Nashville Predators goalie
(35) and defenseman
(3). Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
4. Defense Could Be Even Better
The Predators had all kinds of defensive pairings during the preseason, but all of the defensemen look as good as ever. Add to that bunch a solid pickup in Barret Jackman instead of Anton Volchenkov and you really have something special.
Volchenkov was serviceable and played fairly solid defense last season. No goals and seven assists. Barret Jackman can help in a number of ways. He is a little better offensively, he already had a goal in the preseason. His job will be to stay at home and let Seth Jones wander into the offensive zone where he can be dangerous.
Another way he can assist is to play on the penalty kill and let Shea Weber play a few less minutes a game. He was nicked and didn’t play until the last couple of games in the preseason but looked faster and with a better shot than we had hoped for. The top three pairings of Weber and Roman Josi, Jackman and Jones, and Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis are as good as any and maybe the best in the league top to bottom.
A good defense that can move the puck like this group can cover up a multitude of problems and be a real asset. It’s hard not be excited about watching this group in the coming season.
Next: A Taste of the Playoffs