Predators Season Preview

I see all of these previews and predictions, so I decided, how hard can it be? Some of you may not care about this team, but let’s try to make it interested and I won’t take up much of your time, deal?Alright, let’s get started shall we? I’ll go ahead and get the guessing of who’s on which line out of the way, since that’s the information in most of these :

Johansson/Legwand/Walker

Hartnell/Johnson/Hall

Murray/Arkhipov/Orszagh

Tootoo/Upshall/Mackenzie

Now for the fun part, DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS! :

Timonen/Kloucek

Eaton/Allison

Hamhuis/Zidlicky

Jason York: IR

Ok, now to explain if any of this adds up, since I’m sure that the D-pairings and the 4th line are confusing.

Line 1:

well, I think you guys can see that line 1 is going to carry the offensive load for a while, best talent there, expected best scoring productioin, but you never know

Line 2:

“dark horse” of the team if you will. Hartnell and Johnson can be a force when healthy, and Adam Hall was quite impressive in his first full year. Great on the powerplay if you add Hall, hopefully Hartnell can live up to his potential this year and chip in 25 goals or so, Hall is going to break the 20 goal plateau and there’s no reason Johnson shouldn’t, if he’s healthy, that is.

Line 3:

Here’s an interesting one. I wanted to keep Erat with Arkhipov and Orszagh, but well, I was checking the Preds roster and I just didn’t see him on it…but yeah, if Arkhipov plays like he did in 2001-2002, it should be a productive line, Orszagh is going to get his 15-20 goals, Rem Murray provides just a bit of size that the line needs, 10 goal production for him, hopefully i’m underestimating the guy.

Line 4:

Ok, guys. Here’s where it could get a bit interesting. Lots of rookies on this team just trying to make the roster, I already have 2 making the team in Tootoo and Upshall. Mackenzie should be a physical force to make sure neither of those 2 get bullied around (Tootoo is about 5’7 and Scotty Upshall really isn’t that much bigger) Not to take anything away from Upshall or Tootoo, both of them are feisty players, but Mackenzie can help them out. Let’s not forget he won a cup last year, hopefully experience points pay off and he can teach them some things.

Ahh the wonderful D-pairings, let’s just get on with this, it has to be fun!

Pairing 1 :

Timonen and York are far and away the top defensive line that they can throw out there. Both can play 24:00 minutes a game, respectable +/- rating. Both are pretty offensive (good at scoring, not saying, “yo mama,” after hitting someone) Fairly experienced, Timonen is one of the team’s leaders, and they can both do damage on the powerplay.

Pairing 2:

Mark Eaton, oh where has thou been. I’ve always liked watching him play. He’s got the talent needed, now it’s time for him to get the experience. As for Jaime Allison, he’s a pretty run of the mill guy. Not an insult what so ever. We need a guy that’s played in the league for a while like he has, he has a bit of experience on a team that’s lacking a ton, he’s needed.

Pairing 3:

Here’s the fun one. Just like the final line of forwards, they’re going even younger. Hamhuis should make the team, he has the gifts, soft hands, hard shot, good passer. Just not so sure about his defensive ability yet, I hear good things at least. Good instincts, should make the team. Now as for Kloucek : He’s a young, big guy, who can make an impact if he’s motivated.

Zidlicky : If he makes the team watch out, from the things I hear this guy has a cannon and is a very good passer, maybe a quarterback on the 2nd powerplay unit after Timonen,eh? We shall see.

If you’re actually still reading this, I commend you. I haven’t even gotten to the goalies yet. So, here’s a quick overview of them.

TOMAS VOKOUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A bit of an overstatement, but just showing who the starter is. Lasak is a good backup, he’s been making progress the last few years in the minors. I still have faith in Brian Finley developing, but it’s hard to get the time, since Nashville has been getting a ton of good young goalies running through the system. (i.e. Dunham, Vokoun, Mason, Lasak, etc.)

I’m hoping for that wonderful 8th playoff seed in the west, thank you for reading if you did. Go Preds.