In advance of the Preds' series with the Anaheim Ducks, OtF will be taking a look at three Ducks who fly under the radar but could have a large impact on the series. First up: Jarkko Ruutu.
In today's NHL, most teams have what is known as an agitator, such as Jordin Tootoo, Steve Ott, or Sean Avery - players who toe the line of what's "clean", but contribute to their squad in a positive way. The Anaheim Ducks happen to "boast" more than one, with Corey Perry, Brad Winchester, and George Parros all doing their part in aggravating the opposition. Those players, though, have some redeeming qualities. Jarkko Ruutu does not, but could have an important part to play.
|2010 - Jarkko Ruutu||73||3||9||12||-2||97||0||0||1||66||
Ruutu's favorite pastime is stirring up trouble, likely with the end goal of putting his team on the power play. Very often, though, he ends up in the sin bin. With 97 penalty minutes on the year, the Nashville Predators may be able to take advantage of his recklessness, provided they don't give in to the temptation of engaging him. I'm looking at you, Jordin and Shane.
As the series wears on, expect to see Ruutu try to put some Preds in the penalty box. If Nashville can stay disciplined, they may well end up with some crucial power play opportunities courtesy of a player who isn't averse to dropping the...teeth?
OtF stick tap to Japers' Rink for the inspiration behind this post.