Nashville Predators Have to Decide Between Tyson Barrie and Luke Schenn

Maybe you can call it a good problem to have, but for Game 6 the Preds may have to choose between two veterans to start.
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two / Derek Cain/GettyImages

You can't confuse the Nashville Predators for being a team that doesn't have healthy competition on who to start among their playoff lineup. They have options, and fans have made their voices clear on some disagreements on who is getting minutes.

After a last-minute illness that forced Luke Schenn to be sidelined for Game 5, the Predators turned to another veteran to step in; Tyson Barrie, who was ironically as good as gone on the first plane out of Nashville just two months ago.

Barrie answered the call in commendable fashion and even logged a secondary assist on the Predators' tying power play goal in the Game 5 win. According to HockeyStatCards, Barrie brought modest results if you take away the secondary assist which primarily led by a great zone entry from Roman Josi, a set up pass from Filip Forsberg, and Gus Nyquist not giving up on the play while the puck squeaked by.

Choosing between Barrie or Schenn for Game 6

It's looking like Schenn came down with some sort of a flu bug that he dealt with even for Game 1, but he's feeling better now per Adam Kimelman of

Canucks fans will of course argue that the goal shouldn't have even been allowed due to goalie interference, and at the very least it probably should've been challenged. Be that as it may, it wasn't and the goal counted.

Look, Barrie didn't play horribly by any means. He wasn't a game-changer, either. He's a much different style defenseman than Luke Schenn, who is purely a physically imposing enforcer and who has the intangibles to go with it with his championship pedigree.

So there's a high probability that Schenn will be recovered from his illness for Game 6 on Friday. The teams are getting two full days off due to the long travel between Vancouver and Nashville, giving Schenn some extra time to recover.

Head Coach Andrew Brunette has shown over his first year at the helm with Nashville that he doesn't prefer to shake up the starting lineup. He has remained pretty loyal, and you can even call it stubborn at times, to his starting lineup. And it's the playoffs, so you really don't want to be rattling the chemistry at this do-or-die time to your season.

Barrie didn't do anything bad enough to say you can't stick with him. He can help with the power play which did connect in Game 5, but is still completely unreliable and just an utter mess. But is he that big of an impact player on the power play that you have to leave him in over Schenn? I don't think so.

It's not an easy call to make, but Schenn is the more valuable player in this type of series. You need as much physicality as you can get to match what the Canucks are bringing. I want Schenn in there due to his playoff experience and his presence to match the heavy hitting the Canucks have been putting on the Predators.

I want Schenn in there for the inevitable moments that are going to happen like this, to protect his teammates and not let the Canucks get away with bullying the Predators off the puck and after the whistle.

You can make arguments for both, and both bring their own pros and cons. It's just a preference to me in this type of series that I have a guy like Schenn you will protect the goalie, not back down and knows what it means to win in the postseason.

Both Schenn and Barrie have around the same amount of career playoff games. They're two different types of players. As much as I respect what Barrie did being ready to step in for Game 5, I'm going back to Schenn for Game 6 if he's 100 percent recovered.

Others news to report regarding the Predators defensive corps is Spencer Stastney, who is considered week-to-week after taking a hard hit on the boards in Game 3, and Kevin Gravel has been called up on Thursday to the playoff roster from the Milwaukee Admirals.