We've reviewed the defense, the goaltenders, and the centers, so to wrap up our review of the Nashville Predators' 1st half of the season, let's move out to the wing...
For details on the advanced stats appearing in the boxes below, consult the 1st half post on the defense & goaltending. Note, the advanced stats (ARC, Comp & Team) are from the 23-game point, before Friday's game vs. Edmonton.
Bourque shook off a slow start to take over the team goal-scoring lead of late, which is as much an indictment of the incumbent Top Six as it is an endorsement of Gabby's play.
Fans love his energetic physical game and willingness to drop the gloves on behalf of his teammates. He's earned a steady NHL job to this point, so you'd have to say he's exceeded expectations.
After a great start, Marty has tailed off considerably. He hasn't scored a goal in over a month (February 5 at St. Louis), and his advanced stats have taken a tumble as well. Erat is supposed to be this team's top offensive weapon, but he hasn't look at all like that recently.
His recent banishment to Milwaukee has many wondering if his days in the Predators organization are numbered. Will some confidence-boosting performances with the Admirals lead to better times when he returns to Nashville?
Hornqvist is one of the few Nashville forwards who causes problems for opposing teams on a consistent basis, even if he's not scoring. Hopefully his latest injury isn't too serious, because nobody drives the Shots For & Against battle more positively than he does.
Should we get excited about the fact that SK74 has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his last 13 games? I'll give him a bit of an uptick for that, but the fact that he has exactly as many goals (2) and shots on goal (19) as Rich Clune is an embarrassment for a guy making $3 million.
The occasional shootout dangler aside, this has been a tremendously disappointing season for Smith, who has the speed and hands to be a dangerous NHL forward, but just can't put it all together. He's received some opportunity to play center rather than wing of late, so we'll have to see how that situation develops.
With 18 points in his last 18 games (six goals, 12 assists), Wilson has been the brightest ray of hope on a team struggles desperately to score. He's the one guy who can create goals through individual effort, and appears to relish the opportunity to take the responsibility for offensive leadership on his shoulders. The hockey gods were cruel to strike him down last night in the Minnesota game.
Folks were giddy over a couple goals that Yip scored back in January, but his offensive production dried up long ago and his advanced stats are basically the worst on the team in 5-on-5 play. Injury has kept him out recently, and it remains to be seen whether he can earn ice time again now that more offensively-talented wingers like Zach Boychuk and Bobby Butler are around.