As we’re waiting on the arbitration ruling between the Nashville Predators and Yakov Trenin, the line that he was part of last season was the most consistent and should remain together going into 2022-23.
Known infamously as the “Herd Line”, Trenin was on a hard-hitting line along with Tanner Jeannot and Colton Sissons for most of the season. The trio regularly brought energy to the lineup even on nights when the rest of the team was lackluster.
With Nino Niederreiter being added to the mix, and the departures of Luke Kunin and Nick Cousins, it begs the question of how the lineup will be affected. Our very own Alec Creasy projected his starting lineup last week.
Nashville Predators need to keep the Herd Line together initially
Althought it’s very tempting to move either Trenin or Jeannot up into a top-six role, the safer and wiser move for Head Coach John Hynes is to follow the old adage of don’t try to fix what’s not broken. At least not open the season.
As much as I believe Jeannot is deserving of getting an increased reponsibility on this team, he’s much more affective remaining on the same line with Trenin and Sissons. These three have undeniable chemistry, and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue into the upcoming season.
Per MoneyPuck.com, the “Herd Line” was 10th among forward lines in the entire NHL for Expected Goals For, and played the fourth-most minutes together in the NHL over the course of 68 total games.
By keeping them together to open the season, we’ll have some stability of knowing what we’re getting. And who knows, this trio could take another step forward with increased offensvie production, most notably from Trenin’s 17 goals to maybe becoming a 20-plus goal scorer.
Furthermore, if the Predators are going to continue to push this reputation and playing style of outworking the other team, then you have to keep the Herd Line together as they are the embodiement of that style.
We all want to see more pretty goals like this connection from Sissons to Jeannot in a game early last season against the LA Kings, courtesy of NHL TimeStampGuy on YouTube:
The caveat to this is how the rest of the lineup performs. If there are problems on the new second line that likely will include Niederreiter and Johansen, then you might have to explore breaking the Herd Line up and moving up Trenin or Jeannot.
Sissons has to remain a bottom six center role as it fits him perfectly and he’s very affective there.
A multitude of bad injuries would also force Hynes’ hand into breaking up Herd Line, but let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the injury gods are kind to the Nashville Predators. They still have depth concerns, as do the majority of teams.
It feels refreshing knowing that the Nashville Predators have a decent blueprint to work with going into the preseason and traning camp. We know that the Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund and Matt Duchene line can be incredibly productive as the top line, and we have the Herd Line as the tone setting line for an encore from a successful campaign last season.
I’ll be surprised, and a little baffled, if we don’t see the Herd Line rolled back out on opening night of 2022-23. I’m intrigued to see if they can build off of last season and see the growth of Trenin and Jeannot playing alongside a wise veteran in Sissons.
The Predators should end up being a very difficult and frustrating team to play against thanks to the Herd Line getting another season together, plus the addition of a solid two-way veteran in Niederreiter.