Nashville Predators have a Full Healthy Defense to Finish off Playoff Pursuit

Even though it ended in a loss, the Predators put forth an inspired defensive effort against the Bruins on Tuesday.
Apr 2, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) skates with
Apr 2, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) skates with / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In a defensive struggle that felt like a playoff game, the Nashville Predators went toe-to-toe with the Boston Bruins and held the loaded roster to two goals before getting the empty netter to cap off the victory.

Lost in the frustration of the loss, you have to be happy about how the Predators defended against the Bruins. And they're full healthy with their defensive corps, which should end up being very beneficial in the final seven games of the regular season and hopefully the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Predators are Fully Healthy on Defense Again

Alexandre Carrier returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Bruins and logged 19:22 of ice time in his reuniting with Jeremy Lauzon as his line partner.

The Carrier/Lauzon pairing was brilliant again in this game against the Bruins allowing just a miniscule 0.031 Expected Goals Against at 5v5 play. This is undoubtedly one of your starting defensive pairings if you make it into the playoffs.

Also, Dante Fabbro was available to start this game but was healthy scratched for the rookie Spencer Stastney. The majority of Stastney's time against Boston was on a pairing with Luke Schenn, and gave up just five shot attempts against in their seven minutes together at 5v5 play.


This is interesting when thinking about the possible postseason starting lineup and gives you an idea of the confidence the coaching staff has in Stastney over Fabbro. Stastney certainly provides more offensive upside, but Fabbro gives you the veteran experience and arguably the more stable defensive play.

Moving forward, it will be worth watching to see if Fabbro gets shifted into the starting lineup for Stastney to see who performs better for a starting playoff role. Of course, the Predators first have to finish off the Blues who are still chasing the wildcard teams.

This also means that Tyson Barrie is back out of the starting lineup. He hasn't played in the last two games, with Fabbro getting the start against the Avalanche, and Carrier returning means that Barrie will have a hard time getting back in. He's back to where he was before all of the injuries to the defensive corps piled up at once.

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Barrie had three assists in five games before getting benched again for the Avalanche game.

Assuming the Predators finish the deal and get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it will come down to either Fabbro or Stastney most likely on who starts in Game 1 with Schenn as their defensive linemate. I can't see Josi/McDonagh or Carrier/Lauzon being broken up.