I’m not the least bit surprised that the Nashville Predators have decided to make a couple call-ups from the Milwaukee Admirals today.
The Nashville Predators have made two call-ups from their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals as defenseman Steven Santini and right wing Mathieu Olivier are coming up to the NHL squad. Two somewhat surprising choices from the loaded AHL team.
Every team usually goes through what the Nashville Predators are currently going through right now. A rough stretch of hockey recently that has them with losses in six of their past seven games. The only win in that stretch is too a bad Detroit Red Wings team.
So now it looks like it’s time to inject new energy into the lineup. This is especially needed on the defensive side of things as the team is giving up a lot of goals in short amounts of time. They recently have surrendered nine goals to the Avalanche and seven goals to the Blackhawks in their most recent loss this past Saturday.
Looking at both call-ups
I’m a little surprised by both choices, but more so by Olivier. He’s outside the Admirals’ top ten in points with seven points in 17 games so far. His shooting percentage is pretty low and he’s racked up a lot of penalty minutes at 37 minutes, which is second on the team.
Olivier also has no NHL experience and just 71 games of AHL experience. He has just 19 points over the course of his career with the Admirals. So this choice of player is a little puzzling. There would seem to be other forwards on the Adimirals roster that would be more of a safe bet.
As for Santini, he has plenty of NHL experience with 114 games under his belt since coming into the league in 2015-16. He was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Since then he’s racked up 21 points in the NHL and has a plus/minus of minus-ten.
Santini came over via the P.K. Subban trade over this past offseason. So perhaps it’s time to see what the Predators have in him as he hasn’t played a regular season game yet for his new NHL team. I’m all for trying something new on that third defensive pairing over Matt Irwin or Yannick Weber.
Going back to Olivier, this one really has me curious. My curiosity is peaked as to why Olivier has been called up over more highly-skilled players like Daniel Carr, Rem Pitlick, Yakov Trenin or even the recently struggling Eeli Tovlanen. Just my two cents.
What this means for the Predators lineup
I’d expect Santini to be in place on that third defensive pairing in the next game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. Let’s see what we have in this guy that has some NHL level experience and was received though losing Subban. That had to be done to get Matt Duchene.
When it comes to Olivier, I don’t see him starting initially in the bottom six. Who would you give a healthy scratch to to make room for Olivier as a starter? No way he’s starting over an Austin Watson, Rocco Grimaldi or anyone else on the Predators lineup.
This isn’t the end of the roster shuffling and the call-ups from Milwaukee. You see call-ups from MIlwaukee usually because of devastating injuries, but in this case this team just needs new energy. The Admirals pipeline is loaded, so it’s all about using every card you can in your deck.
It’ll be interesting to see if either Santini or Olivier can stick on the NHL level. My initial bet would be neither of them do, but most importantly we have to see what we have in Santini. Can he make a new home on Nashville’s troubled third defensive pairing? That’s where my attention is focused on from these two call-ups.