|5-5 Pts/60||CF%||CF% rel||Sh%||Sv%||PDO||Pen +/- per 60|
If Cullen was supposed to be the Predators scoring help at center in free agency, Poile could have looked no further than a healthy Mike Fisher and saved some money. The game might be taking it's toll on Fisher, but the games he has missed have been minimal throughout his career and this season was no different. Playing in 75 of 82 games, Fisher was fourth on the Predators in points and goals eclipsing the twenty goal mark for the sixth time in his career. He had his third most productive season point-wise tallying 49 points (51-Predators, 53-Senators). He worked to stay on the positive side in the face-off department this season at 52%, up from 48.8% the year before. Another aspect that was missing from the 2012-13 season was game-winning goals where Fisher came up with zero in 2012-13 but collected four GWG's this season to tie for second on the Preds with Weber and Smith.
Just when the Kings had tied it up a few moments before, Mike Fisher scores one of his four GWG of the year with a trickler just past Ben Scrivens for the 3-2 Predator lead. A simple taste of what Mike Fisher brings each shift with his tenacity and lurking abilities around the most dangerous spot on the ice: the slot.
The Road Ahead:
The big question remains how much longer can Mike Fisher keep playing the devastatingly physical hockey that has become his MO. He is 33 and has one more year left on his contract. Aside from the rumblings that him and the Mrs. might start on a family, Fisher still has the drive and talent to be a true second line center for the Nashville Predators. If the Predators are able to land a free agent or trade for an elite #1 center, he will be invaluable to the stability of lines and leading the second of two talented top lines with Cullen and Gaustad vying for 3rd/4th line duties. This is more imperative with the absence of David Legwand as Fisher provides the stability and veteran leadership left by the Predators first draft pick. If he can stick around just a few more years, look for an increase of offense with a new coach and a rejuvenation of Fisher with a new outlook under Laviolette. If by chance his days are numbered with the Predators after this next season, perhaps this will be the litmus test for Colin Wilson to take the reigns for one of the top two pivot positions.
OTF Staff Grades: