Offense: C- (Up from a D+)
The Offense is still somewhat…offensive. Sure, they raised their grade, but do you want to know the difference between a C- and a D+ on the 4.0 scale? You probably don’t care, but it’s .5 (the more you knowwww). If not for a stellar Filbruary that saw Filip Forsberg average a point per game, or surprise efforts from Calle Jarnkrok and the ever-rising stock (“STONK”?) of Mattias Ekholm, as well as the advent of youthful talent like Eeli Tolvanen (more on him in a bit), I’m not sure there would be much worth talking about here.
In many facets of the game, you can put some of the downturn for the Nashville Predators on the “youth” of the team, but it’s really not their fault the offense is about as explosive as a wet blanket covered in fire extinguisher fluid. The system just…isn’t flashy. Old habits still loom (like taking low-percentage shots, no second chance opportunities, etc.), but really you can see exactly what this phase of the game is based on the transitions to the offensive zone.
The setup to this ever-important component of the game is…really bad. Watching the team go through the neutral zone is like holding your breath and wondering if anyone noticed it was you that farted in the crowded elevator. When the offense DOES get through the neutral zone, the shot selection isn’t the best – it HAS improved, albeit ever so slightly, but there has to be a better way of playing offensive hockey that isn’t so…offensive.