Mike Fisher 2011-2012 Season Preview - Can He Shoulder The Load?

The addition of Mike Fisher prior to the 2011 Trade Deadline was like a shot in the arm for a Predators team which had been decimated down the middle due to injury. It turns that Fish wasn't exactly 100% himself, however, as he battled through upper-body issues over the final months of the season and underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the playoff loss to Vancouver.

While he continues his rehab efforts, the question becomes not only when might he return to the lineup, but in the long run, can he still effectively play his typically rough & tumble style and still remain effective for a playoff run?


Mike Fisher

#12 / Center / Nashville Predators

6-1

208

Jun 05, 1980

2011-2012 Salary: $4 million Unrestricted Free Agent in 2013

Traded to Nashville from Ottawa for 2011 1st-round & 2012 3rd-round picks

Drafted in 2nd Round (44th) by Ottawa in 1998

82 GP 19 Goals 17 Assists -17, 43 PIM, 192 Shots, Avg. Ice Time 18:22


Follow on as we examine Fisher's two-way game and see where he fits into the Preds' plans for the upcoming season...

2010-2011 Recap

The Ottawa Senators were circling the toilet bowl when Fisher was brought to Nashville by David Poile; on their way to a last-place finish in the Northeast Division under doomed head coach Cory Clouston, the Sens were a team in turmoil, despite Fisher's workmanlike efforts. Once with the Preds, he went right to work taking on tough competition, and while he chipped in just 5 goals and 7 assists in 27 regular season games as a Predator, his presence took some of the defensive burden off of David Legwand. In the 37 games before Fisher showed up, Legwand put up 19 points, but in the 27 games after, he recorded 22. 

In the playoffs, Fisher's line with Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn played a large role in defeating the Anaheim Ducks, as Fish scored 3 goals and added 3 assists in the 6-game win. Against Vancouver, however, the highly-touted matchup with Ryan Kesler turned into a one-sided affair, as Kesler dominated and Fisher mustered just one assist in six games.

Milestones Within Reach

200 Career Goals  - needs 28

200 Career Assists - needs 12

400 Career Points - needs 40

100 Career Playoff Games - needs 13

Advanced Stats (5-on-5)

Individual Numbers (5-on-5)

 Color Key (compared to all player-seasons from 2009-10 & 2010-11 for centers with > 20 GP)  Best 10%  Best 30%  Worst 30%  Worst 10%
 Season  GP TOI  Goals/60   Assists/60   Points/60   Shots/60   Shoot %   Pn Draw/60   Pn Take/60 
 2010 79  13.38  0.68 1.24 1.93 8.00 8.50% 1.00 0.70
 2011 82 14.04 0.73 0.36 1.09 7.56 9.66% 0.50 0.80
 Average  80.5  13.71 0.71 0.8 1.51 7.78 9.08% 0.75 0.75

2010-2011 was a pretty underwhelming season offensively for Fish, before and after his trade to Nashville. His assist totals in particular dropped off a cliff from the previous campaign.

Team metrics while on-ice (5-on-5)

 Season   Corsi   Net Zone Starts   Adjusted Corsi   Team Shoot %   Team Save %   PDO 
 2010 -1.36 15 -2.28 10.21 895 997
 2011 -9.70 -10 -9.07 7.92 917 996
 Average -5.53 2.5 -5.67 9.07 906 997

Like I said, last season wasn't one of Fisher's best, and the possession stats point that out pretty clearly. 

Special Teams

Fish is used to getting a steady diet of power play time, and that should continue in Nashville, where there isn't a clear incumbent holding down the top spot. He's typically been a moderate point-producer there for Ottawa, but that probably represents a step up from what the Preds have enjoyed, so he should provide a small boost.

With the Senators, he also spent upwards of 2:00 per game penalty killing, but given the Preds' depth in that area already, his burden on that end should be lessened somewhat, maybe cut in half.

Shot Chart

And here's where Fisher fired shots from last season at Even Strength. Blue areas are relatively low frequency, yellow are moderate, and red are higher-frequency zones:

Fisher_medium

Blast From The Past

Back in 2009 when Mike Fisher got engaged to Carrie Underwood, the notion that he might come to Nashville seemed crazy, right?

First off, Fisher is a terrific hockey player; not necessarily a 1st-line center, but as a 3-time 20 goal scorer, well on his way to a 4th with 15 goals already, there's little doubt that he'd make a fine addition in Nashville. He does get dinged up quite a bit, but that comes with the up-tempo, energetic game he plays. As a center, he could fit in between Dumont & Hornqvist in the short term, and might make a long-term replacement once Jason Arnott hangs up the skates, whenever that happens.

Of course, that talent comes at a price. He makes $4 million during this and the next two seasons, along with $3 million in 2012-13. That level of pay, while significant, isn't out of line with the core group that the Predators rely upon. Right now there are a host of players making between $3 million and $5.25 million. Since Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont, David Legwand and Martin Erat are all covered by no-trade clauses in their contracts, you can bet that none of those players would be likely to head the other way in a theoretical deal.

Granted, this isn't to say that anything will (or even should) happen this season on this front; but it's an idea to keep in mind each summer, as that's when it's most reasonable for teams to make deals for players under long-term contracts like his.

And if Ms. Underwood ends up being viewed as a villain in Ottawa for swiping away one of their top young stars - well, that's just part of being a good Preds fan, Carrie. You do what it takes to help the team!

Video Highlight

Perhaps an under-appreciated aspect of Fish's game is a wicked wrist shot...


Outlook For 2011-2012

The Positive: He's ready to play sometime within the next few weeks and enjoys a productive campaign, topping the 40-point mark while matching up against top opponents and sparking the power play to life.

The Negative: That shoulder issue plagues him all season long, limiting his availability and effectiveness, and requiring a battlefield promotion for one of the younger centers in the organization.

Prior to Opening Night, my offensive projections for the Nashville Predators can be found in my free Forechecker's Fantasy Hockey System eBook.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Join On the Forecheck

You must be a member of On the Forecheck to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at On the Forecheck. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker