Defense: B (Q1: C-, Q2: C)
The Nashville Predators defense may have started a little rocky, but they have consistently graded out as the best phase of the team the past three quarters of the season.
What is nice to see is that they are finding much more solid footing in the third quarter of the season, albeit through unconventional methods.
Amazingly, the spark to the defensive corp has come from young talent.
Alexandre Carrier is a strong defenseman who has an extra jump in the offensive component of his game, and has looked good on special teams as well.
Jeremy Davies has also looked pretty impressive in spot-duty.
Ben Harpur may not wow a lot of fans, but he’s a stay at home defender who doesn’t get burned, disrupts in the neutral zone, and plays relatively mistake free (knock on wood).
Former coveted prospect David Farrance has also looked good in limited time we’ve had to see him.
The youth have provided a spark to the defensive corp that shows how deep the team can be in a crucial component of the team, and they’ve played a big part in the teams success.
We can’t mention recent success without talking about the resurgence of Juuse Saros; he started the year off slow, as he did in 2019-2020, but since coming back from injury, he’s been absolutely unreal.
How unreal? Since his return on March 18th, Juuse Saros is the #1 goaltender in the NHL, leading in wins (9), Sv% (.961), and GAA (1.26) among qualifying goal tenders with at least 4 starts in that span. I mean…we are not worthy.
Let’s just hope Saros can keep the amazing streak up.