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Five-Hole Friday: Rise Up

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World Juniors is our reward for making it through the multitude of injuries and Christmas with relatives we don’t really like.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This edition of Five-Hole Friday includes a lot about defenders and some thoughts about trading players. Anyone else ready to see the Preds back in the win column?

Jachym Kondelik

The Nashville 4th rounder from 2018 is a monstrously tall man. The youngster is 6’ 6”. In the ongoing IIHF World Juniors tournament, he played on the penalty kill and took some face-offs in the Czech Republic’s 2-1 OT win against the Swiss team on Wednesday. Kondelik actually looms over the entire Czech team.

The thing about Kondelik that we should appreciate as Preds fans is his mobility. He has incredible potential and a solid skating ability for a guy his size. Kondelik nearly had several wraparound chances simply because he has such a long reach. Here’s a moment from the Czech Republic’s contest on Wednesday where Kondelik nearly went 200 feet for a goal. Watch his skates and his hands. They never stop moving.

I look forward to seeing how Kondelik is used as the World Juniors continue. He’s not on the same “hype” level as a player like Eeli Tolvanen, but Kondelik is a surprisingly good pick who’s showing his salt in a tough tournament.

Frederic Allard

Eric has been pretty high on Allard in his Milwaukee notes, and I’ve been very impressed with Allard’s work with the Admirals. He’s proven himself to be the top defender with the Admirals, vaulting over Alexandre Carrier in terms of who the next Nashville defender to be recalled should be.

Check out his shot on the rush above. Allard is responsible defensively and a lot more speedy compared to his fellow Milwaukee defenseman. His skating ability doesn’t blow you away, but Allard has the speed to join in on a rush and create chances. The Admirals could use about 3 more Frederic Allards.

P.K. Subban Back in Action

While Subban played limited minutes with none other than Matt Irwin last night, it was good to have him back in the lineup for the first time since mid-November. He announced his return to the ice in this manner:

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Back in the mix!

A post shared by P.K. Subban (@subbanator) on

It’s time for this team to rise.

Patiently Impatient

It’s not exactly a secret that Nashville is struggling. Even with Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban back in the lineup, the Predators were unable to solve Dallas backup Anton Khudobin last night. They peppered him with 49 shots. That’s almost unbearable. It’s frustrating.

The good news: the Predators are NOT at the bottom of the League. They’re sitting in second in the Central behind Winnipeg and above Colorado. However, it’s difficult to see teams like Tampa Bay win with ease while Nashville struggles to score once.

Is it time to make a trade? I’m curious what OTF readers think. It’s evident the Predators need scoring in the form of a known goal-scorer, but who? I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Kevin Fiala might NOT be the answer for this team right now. He has struggled mightily since October and would need one hell of a second half of the season to make up for it.

The Predators don’t have a cupboard chock full of incredible prospects. The cupboard itself is a little bare. Making a trade would likely involve picks and we probably don’t want to see more first-round picks traded away. David Poile would have to pull off the steal of the century. Who should the Predators trade for and at what cost?

It’s your turn. Disregarding the trade cost, who would you most like to see in Nashville gold?

Poll

Which player would you most like to see in Nashville gold?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis)
    (74 votes)
  • 18%
    Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia)
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    Mats Zucarello (New York Rangers)
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    Mark Stone (Ottawa)
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Gustav Nyqvist (Detroit)
    (1 vote)
123 votes total Vote Now