The Nashville Predators put up an impressive 3-0 run in the week gone by, while getting contributions from up and down the roster. Eleven goals came from seven different skaters, and while Pekka Rinne enjoyed three strong games, we're going to single out one of the unsung pluggers for his outstanding work, Gabriel Bourque...
Bourque has played a key role in the recent development of a surprisingly effective third line together with Jordin Tootoo and Nick Spaling, a trio which has, on many nights, looked like Nashville's best. Indeed, when examining some of the fundamental possession metrics (such as Fenwick percentage while the game is close), Bourque had some of the strongest results on the team over the last 3 games.
Pretty fair work for a guy with just 8 NHL games under his belt now.
As Sam noted on the latest edition of the OTF Podcast, Bourque brings the kind of energy that Antti Pihlstrom used to during his time with the Preds, but perhaps has more playmaking ability. Regardless of whether you like the comparison, his energy level has helped tipped the critical Shots For & Against battle heavily in Nashville's favor during his ice time, a welcome boost to a team which relies on production from the supporting cast in order to compete at its best.
For a great example, just check out his work alongside Tootoo to set up Nick Spaling's goal last Tuesday at Colorado: