Nashville Predators: Key Matchups For Epic 2nd-Round Clash vs. Winnipeg

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13: Pekka Rinne
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13: Pekka Rinne /
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(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Need more production from Turris line

The Kyle Turris line is the key to the Predators turning into the most lethal team in the NHL. If they don’t get consistent production from this unit, it turns them into a more ordinary team. What I mean by that is they’re still formidable, but not nearly as dominant as they can be.

Turris had just one point and an assist in the first round. That’s not going to get the job done. He’s too important to this team to be irrelevant on the second line. Sometimes it’s just about matchups, and it’s possible Turris will fair better against Winnipeg in that regard.

It wasn’t just Turris that left a lot to be desired. Kevin Fiala had just two points, as did Craig Smith. I will say that Smith had a pretty solid series and did a lot of good things you don’t really see in the box score. With that said, this line has to get back to what made them successful in the regular season. Trust each other in the offensive zone, and stay out of the penalty box. The dumb penalties have to stop against Winnipeg, who don’t waste power play opportunities. They’re top-five in the NHL.

Next: Food For Thought While Predators Await Winnipeg

To round this out, we can’t count on Nick Bonino‘s line to make up for a no-show from the Turris line. If the Turris line gets back to regular season form, then the Predators can definitely hang with Winnipeg in a high-scoring series. They’ll be up against an equally good Winnipeg second line led by Paul Stastny and Patrik Lane.