Hey everyone, we’re going streaking!!! I imagine this is what the Nashville Predators said before they won five games in a row over the last two weeks.
Putting together five wins in a row is a wonderful accomplishment, even if three of the wins came against back-ups. Nevertheless, the Nashville Predators have taken down some serious contenders and should take solace in their consistency. Especially from their depth scoring.
A loss was bound to happen but boy was it preventable. There’s no excuse giving up a three to nothing lead. But the season moves on as the Nashville Predators have a few big games coming up this week, notably the Montreal Canadiens.
5. Carey Price out of Montreal?
Speaking of the Canadiens… The talk of the hockey world over the past few days has been that Carey Price might be on his way out of Montreal. At this moment, Price is on the last year of a deal that’s worth 6.5 million dollars and contains a no-movement clause. But that ramps up to 10.5 million dollars per year for the next eight years. This can be quite a lot for a goaltender who’s already 30 and has had a few surgeries.
Price is the best technical goaltender in the world and could probably play up to his standard, but for how much longer? The Montreal Canadiens might want to think about the future and getting some big name assets for their star goaltender. But the asking price (oh puns) might be too much.
Word on the street is that Price might not be happy with the way things are going. While Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Drouin, and Shea Weber are great players, they’re pretty much the only big pieces on the Canadiens. The cupboards are also pretty barren and things aren’t really looking good for the future. Maybe the best thing for both the Canadiens and Price is a change of scenery. But who could take on a 10.5 million dollar cap hit?
Not to kibosh the rumor I just brought up, but it’ll never happen. No team could take him plus who would replace him. The Canadiens would then have to commit to a rebuild and I’m not sure Montreal’s fans would accept that. I 100% think this won’t happen but stranger things have happened in Montreal (Subban).
4. 1A/1B is great, but the new 3A/3B is just as good
The Nashville Predators now own one of the best one, two punches in the NHL. Definitely in the top five, in my humble opinion. Which gives them one a 1A/1B situation, rather than a first line, second line situation like they had before.
But now they have something even greater, depth. With Jarnkrok and Bonino at center, the Predators have a 3A,3B situation. 3A with Jarnkrok will most likely be a shutdown line while 3B will most likely be used in more of an offensive role.
My 3A line would be Salomaki-Jarnkrok-Watson, while 3B would consist of Aberg-Bonino-Sissons
3. Kamenev gets the call in Colorado
Vladislav Kamenev played his first game for the Avalanche on Thursday night. Unfortunately, it’ll be his last game for a while as he broke his arm. Still, Kamenev put up a 100% Corsi and a 100% Fenwick in four minutes and five seconds. The sample size is minuscule and those stats are basically useless but I’m looking on the bright side.
We, here at Predlines.com, wish him nothing but the best except for a few times a year.
2. Put Carrier on the “first pair”
Unpopular opinion, but Roman Josi is a bit unreliable on defense, and so moving Mattias Ekholm was meant to strengthen that aspect. It’s worked for the most part but it’s left the second pair in disarray. P.K. Subban is the real star of the Nashville Predators as he plays with anyone and in a defensive role. Subban with Ekholm was a dream pairing as they ate extremely rough minutes so that Josi could receive sheltered zone starts and focus more on offense.
I think the best idea might be to move Ekholm back to the second pairing and put Alexandre Carrier on the first pair. That would restore the first two pairs to a preferred lefty and righty situation. Then Laviolette could have the second pair of Ekholm and Subban eat the tough minutes like last year, while Carrier and Josi receive easier zone starts that’ll play to their strengths.
If that doesn’t work, then try Carrier on the third pair while Weber is on the IR. Worse comes to worst and Carrier isn’t ready, then the Predators go back to Weber or Bitetto.
1. Houston, we have… hockey?
NHL representatives met with the owner of the Houston Rockets to earlier this week. Rumors have been rampant that the NHL is looking to expand to Seattle, but Houston has snuck into the mix. It makes sense as it’d add another team to the Central and even out the entire league. But here are a couple other things to remember.
The Seattle metro area has a population of 3.7 million while the Houston metro area has a population of 6.3 million. The closest hockey team is the Dallas Stars, who are about 3 hours away by car. Plus it’d mean another expedition into uncharted Southern territory, something that Gary Bettman loves.
I think a team in Houston could work, and it makes fiscal sense. Plus who knows, the Flames might leave Calgary and run to a tax payer funded arena in Seattle (it’s a joke, don’t hurt me), which would open Houston to expansion. I don’t think any more expansion teams are welcomed into the NHL until after the next lockout in 2020 though.