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The Week That Was: Chapter 23

This past week in California didn’t go exactly as planned, but the end result was pretty much what was needed. Also, what to do with Kyle Turris?

NHL: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Mark this past week as an important week in the final stretch of the regular season for the Nashville Predators.

Going through California with two games against the dregs of the Western Conference, followed by a Stanley Cup contender in San Jose, getting four out of six points was the most realistic goal.

And they got there. Though it was a different route to those four points than most would have predicted, it might actually have been the more satisfying result.

Despite trailing Winnipeg by one point with the Jets having two games in hand entering arguably the most difficult stretch of games in the second half of the season, there is still some optimism that a Central Division title is within reach. It’s still not likely, but wins in the next three games—especially Saturday in Winnipeg—might restart that push to avoid the 2-3 first-round matchup.

We’ll see.

On with it:

The Fast Money Round

Tuesday: Anaheim Ducks 3, Predators 2

Filip Forsberg’s shot from low in the left faceoff circle is something else. Too bad it took 55 minutes to get to anything resembling good hockey against a very bad team.

Thursday: Predators 3, Los Angeles Kings 1

Second-line center Colton Sissons out there doing work. Not calling this a 60-minute effort, but it’s closer than lots of games in recent weeks. A good bounce back from 48 hours earlier.

Saturday: Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 2

The best game the Preds have played in some time, against one of the West’s best teams. That’s progress.

Player of the Week

Honorable mentions go to Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons, but Viktor Arvidsson grabs the top spot this week. His scoring pace would make him a 50-goal scorer in 82 games. Getting 31 in 49 games is outstanding. He’s so close to the franchise record. Could he grab it this week?

NHL: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Favorite Thing of the Week

Let’s keep it in the OTF family this week.

Congratulations are certainly in order. That’s fandom at its finest, too.

Suggestion of the Week

Okay. Two weeks ago, I started to suggest that Kyle Turris be benched for a game or two. It actually happened (blind squirrel finds nut, or whatever analogy you wish to use), but now the other shoe must drop. He’s sat two games. That’s enough. He’s being paid too much to be out of the lineup for an extended length of time if he’s healthy.

He should get a chance to respond and work his way back into the lineup. Not back on the second line right away, mind you—but work him back in and let his play determine whether he slots back into a more prominent role or not. The message has been delivered. Now it’s time for Kyle Turris to step up and respond.

This week’s grade

Winning two out of three on this road trip was a must. It wasn’t the two we all expected, but beating the Sharks in San Jose is a step in the right direction. Could the ship be pointing forward for the first time in a while? We’ll find out soon enough as the schedule toughens up in the next two weeks. This really should be an A week, but you still can’t lose to a team as putrid as Anaheim. That’s enough to bring it down a full letter grade. This week’s grade: B

Poll

Who’s your Player of the Week for Week 23?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Viktor Arvidsson
    (42 votes)
  • 7%
    Filip Forsberg
    (6 votes)
  • 40%
    Colton Sissons
    (33 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now