It’s decision day folks. The Predators will be busy making their final cuts and will be setting the roster for the 2011-2012 season. That being said, let’s take a quick look at what we learned from this preseason , if anything:
1. Shea Weber obviously trained with Mr. Miyagi this offseason: Anyone who got a glimpse of Shea’s defense can see that he certainly perfected the art of “paint the fence” to add to his defensive skills this offseason. Few pucks were able to get past his stick as he was deflecting everything in the air and on the ice. Our defense will be as solid as ever with Shea, Suter, Blum, and Klein. The loss of Cody Franson will hurt a little, but the defense will still play to Nashville’s strength.
2. Pekka hasn’t missed a beat off of last year’s stellar season: Preseason stats have him with 3 goals allowed in 169 minutes of play in the preseason. His goals against average is 1.07 (if you care about preseason stats). Somewhere I picture Pekka training in a batting cage with Happy Gilmore, except he’d be smart enough to wear pads. “Only 364 more days until next year’s hockey season!” That being said, the Iron Man is going to be a wall in goal for the Preds. He’s my vote for the Vezina this year.
3. This could be Colin Wilson’s breakout season: With 7 points in the preseason: 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 games, Colin could finally be on the verge of his standout year. The Preds could sure use a standout scorer and nothing would make me happier to see C-Dubs do it. Plus, does anyone else find it hilarious Plus,does anyone else find it hilarious that someone screams “Wiiiiiiiiilllllllllsssssssooooonnnn” every time he’s on the ice? I’m surprised there’s never any Dennis the Menace references for Mr. Wilson. Anyways, I digress.
4. Sergei Kostitsyn doesn’t shoot much but when he does he’s a sniper: SK74 was all about accuracy this preseason with his shooting percentage staying at 100% with only 1 shot on goal in 4 games. I’m still looking to see him breakout in Nashville which I think he definitely has the potential to do. If anyone remembers those No Fear shirts, I think we should all chip in and get SK the one that says “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Like I said about Colin Wilson, the biggest hole in Nashville’s lineup is a standout scorer. For Nashville to take their game to the next level, there’s going to have to be someone to carry this offense. Having a team effort is great, but I’d love to see someone break away from the pack. Could it be Erat, Kostitsyn, Wilson, hell even Shea is talked about as the potential leading scorer for this team. If your defense is being talked about in that category it’s time to start keeping your front line at practice shooting more.
5. Craig Smith… WOW: You’d be hard pressed to find a lot of information out about Craig Smith considering that there’s already an NBA player with the same name as well as some guy in Santa Barbara who cover’s law like a wet blanket. Further investigation has told me that someone needs to update Craig Smith’s Wikipedia page soon. It still has him listed as currently playing for the University of Wisconsin. But this Badger has taken his talents to Nashville and man is he talented. With 4 points in the preseason and a great goal to beat Carolina, Smith has solidified a spot on the ice while Mr. Underwood is still out with an injury. But when Fish comes back, I’d like to see them keep a spot open for Smith on this team.
6. The all you can eat package doesn’t include cheeseburgers and chicken tenders: Not to become the Lewis Black of this blog but what about all you can eat says no cheeseburgers and chicken tenders?! Let it be known Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena that the shoot twice mezzanine has spoken! Let them eat burgers! The fans in the all you can eat section were quite disappointed when they came to their first preseason game to learn that this “perk” included hot dogs, peanuts, mini-pretzels, nachos, mini-sodas, but NO BURGERS, CHICKEN TENDERS, OR PIZZA!! Yeah we’re going to make you pay for the good stuff… Nevermind that you have to go back to fill up your soda every 2 minutes.
So the Nashville Predators had a solid preseason and look forward to Columbus on Friday. I look forward to see who’s going along for the ride and it will be a good one.
What did you think of the preseason? Who would you cut and who would you keep?