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-   -   Have the Preds improved? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=679088)

rt 09-09-2009 12:28 PM

Have the Preds improved?
Will Nashville have a better season, this year, than last? Why? What are the major differences between last year's team and this years team?


Soundgarden 09-09-2009 12:47 PM

I've seen us going everywhere from 7th to 15th in the western conference, so nobody knows where we will end up, but I think we'll do about as well as last year, maybe a bit better. We lost Zanon, De Vries, Nichol, and Fiddler, but everyone's a year older, and we hopefully have Sully back for a whole year. I'm anxious to see what we can do, and to prove everybody wrong again.

goalscorer 09-09-2009 12:52 PM

In my opinion, yes. We went almost two seasons without one of our most productive forwards, as well as injuries from our other "better" players. Hopefully we can now start a season and finish a season with a #1 goaltender and not have any major surprises there. Our three best d-men have had another year to mature and grow both physically and as players.

We have a couple of prospects if able to crack the roster could shake things up a little bit and provide some offense for us that we've been lacking the past few years. I personally am looking forward to see what kind of impact Wilson may have if he comes on board. Jones and O'reily have a bit to prove and with a bit of seasoning could turn into strong players for us. Ward will be one to watch as well. If he can build on last seasons suprising success then we will be much better than last year.

We did not make any major moves in the offseason, but aquiring our core guys wasn't necessarily a bad move. If everyone stays health and can play to their capability (Legwand and Erat especially) then we should be back in post season play.

BigFatCat999 09-09-2009 01:45 PM

I say Nashville is between the 7th-9th team in the west right now. The kids have an additional year under their belt; Jones, Hornqvist, Klein. The defense is slightly worse but not by much. Devries most effectionate nickname on boards was 'pylon'. Also, Greg Zanon was a warrior with blocks but to quote Ryan Suter. "If you have to make a block it's because you were out of position." Klein, Sulzer, Laakso, Franson, and Blum are pretty young but I still would not be surprised to see a vet signed.

Pekka Rinne's situation should be interesting with Ellis behind him. I don't expect to see Ellis for the full year. Dekanich and Pickard could jump into the back-up role if ready.

Forward wise, Jones and Hornqvist will have a year under their belts and a lot if depending on them. Also, what will happen when Wilson is called up? Will he be ready in the middle of the year?

Also, I'm not liking the assumption that Sullivan will be healthy for the year. It's very dangerous with a man who's was out for a solid 2 years with a back injury. If the Preds get 60 games out of him, it's a victory. The 2nd line wing will be a lot like russian roulette. Which is funny since a certain Russian should be playing in this spot right now. I could see the following playing along side Legwand and Erat; o'Reilly, Jones, Ward, Wilson, Hornqvist, and anyone else Trotz pulls from the hat.

The players who need to step up are Jones and Tootoo. Everyone keeps saying Legwand and Erat. They could do more but they need a small step up. Jones and Tootoo need to be phenominally better.

goalscorer 09-09-2009 05:13 PM

The 2nd line wing will be a lot like russian roulette. Which is funny since a certain Russian should be playing in this spot right now.

Hilarious. Still so mad about that situation. I wish I knew the actual reason he signed back in Russia, ice time, felt important there, what? I would forgive him if he came back, lit it up and then resigned for us. Could see him as a player to build a team around in the future, if he wasnt so sketchy.

Paranoid Android 09-09-2009 08:09 PM

In short, I think we're about the same. Offense looks better, but defense looks worse. Wild cards that will make or break us are: Sullivan's health, lower level players' defensive play, and Rinne's "sophomore" year.

Injuries down the stretch killed us last year. I think we would have made the playoffs if Erat/Legwand/Arnott didn't all go down at the same, and perfectly bad time

worstfaceoffmanever 09-09-2009 08:24 PM

It depends. I want to say that Fiddler and Koistinen leaving was addition by subtraction, but that may prove not to be the case.

It doesn't really feel like we've improved because we haven't signed anyone new for the roster, merely promoted some rookies and given new contracts to Ward and Sullivan. This is something that the organization will hopefully continue to do: keep the players that prove themselves valuable, shed the ones that are replaceable, and promote prospects to fill the gaps.

