After watching from the pressbox the last few weeks, Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson will finally get some playoff action in tonight's Game 4 against Vancouver, filling in for Steve Sullivan, who has been termed "doubtful" for the rest of the series with a lower-body injury suffered late in Game 3. Finally, the legions of "Free Willy" fans will have their prayers answered.
#33 / Center / Nashville Predators
Oct 20, 1989
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It was interesting to hear Barry Trotz at today's press conference talk about how Wilson perhaps didn't accept his scratching during the Anaheim series in a particularly mature manner. There have been second-hand rumblings for quite a while that Wilson's focus and professionalism haven't been where they need to be, and you can bet that Trotz won't let that slide as the pressure builds in the post-season.
In place of Sullivan, Wilson's size & strength could help make an impact up front, where the Preds have had difficulty establishing extended possession in the offensive end. In 5-on-5 play he's been one of the team's top goal-scorers, and will need to bring an energetic, yet focused effort against a Canucks team that can certainly take advantage of a glaring defensive gaffe.
The question, of course, is where exactly Willy will get his chance tonight. Is it simply on the fourth line with Blake Geoffrion and Matt Halischuk, getting 8-10 minutes of ice time? Or perhaps a higher-profile assignment? When I asked him about possible changes with the Kostitsyn/Fisher/Hornqvist line, Trotz's response was that they need to adapt to the situation they're being presented with, rather than hinting at any line juggling.