During the first three games of the Predators' first-round series with the Anaheim Ducks, one player has stood out above the rest: newly acquired center Mike Fisher. Fisher was brought to Nashville for the team's first-round and either a second or third-round pick in the 2012 draft, and has proved his worth in just the few short months he's been here.
Follow after the jump for some reasons why getting Mike Fisher might be one of the best trade deadline deals the Preds have ever made....
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He filled a need:
When Nashville acquired Fisher, the injury bug had hit the team hard, and they were mighty slim at the center position. The Predators were left with Legwand, Smithson, Spaling, and Goc, who would go down with a shoulder injury just seven days later. Not much offensive firepower there, huh? Fisher has found a home playing on the first/second line with Hornqvist and Kostitsyn, which has become a consistent scoring threat in the last few weeks.
His wife is hot and sells tickets to games:
He's got a killer wrist shot:
Outside of the periodic spurt from Martin Erat, the one skill set Nashville lacks is a forward who can pick his shot, and fire a laser into the back of the net. Mike Fisher brings that element to the team and has shown he can deliver on a consistent basis.
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And Exhibit C from the same game:
But most importantly.....
He turns his game up a notch in the post-season:
Outside of Weber, Suter, and occasional flashes from Legwand and Erat, the Predators don't really have that guy who they can count on in playoff situations. Mike Fisher brings what no other Predator can bring to the table: experience. As of last night, Fisher has appeared in 79 playoff games, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. Having that kind of experience in the locker room from a guy who's been through situations like the Predators are currently in is an invaluable asset.
This season, Fisher drew a lot of criticism from Preds fans towards the end of the season, where he went through a stretch of 16 games with just 1 point to show, but he finished strong with 8 points in the last 7 games of the regular season. However, his best work has easily been in the post-season. In the last three games, Fisher has amassed 5 points and 3 goals, one of those being the game-winner last night. It's crystal clear who Nashville's MVP has been in the playoffs thus far.
Predators fans knew that if they wanted their team to make a run at the post-season, someone would have to step up and take charge, and that guy so far has been Mike Fisher. If Fisher can keep up his stellar play, this could be the year the Preds make franchise history...