juuse Saros

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Filip Forsberg
Ryan Johansen
Roman Josi
Viktor Arvidsson
PK Subban

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 2nd
I think the Nashville Predators will be eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

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