Nashville Predators: December may have Predators saying ‘Merry Smithmas’

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 18: Craig Smith /
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(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Fiala, Turris, Smith: Three Productive Players Hop On The Ice Together…

Nobody questions whether or not acquiring Kyle Turris helps the Nashville Predators. His skill, leadership and strength down the middle have proved extremely valuable to the Predators lineup. With his acquisition, a new line combination formed. The combination may sit second in recent Nashville Predators history only to the JoFA line (Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson).

In Nashville’s last five games (3 – 1 – 1), the team has collectively scored thirteen regulation and overtime goals. Of those thirteen, at least one member of the Fiala – Turris – Smith line has scored or assisted six of those (46%). Smith shows up four times, Turris twice and Fiala once. Since Turris’ acquisition on November 5, Craig Smith has six goals and four assists. Overall, this group has been the second most productive line on the ice since its inception and Smith has largely been the one to capitalize on all the increased chances.

Smith clearly takes the goal scorer role on his line. He benefits from Kyle Turris’ excellent faceoff production and passing abilities as well as Kevin Fiala‘s dynamic skill and ability to get the puck behind the defensemen and to the net. With a fiery tenacity, Smith gobbles up loose pucks like Uncle Al gobbled up the Thanksgiving turkey last month.

In December, this line will continue to gel and get chances. As long as Nashville continues to decrease its penalty minutes, this line will see around 14:00 of ice time.