There’s a lot to process, so let’s spare the intro this time, shall we?
The Fast Money Round
We thought Kyle Turris might return against the Yotes, but he didn’t. Guess the extra rest didn’t hurt him or the Preds.
Thursday: Predators 3, Dallas Stars 2 (OT)
The opening faceoff of overtime is now the most important faceoff in the NHL (during the regular season, that is). Ryan Johansen helped show us why in just 43 seconds. Meanwhile Craig Smith’s out here playing tricks.
Saturday: St. Louis Blues 3, Predators 2
Classic example of the score not indicating the way the game really went. Also, St. Louis should just go with those uniforms as their regular home threads. Still, day games are good.
Sunday: St. Louis Blues 5, Predators 4 (OT)
See: Thursday. Ryan Johansen didn’t like the drop for the opening faceoff of overtime, and Vladimir Tarasenko ended it 16 seconds later. A prediction: Remember these two games when these two teams open the Western Conference playoffs, because that’s where we’re headed, folks.
Player Line of the Week
Make your case for any member of the JOFA line to be our Player of the Week below in the poll. It’s up to you to break the tie.
Favorite Thing of the Week
Nashville did itself proud this week with the NWHL All-Star festivities. From the skills competition at Ford Ice Center, to more than doubling the previous attendance record for the All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena, folks came out to see the league’s best put on a show.
Grumble of the Week
Do not sit Rocco Grimaldi in favor of Cody McLeod. Especially after David Poile just told the man he could go look for a house. And ESPECIALLY not on the man’s birthday, for heaven’s sake.
On trades and stuff
Bringing in Brian Boyle makes sense. He’s good on special teams and he has that valuable size the Preds desperately need. Yes, David Poile paid a premium to get him, considering it’s two weeks before the deadline and he fills said needs.
Bringing in Cody McLeod does not make sense. The narratives of being a great locker-room presence have certainly been trumpeted since the deal, but when he’s only playing eight shifts in a game, that’s not helping the team. When the calendar hits April, his name should be at the bottom of the list.
Poile’s in a hard place to be—not only does he have limited resources to go after a big pot (one of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene or Mark Stone), but the teams he’s in direct competition with for playoff seeding have more resources to go.
When you’re short-stacked with a good hand, there’s really only one play to make—and it’s go all-in. The hand Poile has now is pretty much akin to holding a pair of jacks before the flop in Texas Hold ‘Em—it’s a good hand, but not dominating. It’s not likely to improve much unless the right cards come along, and somebody (Winnipeg) is probably holding a better hand, anyway.
Poile mentioned that he’d be okay going into the playoffs with the current roster if no other trades presented themselves. But after seeing a probable first-round opponent take back-to-back wins on back-to-back days, can he really sit back and say the same thing? Nothing beyond the JOFA line is working. There was a good fourth line, but putting McLeod on it ruins that premise.
Trade for Artemi Panarin and don’t wait to do it. If you can get him now, before the deadline, make the call. And if that doesn’t work, Stone’s the next choice. (And it’s the royal flush of trades in this cycle, but if there’s a path to both Duchene and Stone, find out what it is.)
Push the chips in, David. You don’t have the best hand right now, but you can put a scare in some people and still go get it.
This week’s grade
What did we learn? That the Central’s gaining steam and the probable first-round opponent may have made a stop in Bridgestone Arena this week. Grimaldi shouldn’t sit, and Poile shouldn’t sit on this roster. This weekend, the Preds were exposed. Now, they’ve got to do something about it. Winning one of the two games against the Blues would have helped. This week’s grade: C+
Who’s the Player of the Week for Week 18?
This poll is closed