Nashville Predators: Five Thoughts For Friday, December 1st

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 30: Troy Stecher /

Derek Dorsett will not return to the Canucks after multiple injuries. It’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on the Nashville Predators or anyone for that matter.

Playing in the NHL is the dream of many and I can’t imagine how terrible it must be to have that taken by injuries. No matter who you root for or what you think of Derek Dorsett, we can all get behind Dorsett as he moves on from the NHL. Hopefully, we’ll see him in a coaching or scouting role sometime soon.

5. Turris five on five points

Kyle Turris has been absolutely wonderful for the Nashville Predators’ second line. I thought that Kevin Fiala was driving play and would score eventually, but Turris seems to have brought it out of him. Well, that seems to be the common thought going around. But does it hold water?

Turris has two even strength points so far this season for the Nashville Predators, with one being a goal. He’s been on the ice for five goals for and three against, as the second line isn’t known for their defensive play. Turris actually receives the most sheltering of any player on the offense, which isn’t a bad thing. But for all this talk of Turris kickstarting the offense, where are these points that he’s creating?

Turris currently has seven total points with the Predators, two of which are goals. This means that Turris has five of his seven points on the powerplay. Once again, not a terrible thing, but a little concerning. This has been the case for the entire year, as Turris had nine points in Ottawa, with four coming at five on five.

I think the second line owes a lot of success to Fiala moving the needle and entering the zone efficiently, well that and Craig Smith hitting the net.

4. A wild trade appeared!

Blockbuster trades are all the rage nowadays. We’ll always remember where we were when the Canadiens acquired Adam Cracknell for Peter Holland… I joke but the Ducks did something concerning today. They gave up Sami Vatanen and a third round pick to acquire Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi, and a third.

The Devils get a bonafide top-four defenseman. Although I’m not as high on Vatanen as others, he’s still a wonderful two-way guy who will make the Devils much better. He doesn’t have good possession scores but he’s pretty much the opposite of sheltered. Vatanen starts in the offensive zone 40% of the time against top-six talent. He also plays with human anchor Kevin Bieksa, and I imagine Will Butcher will suit much better.

The obvious get for the Ducks is Adam Henrique, who’s a bonafide top-six center who can slot in on the first line. Blandisi is a 23-year-old defenseman who can move the puck and put up points. He’ll probably see some NHL time with Ducks in a sheltered role which may suit him nicely. The biggest takeaway is that the Ducks now might tie the Predators for best center corp in the West. The Ducks are loading up for another deep playoff run, and their center group is elite, if old. As a hockey fan, I hope the Predators and Ducks clash again in the playoffs, but as a Predators fan, I hope the Ducks meet a hot goalie in the first round.

3.  Grit doesn’t always come from the big guys

It’s gone by many names, heart, character, or in some instances, truculence. Grit is something unique to hockey. No one quite knows what it is, but it’s extremely desirable. The common consensus is that big guys and fighters tend to have it, as they’re more willing to use the body. While that may have been the case at one point in time, I’m not so sure that’s true anymore.

In my opinion, the guys with the most “grit” on the team are Miikka Salomaki, Frederick Gaudreau, Viktor Arvidsson, and Austin Watson. These are the guys who keep their feet moving and are willing to do anything to win the game. If, like me, you love the movie “Goon”, you’ll probably remember that Doug Glatt stops a few sure-fire goals with his face at one point. This is way more gritty than him getting in fights to step up for a teammate. Austin Watson is the classic example as he blocked three shots in the final minute against the Blackhawks.

Guys like Salomaki will fit in anywhere on the line-up and do whatever Peter Laviolette asks. He’ll throw hits, suppress shots, or even score when possible. In my opinion, grit is doing whatever it takes to help your team win the game, and it can come from any player, no matter the size.

2. Karlsson and Doughty, future UFA’s?

Apparently, we’ve gotten bored of talking about John Tavares becoming a free agent, so we’re onto next year. Two of the top three defensemen in the NHL will be unrestricted free agents and so far have not discussed contracts. Both have actually made a point to discuss the prospect of them moving, with Doughty saying that he wants to “play for a winning team.” While the Kings have been winning so far, they’ve been getting colder and colder as the season has stretched on.

It should be noted that both Doughty and Karlsson are represented by the same agency and could use each other as leverage for money. Both have made references to P.K. Subban‘s nine million dollars as a starting point which makes sense. I imagine Doughty will make a bit less than Karlsson but it depends on which teams they go to. The Ottawa Senators have an internal cap and have been stingy in the past, their tight purse strings may cost them the best defenseman of the generation.

If Karlsson hits free agency, I could see him get 12 million per year or more, with Doughty getting 11 or so. Two defensemen of this skill migrating teams could mean a real power shift in the NHL. I have no idea where they’ll go, but I imagine Montreal will be in the mix with their oodles of cap space.

1. The Nashville Predators have scored a powerplay goal in every home game

I don’t really have any analysis for this besides that it’s really good. Hopefully, the Nashville Predators can keep it up now that they’re not relying on their power play for a significant chunk of their overall offense.

Next: Five Takeaways From The Last Game Of November