Nashville Predators: If the team wants to win, four players must step up…now

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Alexei Emelin

Maybe it is the fact Ryan Ellis is not in the line-up, forcing Alexei Emelin to play more out of position. By that, I mean he does not need to be on the second line. Or the first. However, with Ellis out and Josi missing some time, Emelin has played everywhere.

To his credit, some moments we watched transpire were not totally his fault. A couple plays in the game versus the New York Rangers were just poor luck. Still, there are several plays in which Emelin was just poor.

He is still on pace for 220 or more hits, 120 blocks, which are career averages. But his 11 giveaways puts him on pace for a career high as well. Emelin trails Forsberg and P.K. Subban in that category, but the team is relying on their stars too much.

It is not all bad, however. Giving the poor moments, Emelin’s PDO rating is 102.1. (For what it’s worth, Cody McLeod has a 107.0 rating.) And, even though his CorsiFor is 47% on the season, he has six games in which he rated 50% or higher.

Certainly, the roster issues are not helping. Emelin does have solid moments for the Predators. However, he needs to be on the third pairing. I guess that means Samuel Girard needs to play more.  (Spoiler Alert: He does.)