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Five-Hole Friday: The Golden Guys

This week’s discussion includes goalies, onions, and tiny gold scoring threats.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Fun-Sized Forwards

On Tuesday, the toothless Viktor Arvidsson notched a hat trick against the Washington Capitals. Rocco Grimaldi added a ridiculous backhand goal in the third period of the contest. Nashville has known about Arvidsson’s skill for a long time, but the addition of a speedy, skilled, slick winger like Grimaldi just adds to the conversation about size vs. skill.

No, Grimaldi is not scoring every night. But his speed is a significant advantage and he has the ability to catch an opponent flat-footed. Let’s look at that ridiculous goal ONE more time:

Tomáš Vomáčka

Riding the bench at UCONN, Preds prospect Tomáš Vomáčka hasn’t started too many games for the Huskies this season. He has a .892 Sv% over 7 games while backing up Adam Huska. He made this save last night in a Huskies loss:

Vomáčka is a freshman goaltender. He’s been on North American ice for a while. The 2017 draft pick played last season with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. I love the skills that Vomáčka brings to the table. He certainly needs more time to develop, but the youngster could very well be in Milwaukee in a few seasons.

Catch updates about Vomáčka and other Predators prospects in the OTF monthly prospects recap from Eric!

The Golden Bear

It looks like Juuse Saros has some new equipment. These pads are reminiscent of Marc-André Fleury’s golden gear when he was with Pittsburgh. Here’s Saros in his new setup at Thursday’s practice:

I’ve read tons of articles suggesting that white pads are actually better for goalies because it gives the shooter less information about open gaps against the ice. I suppose it’s really goaltender preference. This season, we’ve seen some sweet pads for Antti Raanta in Arizona and some bright red gear for Carey Price in Montreal.

In my opinion, it’s good for the goalies to show some personality. I find myself analyzing goaltender masks and I’ve often wondered why Nashville’s goalies haven’t found a way to sport some brightly colored pads. Maybe it’s not Pekka Rinne’s style.

Last season, Anders Lindbäck had some really nice baby blue and navy blue pads when he was with the Admirals.

Bring on the Golden Bear!!

Pontus Åberg

Pontus Åberg is back in the Central Division. Last season, the Predators traded Pontus Åberg to the Oilers for Mark Letestu. Letestu was eventually flipped to Columbus.

After some rough patches with the Oilers organization late last season, Åberg struggled to find a spot in the Edmonton lineup at the beginning of the season and was placed on waivers. He was picked up by the Anaheim Ducks and caught fire.

In 37 games with Anaheim, Åberg scored 11 goals and added another 8 assists. These last few games, though, Åberg has been a healthy scratch. He was traded to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday in exchange for Justin Kloos.

Åberg is certainly a well-travelled player. He was never really able to find his footing with Nashville or Edmonton. None of us will forget Åberg’s efforts in the Western Conference Final and Cup Final of 2017. He absolutely undressed Penguins defenseman Olli Määttä in Game 2 here:

Will Åberg be able to find a role with the Minnesota Wild? Only time will tell.

Preds Giving Back

Jacob Piros was treated to an all-out Predators experience on Thursday. The young goaltender is in Nashville as part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He led the team out on the ice before the Jets game.

I always love reading these stories where a team has a chance to make a dream come true for a kid who could use a few days of worry-free fun. The Predators continue to support organizations such as these and these stories always make me feel like I’m cutting up some onions.

Again, way to go, Preds.