Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes: Underrated X-Factors

: Dante Fabbro #57 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
: Dante Fabbro #57 of the Nashville Predators (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Arizona Coyotes: Conor Garland

Everyone’s attention is going to be focused on shutting down Taylor Hall. He’s a dynamic and crafty offensive player who can take over games and steal wins if he gets loose.

For the most part, the Coyotes are a pretty thin and ordinary offensive team. They’re not going to run teams out of the building with a flurry of goals on most occasions.

But there are some quality offensive players who might elevate their games and suddenly make Arizona a much more dangerous offensive team. Conor Garland is one of them.

If the Coyotes’ top line starts producing, then the Predators are going to be in trouble. They’re already going to have their hands full with Hall, but if Garland starts connecting on chances then it’s going to suddenly turn into matchup with a lot more offensive firepower.

Garland was the team’s leading goal scorer with 22, and third on the team in points with 39. And yet I don’t hear much talk about him when preparing for the Coyotes. It’s all focused on Hall and their elite goaltending.

Garland also has a respectable shooting percentage of 13.9, decent possession metrics and is one of the top offensive threats the Coyotes have outside of Hall and Phil Kessel. He’s just in his second season in the NHL, so he might not be ready for this playoff stage just yet.