The Predators defense has been the franchise’s staple for many years. Some of the best Predators have been defenseman, and GM Poile has always built from the back, up. With all the hype behind this defensive core though, they’re simply underperforming.
Not a single Predator defenseman has a positive +/- right now. The blue line as a whole has 7 shots on net this season. Only Roman Josi, PK Subban, and Mattias Ekholm have seen more than 16 minutes of ice time per game. All of this to say, the Predators need more consistent help from the defense.
We can give the defense a little break though, as they are operating without Ryan Ellis for the next few months. And, tonight, Josi is out with Samuel Girard taking his place.
Josi, Subban, and Ekholm are all averaging 23+ minutes on ice per game. While you do want your stars on the ice more often, you must have help from the lower lines too. Bitetto, Irwin, and Weber have been non-factors so far, only seeing roughly 15 minutes on ice.
The blue line must help each other first, so that they can then help Rinne. In his first start of the year, Pekka made 28 saves, however, sometimes giving up 3 goals won’t cut it. He doesn’t look out of style, but he does need help from his defenseman who are some of the best in the game.