December 4 – The Up Close and Personal
This one is gorgeous. Fiala breaks in quickly, slows up, then goes to the crease for a back-hand shot. What amazes about this one is how well Fiala fakes out Khudobin. If you look at the full play, Fiala has Craig Smith on the right-wing side in a two-on-one. He holds the puck uncomfortably long, fakes the pass (which freezes the goaltender), then brings it to his back-hand and fires.
Fiala’s ability to freeze high intensity situations is uncanny. Very few players have that ability (i.e. Pavel Datsyuk). As he continues to get better, he has the potential to become a player that can completely pick a struggling team up and will it to victory.
Kevin Fiala still has a way to go before he leads the team in goals, but he is well on his way to being a confident scorer the Nashville Predators can rely on night in and night out. His development and confidence as a play maker are key to the future of the Nashville Predators organization.