To All the Preds I’ve Wronged Before

Not a movie, not coming to Netflix

If the title of this article feels familiar, it’s because I’ve drawn inspiration from a movie with a similar name — and yes, it is another movie I have not actually seen. However, like last time: bear with me, I have a point.

The movie that inspired me this time is Netflix’s rom-com hit, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and unlike Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, I am actually familiar with the plot of this movie. That should help.

In case you are unfamiliar, let me break it down for you, spoiler-free — because I haven’t seen it myself, remember?

A girl named Lara Jean writes letters to all over her unrequited loves to help her get over her crushes. The letters are never meant to be seen by anyone except her, but they’re accidentally mailed to the boys she wrote them about.

Here’s where my girl Lara Jean and I differ:

  1. I do not have crushes on these men.
  2. I’m writing this in a public forum meant to be viewed.

Still with me? O.K., good.

This article is called “To all the Preds I’ve wronged before” because one month into the season, I’ve written a few things about the Preds that I’d now like to discuss.

To be clear, I’m not taking anything I’ve said back. I may admit I was wrong or judged things too early, but I stand by my original statements for what they were at the time.

Nick Bonino

That’s actually “Nashville Predators leading goal-scorer Nick Bonino” to you.

Before the season began, I wrote the following in a preview of the centers:

The Preds signed him for his offensive abilities, but also for the fact that Bonino used his 6’1”, 196-pound frame to be a bully on the ice—that’s generally the Pittsburgh Penguins’ style of play around their superstars: grind lines with offensive weapons. Though Bonino has remained a steady and fairly reliable player for two seasons with the Preds, it still doesn’t solve the issue that it seems like he doesn’t quite fit with the team and that Laviolette doesn’t really understand how to utilize him.

Boo me. I deserve it. It was harsh criticism.

2019-2020 Position Previews: Centers

However, I will say that at the time of publication it was harsh, but not inaccurate.

I don’t think anyone would’ve predicted that Nick Bonino would finally hit his offensive stride with the Nashville Predators in his third season in Smashville, but he did. Head coach Peter Laviolette finally found Bonino’s sweet spot on the team and both have leaned into it, to the heavy benefit of the team.

Bonino has found success on the third line and the second power play unit this season. He even completed a natural hat trick during the game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

With his recent success, some have called for a ‘trade him while he’s hot scenario.’ However, if the Preds are ‘all in’ this season, it might not be in their best interest to let him go. The team is entirely built around offense currently, so they need him to continue to perform at the top of his game.

To you, Nick Bonino,

I’m sorry for doubting you. I was wrong about what I predicted and I was wrong about what you are capable of. I hope you continue your success this season and I will continue to eat the crow I served myself. If you don’t, Kate will say that this article jinxed you and I may be banished to the OTF dungeon.

Penalty Kill

The penalty kill is not a person and therefore there’s no one to actually “write” to here, but why would that stop me? This is a place where we embrace the weird.

I wasn’t wrong about what I said about the penalty kill on Oct. 21 when I labeled it as ‘trending down/sell now’ in my honky-tonk stock report (or ‘honky stonks,’ as Rachel cleverly named them). At the time, the Preds’ penalty kill was the 30th-worst in the league, with a 65.4 penalty-killing percentage.

Predators stock report: Who to buy in on, who to sell

Instead, this section is dedicated to how much the penalty kill has grown in two weeks. Growth is a wonderful thing. You’re doing great, sweetie.

The Preds have found their rhythm in recent weeks. They went from 30th in the league to 23rd. That’s decent progress over a two-week period.

The penalty kill has killed off 78.7 percent of the penalties they’ve been asked to—20 of the last 21 penalties the Predators have taken—and they’ve haven’t allowed a power play goal in six of their last seven games.

For an offense-driven team, this is promising.

Hey Penalty Kill,

I know we haven’t seen eye-to-eye this season. I’ve criticized you and maybe you took that as a penalty that you then needed to ‘kill.’ If that’s the case, you’ve killed my penalty and proven you’re capable of greatness. You do you!

Kyle Turris

To be clear, I have nothing to apologize for or admit fault on here. Turris gets a section for the things that have been said about him by Preds fans and NHL fans and other journalists alike.

Coming into the 2019-2020 season, Turris was persona non grata. He did have a bad year in the 2018-2019 season, but as I said in the Halloween costume party recap: Kyle Turris, also known as Billy Madison, is taking fans and opposing teams back to school, back to school to prove to them he’s not a fool.

Yes, that line was so nice I used it twice.

I’ll stop rhyming now.

Turris is currently top ten on the team in goalscoring and just outside of the top ten in assists and points.

He’s been shuffled between lines due to an injury to Filip Forsberg and, recently, due to a search for the best team chemistry. Line shuffling could cause a player to slump due to the lack of consistency, but not Kyle Turris. He’s proving to the Preds he can score or create offense regardless of which line he’s on.

Personally, and I also predicted this before the season began, I think he has the best chemistry with Matt Duchene. We will see if that line sticks in the future.

Dear Kyle Turris,

On behalf of everyone who has wronged you up to this point in your time with the Preds, I apologize for them. Keep proving the doubters wrong.

I’m not sure how To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ends, but it’s a rom-com, so I’m guessing something along the lines of love and happiness. Personally, I’m just hoping for good karma for myself.