As the fists flew between Nashville and Tampa Bay, where was Belak?

Recently I wrote that Wade Belak seems to be held up from fulfilling his natural role as an enforcer on this Nashville Predators team. Despite well-deserved caution over taking needless penalties, when opponents start taking liberties and the physical play escalates, that's the situation where your heavyweight needs to turn the tide, doing the dirty work that he is best suited for. With just 3 fights so far, Belak spends most games sitting on the bench or watching from the press box.

This question naturally came up again last night as the Predators piled up a big lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning, and a number of fights broke out along the way. While they fired up the home crowd, the thought of a key defenseman like Shea Weber or Kevin Klein breaking a finger during a needless scrap is terrifying for a team that has the talent to compete in the West, but not the depth to handle significant losses.

So what do you think? Given that Belak was in the lineup last night, did it make sense for him to skate only 2 shifts in the third period? If he's not going to be allowed to make an impact, would the Preds be better served by benching him and dressing someone like Dave Scatchard instead?

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker