Should the Nashville Predators play Denis Grebeshkov?

This has nothing to do with Grebeshkov. But I wanted to post it anyway.

Between the Nashville Predators' power play continuing to struggle, Cody Franson being tethered to the bench, and Denis Grebeshkov being medically cleared to play, its time to ask the question: should Barry Trotz slide 'Grebs' into a defensive spot for Game 4? 

After the jump, some quick pros and cons to the situation...

Denis Grebeshkov

#37 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators

6-0

209

Oct 11, 1983

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Denis Grebeshkov 51 7 14 21 -16 32 1 0 0 0 47 14.9

Back in March, we asked the question if Kevin Klein should be scratched instead of Franson when DG returns. At the time, the readership thought Franson was a better option, though not by much. User hockeydekefreak

- Klein has been inconsistent, but shows flashes of what his game could be from time to time, his game has improved a bit since being paired with Boullon, I agree that we need at least one good “stay at home” defenseman. I’m not counting him out just yet.

- Franson on the other hand is still a bit green, but looks great out there. I like his size and reach, definitely more intimidating than Klein. He also has a better slapshot. Tough choice, glad I’m not Barry Trotz, but Franson gets my vote.

After last night, however, its probably safe to say we can forget about scratching Klein. He had what I thought to be his best game of the season, staying mistake free and making a fantastic pass that sprung David Legwand's game winning goal.

Pros

  • A better skater than Franson, Grebeshkov would likely be able to compensate for pinching in better. 
  • More experience. Trotz would probably have less issue trusting Grebeshkov in a tight spot. 
  • While Franson has been superb on the man advantage, Grebeshkov brings even more ability to a unit that can't put the puck in the net if their life depended on it. 

Cons

  • Chemistry. Denis has played very few games with the team thus far, whereas Franson has been around off and on all year. 
  • Getting back to game speed. Obviously, Grebeshkov has been practicing for a while but it doesn't come close to simulating the speed and physicality of playoff hockey. 
  • Don't fix what isn't broken. Nashville has scored eight goals on Chicago in three games and lead the series 2-1. Barry Trotz has a winning formula and probably shouldn't mess with it. 

Conclusion

As much as I want to see the power play come alive, it doesn't seem wise to throw a player at a critical position into the fray and expect positive results, especially with the stakes so high. Perhaps if Nashville advances it becomes more pertinent, but if I'm Barry Trotz, I dance with who brought me. What do you think?

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