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Grading the Predators

In this morning's Tennessean, John Glennon provides his season wrapup on the Nashville Predators, summarizing some of the key features of the season and handing out grades to individual players.

I'm saving my player-by-player recaps for after the Stanley Cup playoffs (gotta have something to tide us over the summer!), but you can check out the comparison between individual results and my pre-season forecasts here.

A few notes, however, on some points that Glennon makes:

 

  • As to the worst personnel move of the year, releasing Rich Peverley certainly ranks up there, but I would go with the decision not to re-sign Jan Hlavac last August. While not a superstar, he would have provided an affordable and reliable veteran presence. Too many spots were left available for rookies like Hornqvist and Jones to fill, and early defensive gaffes cost the Preds some points in the standings.
  • For Worst Game of the Year, the 7-2 thrashing that Atlanta gave them before a sellout crowd on home ice was indeed lousy, and the 6-2 meltdown against Minnesota was awful, but the 3-1 loss to Vancouver on December 9, to me, was where the season took a severe turn for the worse. That was the game in which Scott Nichol received a concussion that kept him out for months, and J.P. Dumont took a hard hit from Alex Burrows. The team went into a funk for weeks after that loss.
  • I certainly agree with Glennon about optimism looking forward; the core of this team is in, or entering, their competitive prime, and Colin Wilson is an intriguing prospect. I, like many of you, am very much looking forward to training camp!