Nashville Predators First Quarter Grades

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Oct 22, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Calle Jarnkrok (19) skates with the puck during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Third Line

Cody Hodgson – C-

Hodgson was brought in on a one-year contract to increase the scoring on the third line.  I’m sure there were even hopes that he could possibly move up to second line if successful enough.  So far he has a grand total of two goals and three assists, a 5.4% shot percentage, a 45% FaceOff Percentage and has been moved to wing.  Not exactly what I would call a successful experiment. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a definite step up from Olli Jokinen from last year’s start. This is where Fisher probably needs to be.

Calle Jarnkrok -B

Coming into the season, Jarnkrok was supposed to chip in on scoring, play solid defense on the wing, help on the penalty kill and plug in where needed.  He did all of that and moved to center, leads the team in FaceOff Percentage with a 57.9% dragging the team from the worst in the league and has the second most goals among our forwards. He’s a feisty little dude and shows his intelligence on the ice, always seeming to be in the right spot. A valuable piece of the team

2nd Winger – C

Viktor Arvidsson, Austin Watson, Mikka Salomaki, Colin Wilson, and even James Neal for a few shifts.  Nothing seems to really get this line going.  It is probably going to take that trade for a 1C to push the Mikes down a line to get this one going and spread out the scoring.  It is important.  We get scoring from the defense that other teams don’t but come playoff time we need three lines to throw out there.

Fourth Line

Everyone – B-

Let’s face it, we can’t even go through everyone who has played on this line.  It started with Paul Gaustad, Eric Nystrom and Gabriel Bourque.  We’ve seen Watson, Salomaki, Arvidsson and some wonderful play from Colton Sissons on this line.  They’ve scored more goals than expected, and some were big goals.  When someone went out, someone else stepped up and did the job they were supposed to.  A part of the Predators success this year is the play of the fourth line.

Can they continue?  That’s hard to say.  Eric Nystrom has three goals already this season. Colton Sissons came in and in six games scored a goal, was plus five and won nearly 70% of his faceoffs. The youngsters seemed to inject an energy into the team when they were out there.  The vets can really play defense and kill penalties.  It’s a nice mix and a kind of changing of the guard for next year as contracts come up.  Let’s enjoy the ride while we can.

Next: The Best Defense in the League