As the Nashville Predators head out of town for their annual CMA road trip, they'e carved out a respectable 5-4-1 record despite a rash of injuries to key players. We have seen nights where they've looked dominant, and other nights when the Preds were completely outclassed by their opponents.
So what can we say about the individual players so far?
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Pekka Rinne has gotten pretty much all the work so far, and has been far and away the team's MVP:
|2011 - Pekka Rinne||10||562||5||4||1||21||2.24||298||277||.930||2|
With injuries continuing to dog the Predators' forward ranks, Rinne will still be relied upon to keep the games close enough for an offensively-challenged team to have their shot at victory each night.
The table below breaks down the skaters' performance. "Adjusted Corsi" includes the effects of Zone Starts (giving guys who start more often in the defensive zone a break, etc.), and "Corsi Rel Quality of Competition" is a measure of how tough the opponents are that each Predator has been facing in 5-on-5.
|David Legwand||C||10||2G, 7A||14||14:34 / 2:08 / 3:10||-9.28||+0.963||1.28||Two goals so far are an empty netter and an attempted pass which deflected in.|
|Craig Smith||C||10||3G, 5A||26||12:00 / 0:01 / 3:06||-20.08||+1.982||2.54||Honey Badger has been an early boost, but have to wonder if he'll cool off.|
|Sergei Kostitsyn||L||9||3G, 5A||10||13:39 / 0:42 / 2:34||-5.42||+2.651||3.04||9 games, 10 shots. Outstanding playmaking, though.|
|Ryan Suter||D||10||2G, 3A||14||19:16 / 3:22 / 4:40||-1.51||+2.212||0.65||Doing what he always does, soaking up minutes and taking on the toughs.|
|Colin Wilson||C||10||2G, 3A||18||14:00 / 0:01 / 3:01||-3.46||+0.950||1.33||So far, pretty good, but still holds onto the puck too long at times.|
|Shea Weber||D||10||1G, 4A||28||18:36 / 2:45 / 4:50||+2.03||+2.230||0.67||Leading the way as usual, just needs to stay out of the box a bit more.|
|Matt Halischuk||R||10||2G, 2A||13||12:33 / 2:14 / 0:20||-8.17||+0.748||1.96||Does the little things that Barry Trotz wants, but overmatched against Top 6 foes.|
|Mike Fisher||C||3||2G, 2A||5||11:21 / 0:23 / 2:45||-21.80||+0.801||5.41||Looks like a great fit with Craig Smith, just hope he can stay healthy.|
|Nick Spaling||L||10||1G, 2A||14||13:41 / 2:29 / 0:24||-3.96||+1.644||1.35||A PK mainstay, just don't expect much more than that.|
|Kevin Klein||D||10||1G, 2A||9||16:53 / 3:07 / 1:17||-8.76||+1.569||1.11||Has shown flashes of offensive jump, but playing stopper is his main focus.|
|Patric Hornqvist||R||9||2G, 0A||21||10:29 / 0:00 / 3:00||-18.94||+1.412||1.27||Goals are starting to come, hopefully getting back up to 100%.|
|Jordin Tootoo||R||10||0G, 2A||15||13:05 / 0:14 / 0:10||-4.45||+0.373||0.92||Ignore the haters, Toots. Keep on keeping on.|
|Jonathon Blum||D||10||0G, 2A||6||16:11 / 2:33 / 1:24||-15.34||+0.690||0.76||A jack-of-all-trades on the blueline, but still developing consistency.|
|Jack Hillen||D||8||0G, 2A||5||11:59 / 0:51 / 0:00||-25.61||-3.310||1.27||Specialist needs protection from tough matchups.|
|Niclas Bergfors||R||4||1G, 0A||9||6:49 / 0:00 / 0:48||-28.33||+4.250||2.20||J.P. Svatos hasn't earned his way into Trotz's good graces yet.|
|Martin Erat||R||2||1G, 0A||2||12:42 / 1:04 / 3:09||-13.72||-0.111||2.41||Great to see him back in the lineup, now just needs to stay there.|
|Jerred Smithson||C||10||1G, 0A||9||12:36 / 2:43 / 0:06||+6.32||+0.711||0.48||Facing an absurdly tough defensive workload, but pushes play up-ice anyway.|
|Blake Geoffrion||L||10||0G, 1A||3||8:55 / 0:57 / 0:31||-10.27||-1.150||0.68||Have to wonder if he'd be better served playing more in Milwaukee.|
|Cal O`Reilly||C||5||0G, 1A||1||10:44 / 1:29 / 1:51||-17.50||-0.173||1.17||Fare thee well…|
|Brian McGrattan||R||7||0G, 1A||2||5:51 / 0:00 / 0:03||-1.02||-0.024||1.46||More effective entertaining the crowd than playing hockey.|
|Zack Stortini||R||1||0G, 0A||1||4:53 / 0:00 / 0:00||-24.57||+3.368||0.00||Could be in for a long stay in Milwaukee, with Thang getting the call-up.|
|Francis Bouillon||D||3||0G, 0A||1||18:05 / 0:07 / 0:19||-7.29||-0.401||0.00||Helps stabilize the blueline, wonder when he'll start to work special teams.|
|Mattias Ekholm||D||2||0G, 0A||1||11:36 / 0:15 / 0:33||+13.40||+5.814||0.00||See you next fall, kid.|
|Teemu Laakso||D||7||0G, 0A||4||10:39 / 0:39 / 0:00||-27.56||-0.472||0.00||Could be the Cal O'Reilly of defense, working his last chance at a job in Nashville.|
So who has impressed you so far, either positively or negatively?