Five-Hole Friday: Turbulence

In which we discuss Eeli Tolvanen, the draft lottery, goalie balancing, and some Rinne saves.

The Nashville Predators secured a regulation win last night in Los Angeles after several games of inconsistent effort.

Here’s some more positive things for your Friday.

Tolvanen’s Incredible Effort

Eeli Tolvanen’s falling-down goal on Wednesday against the Cleveland Monsters was something beautiful. It originally looked like Tolvanen was just going to fall, but he managed to sweep the puck through the Cleveland goaltender’s five-hole.

Tolvanen could be a dark horse option for Nashville as they make their postseason push. His numbers aren’t ridiculously high, but he ranks #3 in AHL scoring for forwards under age 20. His development is something that the Predators organization is focusing on, and many Nashville fans are hoping he can make a leap to the big club next season. Could Tolvanen benefit from some time with fellow countryman Mikael Granlund? I sure think so.

Nashville Predators Save of the Week

There weren’t a lot of exciting things in Nashville’s game against Anaheim on Tuesday evening. Pekka Rinne made this solid stop on Max Jones on a penalty shot:

Jones didn’t exactly make Rinne work too hard here. The big Finn tracked the puck the entire way and made a pad save on Jones’s shot.

Balancing Goalie Starts for Nashville

If you’re looking for the Predators to “figure it out” over the next few weeks, their road isn’t going to be an easy one. Next week, they face off against the Maple Leafs and the Penguins, two likely playoff teams in the East. They also face the Penguins on the road.

The Predators have 5 away games remaining, including at San Jose on Saturday. They have 5 home games remaining, finishing up the 2018-2019 season against Chicago.

In these 10 remaining games, will we see Pekka Rinne taking a seat a bit more? Juuse Saros gives his team more than a chance to win each time he occupies the crease. I’m not sure what gives with the coaching staff, but it’s more than time to start the campaign for “Rest Rinne.” Saros could be a starting goaltender on nearly any other team. Put the kid in net.

Draft Lottery

The NHL announced on Thursday that the 2019 Draft Lottery will take place the day before the 2019 playoffs begin. The draft is in June in Vancouver. We’ll know around the second week of April which struggling teams will have top picks in the draft.

Expect some draft predictions from OTF as we get closer to the draft. The Predators will have a talented class to make their picks from. That brings up a bit of a question for Predators fans to consider. What kind of player do the Predators need to draft in the first round?

The Predators have 7 picks in this year’s Entry Draft. They don’t have a second round pick, but they do have two picks in the third round. One of the many reasons David Poile can be considered a wizard is because he brought in Mikael Granlund, Brian Boyle, and Wayne Simmonds in at the trade deadline without parting with this year’s first round pick. Nashville’s last first rounder was Eeli Tolvanen in 2017. They didn’t have a first-round pick in 2018.

What kind of player should the Predators draft in the first round of the 2019 Entry Draft?

A. Center51
B. Defender37
C. Winger79
D. Goaltender12