David Legwand is the most critical forward on the Nashville Predators these days. Yes, to many observers he's massively overpaid, drawing a $4.5 million salary for middling offensive production (roughly 40 points a season for the last 3 years). While finishing up the Mid-Season Reviews last week, however, I stumbled upon something that I wanted to expand upon here.
|2010 - David Legwand||27||5||10||15||2||12||0||0||0||52||9.6|
Simply put, Legwand's ability to battle the top opposing lines provides cover for the supporting cast, allowing other centers to face easier matchups. Folks may fall in love with guys like Cal O'Reilly, Marcel Goc and Nick Spaling, but to claim that they're anywhere near Legwand's value to this Predators team, ready to supplant his status and take over a leading role, is simply absurd. This was seen in recent weeks as the Nashville offense dried up while Legwand was out of the lineup with a lower body injury.
Let's take a look at how Nashville's other centers have fared with and without David Legwand in the lineup so far this season:
|Games played with David Legwand||Games without David Legwand|
Pretty scary stuff, isn't it? Basically, their production dropped by two-thirds while Leggy was on IR, and they had to face the toughest of the tough. O'Reilly, Goc and Spaling are nice role players at this point, but let's not get carried away with things, shall we?
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Defensive Depth Chart | Admirals Roundtable Ryan takes his guess at who the Preds will call up if Francis Bouillon has to miss action due to injury. Willy Daunic said this morning on the radio that The Cube suffered a separated shoulder in the first period last night, just as I had guessed at the time.
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