Injuries are inevitable for every team throughout the season, but the Nashville Predators have had their fair share of key injuries to deal with.
There’s been plenty of injuries and long absences to key players for the Nashville Predators this season. Colton Sissons is the next player up to return, and should be for the next game on the schedule.
The Predators are on a current eight-day break thanks to the All-Star break, allowing Sissons to get some time in for the Milwaukee Admirals before the Predators return to action on January 27th against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sissons has been out for nearly a month due to a lower-body injury. He’s a vital part to the bottom six for the Predators as he provides veteran presence, forechecking, defensive physicality and scoring ability. He does a little bit of everything for this team, and they need him back for the stretch run.
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Can he come back re-energized?
This could be a blessing in disguise for Sissons. It hasn’t been a great season for him so far with just 13 points in 37 games. However, he’s really not that far behind his pace from last season which was a career high in points with 30.
I’ve been waiting for Sissons to have his breakout season in the NHL, and it hasn’t happened yet. He’s had his flashes, but he’s never developed into a top-six player. His Corsi percentage is slumping this season at 45 percent, as is his shots on goal with only 38. Barely one per game.
However, Sissons is still needed badly even with his average offensive numbers. He’s always been a pretty solid defensive forward, and that’s something the Predators need plenty of as they’ve been very inconsistent in playing solid defense in front of their goaltenders.
Sissons has been watching a lot of film and figuring out ways to improve his game when he returns to action. Check out this quote from Sissons via the Nashville Predators social media account:
Colton Sissons: “I’ve been watching games, and especially paying attention in the D zone, systematically, just to get my mind as ready as I can for when I come back.” https://t.co/t1ZaX9YF5Z
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 22, 2020
I’m pretty optimistic that Sissons is going to come back and provide a boost to the Predators again. He’s had some time off to fix some things and hopefully work with new head coach John Hynes on what changes he’s implementing.
Where he should fit in
This is a tough question to answer due to the Predators moving all of the lines around so much. Hynes hasn’t been shy about getting creative with his line combinations. For instance, we’ve already seen bold moves like Austin Watson on the top line and Viktor Arvidsson on the third line.
Sissons is a bottom six guy in my book. He’s a quality depth player, and that’s where it ends for me until he shows more strides in his offensive development.
With his being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sissons on the third line with Nick Bonino and Rocco Grimaldi, either. However, that kind of strays away from balancing out the lines in my opinion. Hynes wants four lines that can all create problems for the opposition, and I like Sissons on the fourth line the most to make that happen.
Sissons didn’t play in Milwaukee’s game last night, but they still have two more games remaining before the Predators play their first game after the All-Star game. If Sissons can play in Milwaukee’s next two games, which is a back-to-back, that should be plenty of action for him to get ready to play Monday for the Predators.
It hasn’t been since the 2015-16 season since Sissons played for Milwaukee. He played in 38 games that season and put up 19 points. His most productive AHL season was his first season with Milwaukee when he put up 44 points.
Ryan Ellis is the next key player the Predators need back from injury. After he returns, and assuming the Predators remain healthy, they’ll be back to full strength just in time to make their playoff push. They’re currently six points out, but have three to five games in hand over the teams ahead of them for those wildcard spots.