Oct 10, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman
(59) during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Trending UP ⇑: Preds Defense Could Be Leagues Best
Part of the reason that the Predators have won three games and only given up two goals is that their defense is arguably the best in the league. Shea Weber and Roman Josi could both merit Norris Trophy nominations. Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm would be top two pairing on any team in the league.
A huge help though is the playing time of new Preds defenseman, Barret Jackman. He is averaging over 17:00 minutes a game but has about the same time on the Penalty Kill as Shea Weber and Roman Josi. He is helping to cut down that pairs minutes on the ice. They were near 26 minutes a game and right now are averaging between 22 and 23 minutes. That will be a huge help in the long run.
Roman Josi has two goals already and Seth Jones has taken a step forward in his development. He has chipped in two assists. Four of the six have points, with only seven goals scored by the team. Jones and Ryan Ellis are on the ice nearly 20 minutes a game. The more this group can share time, the better it is for everyone.
Coach Laviolette spoke to the Tennessean:
"“Our goaltender’s been real good,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think our defense has done a good job from the tops of the circles down. There haven’t been too many chances where there’s been guys left uncovered, so I think we’re doing a good job protecting the front of our net.”"
When your team is struggling a bit offensively, a great defense and goaltender can win you a few games.
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