Mathieu Olivier easily leads this list off for me. He’s worked his tail off to get these valuable NHL minutes, and he’s doing that dirty work on the fourth line.
You can circle a lot of areas on this team that’s screwing up badly, but Olivier on the fourth line isn’t one of them. He would’ve been moved out of the starting lineup quickly if he was showing to be a liability down there, but he’s been the opposite.
Olivier just scored his first NHL career goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning that helped ignite a comeback that came up just short.
That was a very intense game with plenty of physicality and skirmishes after the whistle. Olivier was, of course, right in the middle of all the action.
There’s a lot of talk about the Predators needing to make some lineup changes, but Olivier isn’t one you can move out. He’s arguably been the most consistent player in the bottom-six all season.
Olivier really started to bring attention in the abbreviated training camp, and since then he hasn’t missed a beat. He should be in the starting lineup for a while.