Something just isn’t working recently for the Nashville Predators, and it might be time to make a call-up from the Milwaukee Admirals.
The lineup has been constantly shuffled through the first 18 games for the Nashville Predators. There’s been glimpses of greatness, but also stretches of ineptitude. They’re in one of those bad stretches now.
The Predators just finished up a four-game road trip where they went 1-2-1, with the only win coming against a bad Detroit Red Wings team. There’s also a horrendous 9-4 loss to Colorado thrown in there. It’s not the end of the world, but the Predators definitely have some issues to work out.
It might be time to see some young blood thrown back into the lineup to see if it can ignite the bottom six. and bring some new energy to the team The first player to come to mind is Daniel Carr, a player who got a brief opportunity early in the regular season. Since then he’s been shining for the Milwaukee Admirals.
What Carr could bring to the lineup
This isn’t necessarily an indictment on the bottom six. Actually the bottom six has bee pretty solid with Nick Bonino leading the charge. This is more about injecting new energy and seeing what we have with Carr. He could come in and instantly provide a spark with his energy, aggression and ability to put pucks on the net.
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Carr already has the track record in the AHL of being a player that has a high ceiling eventually on the NHL level. He just needs more time. He had just three games before being sent down to the AHL. His numbers weren’t great by any means, but he also didn’t get much time to settle in and find a groove.
The fact is Carr is thriving for Milwaukee right now. He just won Player of the Week honors and is tied for the team lead in points despite only playing in ten games so far. His shooting percentage is surging at over 20 percent and has scored two game-winners already.
Now I realize these numbers won’t translate to the NHL, but I do think that he deserves another shot to be called up in the near future. He’d fit nicely on the fourth line with Austin Watson and Kyle Turris at center.
Who would be the odd man out?
Obviously this means Miikka Salomaki would be the one moved out of the lineup. With all due respect to Salomaki, he’s just wasting a roster spot right now. He’s not really bringing any value to the team and has a much lower ceiling tha nwhat Carr could potentially bring.
This doesn’t mean Carr would be a regular starter, either. Obviously it’s going to be tough to justify starting Carr over players like Mikael Granlund, Rocco Grimaldi or Craig Smith. But perhaps a healthy scratch to one of these players to see what Carr can bring is on the table.
Sometimes you have to make bold moves and take some risks. I’m ready to see Carr back on the NHL level practicing with the team and occasionally getting into the starting lineup. Essentially take over Salomaki’s role as he has way more upside and benefits more by being on the NHL level.
As much as it pains me to say this, Smith might be a player that would be a healthy scratch to make room for a starting role for Carr occasionally. He’s off to a rough start to the season and has registered just one point since the October 31st loss to Calgary.
The other healthy scratch to make room for Carr to get a start would be Grimaldi. I like Carr’s defensive presence way more than Grimaldi’s. And we know the Predators need help defensively right now and need to show more physicality from their forwards. Carr is your guy for that.
As for Smith, of course he does a lot of other things really well, but perhaps Carr could come in and make a bigger impact from time to time. It doesn’t mean I think Carr is a better player than Smith, but I do think that switching up the starting lineup and giving Smith or Grimaldi some rest would be beneficial for the long-term, while also allowing the Predators to throw out a new look in their bottom six.
If the Predators continue to struggle and don’t break out of this current funk, I’d expect Carr to be the first player called up to bring new life to the lineup. We haven’t seen the last of him this season.