Time takes its toll on everything, and past success doesn’t guarantee future success. For the Nashville Predators’ first line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson, their time together may need to conclude.
Inconsistent play and woeful special teams put the focus on the star forwards to make something happen offensively. Changes need to happen, and what better place to start looking than the top line, which should be bringing the majority of the scoring to the table this season.
JoFA In The Past
The JoFA line has had success in the past. Under Peter Laviolette, they flourished at times and could be counted on to play with intensity and finesse.
More from Predlines
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Kiefer Sherwood
- Captain Candidates if Nashville Predators Didn’t Have Roman Josi
- The All-Time 25 Games or Less Nashville Predators Lineup
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Cody Glass
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
The Predators’ struggles from last season have been well-documented and scrutinized. The JoFA line was not spared through those struggles, with all three players having their issues on the ice.
The JoFA line played well at the beginning of last season but then faced difficulties, so Laviolette split them up to find scoring elsewhere. They shared the first line sporadically throughout the rest of the season.
Head Coach John Hynes utilized the JoFA line a few times when he took over as well. Although, once training camp for the Stanley Cup Qualifiers started, we began to hear a buzz that they may be reunited once again.
Although the Qualifiers didn’t pan out as Nashville would have liked, there was a ray of hope. Johansen, Forsberg, and Arvidsson reunited to provide most of the scoring in a losing effort to get the Predators into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Nashville Predators Need More Scoring
With a more defensive style of play now in place, the Predators may not have many more of those blowout games where they score more than six goals. However, the scoring has to come from somewhere.
Forsberg leads the Predators with four goals on 31 shots, while Arvidsson has only two goals on 36. Johansen only has 16 shots and zero goals. The line we all thought would dominate continues to struggle.
We have said for a while now that this Predators team with so many new players would need to gel quickly in this shortened season. While they have looked pretty good during 5-on-5 scenarios, they are 4-for-36 on power-play opportunities and struggling to find the back of the net.
The pressure is now on Hynes to make changes to find some scoring and make sure his team stays out of the penalty box. He may have found his answer by splitting up the JoFA line once more.
While some of the players on the third and fourth lines will probably change when others are healthy, that second line deserves some time together to see if they can mesh this season and hopefully find some goals sooner rather than later.
With each new setback that this Predators team faces, the window of opportunity closes a little bit more. The JoFA line has provided a lot of good memories. Unfortunately, it may be time to close this chapter for good and move forward with something else.
Depending on how this season plays out, one, or who knows, all three may find themselves playing elsewhere next Fall. How they play from here on out could determine what this Predators team looks like next season.