Nashville’s Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios: Second-Line


We stated our predictions for the Predators third-line for the upcoming season here along with our take on each third-liner’s best case/worst case scenarios. Now we shift our focus to the second-line we could see next season in Nashville.

Here is the list we have come up with that shows our prediction of the Predators roster-sheet for this upcoming season. You will notice names such as Filip Forsberg and Calle Jarnkrok are on the roster-sheet.

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*Mike Fisher is expected to miss 4-6 months due to a ruptured Achillles.

Last season, Nashville did not necessarily have a permanent second-line. The Predators did however have a consistent set of top-six forwards, with most seeing time on the top-line along with some time on second-line.

A year ago, the top-six forwards in the even strength time on ice category were Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, David Legwand, Patric Hornqvist, Colin Wilson, and Nick Spaling. Fisher, Smith, and Hornqvist were most consistently seen on the first-line, while Legwand, Wilson, and Spaling saw a lot of time on the second-line. Viktor Stalberg, Calle Jarnkrok, and others saw playing time on the second-line last season as well.

None of us of course know exactly what new head coach Peter Laviolette may do with the line combinations with his new offensive-heavy approach making its way to Nashville.

Line combinations are being experimented with at training camp and with preseason games starting tomorrow we will begin seeing line-combinations take shape; but even then line-combinations could change throughout the beginning of the season and of course with how players are performing.

Looking at the Predators’ roster on paper and basing things off of the past (which may not have an implication of course) here is my prediction of the players we will see to start the season and see a majority of playing time on the second-line.

This table will be edited and used throughout the coming days as we take a look at the other lines for the Predators.

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Healthy Scratches: Rich Clune and Paul Gaustad

Injured Reserve (IR): Mike Fisher

Filip Forsberg

Filip Forsberg has been seen as the best forward prospect in the deep pool of forwards in the Predators system. This is the year that Forsberg lives up to those expectations. Forsberg is a very gifted offensive player and will benefit tremendously in the new offensive-focused system that head coach Peter Laviolette will be implementing. Forsberg is a play maker with a great offensive awareness and a great wrist-shot. If all goes well, Forsberg could be one of the more exciting players to watch on the ice night in and night out.

Last season: 13 NHL games; 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, -8 +/- rating.

-Best Case Scenario

Forsberg steps into the role he has been labeled with, a top-six NHL forward. Forsberg finds chemistry on a line with Jokinen who is a great passer and opposite-wing of Wilson. Forsberg and Wilson both have had high-expectations since they became Nashville Predators; they find chemistry and both benefit from the success they each bring one another on the same line.

Forsberg’s Best Case Stat-Line: 80 games played; 19 goals, 29 assists, 48 points, +3 +/- rating

-Worst Case Scenario

Forsberg gets off to an extremely slow start and gets assigned bottom-six minutes, which a bottom-six role really doesn’t benefit his game unless the play makers are around him. If put on a bottom-six line, Forsberg won’t find the chemistry or confidence he needs and will be sent back to the AHL.

Forsberg’s Worst Case Stat-Line: 30 games played; 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points, -6 +/- rating

Olli Jokinen

Olli Jokinen is another center-icemen that was signed by Nashville this off-season just as Roy was. Jokinen played with the Winnipeg Jets last season and the 35-year-old forward put up good numbers despite playing on a team that finished last in the Central Division a year ago.

Last season: 82 total games; 18 goals, 25 assists, 43 points, -8 +/- rating

-Best Case Scenario

Jokinen again produces very respectable numbers along with playing 82 games for the Predators. Jokinen simply plays his role as a veteran and centers the second-line at a high-rate, scoring 20 or more goals.

Jokinen’s Best Case Stat-Line: 21 goals, 27 assists, 48 points, +1 +/- rating

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-Worst Case Scenario

Jokinen’s hockey-tank runs out around Christmas. From what I saw at training camp (yes, I know it’s just training camp) his tank still has plenty left in it, but Jokinen does turn 36-years-old at the start of December. Jokinen get’s off to a slow start, and finds himself in a bottom-six forward role.

Jokinen’s Worst Case Stat-Line: 12 goals, 23 assists, 35 points, -9 +/- rating

Colin Wilson

It seems as if for the past few seasons the headline surrounding Wilson has been “a make or break season”; this season’s headline doesn’t change for the 24-year-old forward. Last season the hockey world saw Wilson display flashes of greatness throughout games and stretches of the season, then the complete opposite such as his 33-game goal-less streak.

Last Season: 81 total games; 11 goals, 22 assists, 33 points, -1 +/- rating

-Best Case Scenario

Wilson breaks out, surpassing the 20-goal mark in the regular season for the first time in his NHL career. Along with his 20 goals he adds 20 or more assists and becomes a 40 point scorer; promoting himself towards a new contract as he is set to become a restricted-free agent at seasons end. Wilson finds his stride in a new, offensive-heavy system.

Wilson’s Best Case Stat Line: 21 goals, 26 assists 47 points, +10 +/- rating

Worst Case Scenario

Wilson has a repeat of last season and still doesn’t accomplish a 40 point season; his “make or break season” becomes a break of a season. Wilson, who will only be 25-years-old when the trade deadline comes around, becomes a piece in the trade market. If Wilson has a repeat of next season it may be hard for the Predators and general manager David Poile to keep him in Nashville.

Wilson’s Worst Case Stat-Line: 11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points, -5 +/- rating

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