Nashville Predators: Predators November Awards

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

Best Annoying Discussion Topic: Cody McLeod’s spot on the roster

I’m on record as supporting Cody McLeod & his spot on the Nashville Predators roster. This puts me on the opposite side of most people writing about hockey these days, including my Predlines colleagues. I’m ok with this. Even when I consider all the fancy statistics and some of the plays he makes, I recognize the importance of Cody McLeod.

What never ceases to amaze me is how deadset the McLeod haters are against him. They spend hours upon hours complaining about his spot on the team. This leads to McLeod defenders sticking up for him, and many, many tweets. All this about a hockey player that’s either the last guy on the active roster or the first guy sitting in the press box. Or the penalty box, if he happens to be playing that evening.

To me, a guy like McLeod is who you want in that spot. I want Frederick Gaudreau & Pontus Aberg playing constant minutes and getting better. If they can in Nashville, that’s great. If they can’t, I don’t want to see them sitting up in the press box when they could be in Milwaukee getting ice time. There’s no reason to send McLeod to Milwaukee.

There’s no real reason to release him either. He’s on the last season of his contract and everybody on the team likes him. If he was a locker room cancer I’d be all about getting rid of him, but he’s one of those guys that hockey players love having on their side. Nashville has been a better team since his arrival. Getting rid of him because you’d rather have a young guy sit in the press box & take notes or something doesn’t make much sense to me.

Best Game: Nashville 5, Pittsburgh 4 (SO)  on November 11

There were many contenders for this award. The wins over St. Louis, Winnipeg & Chicago were good division tone setters. Wins in Anaheim & Los Angeles to start the month got the Predators’ road play on track. As far as on-ice excitement & playoff feel goes, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ visit to Bridgestone Arena is tough to beat.

Kyle Turris made his debut with the Nashville Predators a memorable one, scoring Nashville’s first goal of the night. Pittsburgh led 1-0 after one period, but the Predators scored three goals in the first six minutes of the second to take the lead. Pittsburgh would come back to tie it, and in a rarity, Nashville actually survived overtime & won a shootout.

I don’t know how other Predator fans feel about it, but beating Pittsburgh feels better to me than wins against anybody else. Even Chicago.