The Depth is Key
One of the best surprises of the playoffs so far for Nashville is the production of the bottom half. The Predators are currently being led in playoff points by Austin Watson and Colton Sissons, with 7 points each. Watson scored in each of the first three games of the Colorado series, and added his fourth in Game 6. He has also tagged on three assists, and a +7 rating.
Sissons scored in games 1, 3, and 4, adding 4 assists along the way, too. He had at least one point in every game but game 5, and finished the series with a +4 rating. Positive numbers like that from guys in the bottom six is huge, as it means they’re capitalizing on weaker defenders and making the job of the top 6, much easier.
Numbers like these from two of your bottom forwards is a great sign.
People like Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson are going to be constantly matched with the Jets’ top skaters, making the play of the bottom half, very key. Even though those two added 6 goals and 3 assists of their own against Colorado, production from them could slow as they face better teams.
With that, the play of guys like Sissons, Watson, Ryan Hartman, and Calle Jarnkrok against Winnipeg becomes crucial. Winnipeg is offensively balanced, and deep like the Predators, meaning that production from the bottom half, could make the difference.
Good thing for Nashville though, is that the lower half is already pulling their weight.