For all the flak that the front office has taken over not getting another scorer, Poile has done a very commendable job of giving the team some flexibility in the bottom six, signing a handful of players with something to prove in addition to our prospects.

Personally, I don't expect us to finish much better than where we did last year, especially the way the division has changed. St. Louis gets EJ, Brewer, and Kariya back; Chicago adds Hossa in December; Columbus gets Brassard back, and their talented young guys (Filatov, Russell, and Voracek, in particular) all have a year under their belts; Detroit is Detroit, and they'll still be tough to beat even if they may not have the talent up front that they had last year.

We really won't know how much better or worse the team is, though, until we can see them on the ice for about 15 games.

Jarnberg 09-09-2009 09:03 PM

I think the team has gotten younger and potentially more skilled;

For the goaltending, hopefully Rinne is even stronger with last year under his belt. Never count Ellis out and I think he will have a bounce back year. Both goalies are in their contract years and we have some promising but green depth .

For defense, we are returning the strong trio of Weber, Suter and Hamhuis, who all are still growing as players (although Hamhuis didn't have the best of seasons last year). Klein has a chance to keep a roster spot and extension after his first real year with the team last year. The remaining two spots will be filled with youngers, but they have strong potential.

For forwards, the team will have a ton of competition for the forward spots, with Santorelli, Ward, Jones, Hornqvist, possibly Wilson battling for the second line wing spot. We have a ton of versatility on the bottom lines. The question of course, will be how the team handles losing some more defensive minded guys, can we replace the defense.

It is hard to tell and there a ton of question marks (like alot of teams of course).

1 - Can Sullivan stay healthy? If so, that is a huge upgrade over last year, offensively.

2 - Can Rinne keep up his play? It is his contract year, but we've seen what has happened to the past to goalies who have won the job during the season.

3 - Will the young guys sink or swim? A lot of guys are finally going to be given a chance this year. They are promising rookies, but of course that doesn't automatically mean they will be good NHLers.

4 - Can our other guys take pressure off of the top line? Will Legwand and Erat put up good numbers this year?

So have we improved? Again, its hard to tell. But I think given the potential of alot of the guys on the team, yes. Now, whether that potential pans out, that will be a different story. I think we will be more skilled, but will lose experience.

braindead 09-09-2009 10:07 PM

Somewhat better. Rinne in goal for the entire year offsets any other backsliding we may see. I think he has Vokoun-like abilities and Ellis simply does not. Ellis was mediocre for most of the season and literally could not steal a game for us.

I think the defense is sufficient and likely will add a cheap vet before opening day.

To me, the wild card is Legwand. It's a long shot but he finally showed flashes last year of "getting it" on offense. I guess most posters will point out that if he hasn't "gotten it" by now then he won't. If he proves out, I think his emergence could be the difference. He needs a fast start.

RollingPredFan 09-10-2009 08:24 AM

I may get in trouble for this, but I think we have taken a step back. We are in a tough division now, and we did nothing to improve our very weak power play, lost good penalty killers, we are young with a lot of potential, but who knows if and when it will be realized. We are dependent on our older players, some are injury prone....

golfmade 09-10-2009 09:29 AM

I think we're better off for the most part this year. The kids have got some more seasoning and I'm personally really excited to see how the defense shakes out.

While I like Ellis (partly because I watched him when he played in Idaho) hopefully Rinne can step it up another notch.

DontCallPlayersStuds 09-10-2009 10:39 AM

As was previously suggested, I think we're going to be a better offensive team (full season of Sullivan, Legwand Erat and Dumont due for bounceback years, O'Reilly\Jones\Hornqvist\Wilson\Santorelli more skill than Bonk\Fiddler\Nichol) while being slightly less effective defensively. I think our power play will be much improved, while our PK will take a step backward. All in all, anywhere to 7-11 is where I see us finishing.

darth5 09-10-2009 05:32 PM

I do not see the team taking a step back, except in experience level. They are upgraded based on roster potential. How that will play out in the standings remains to be seen. One extreme challenge is from the word "go" the Central will likely be a dogfight all year. Certainly the toughest division in the West top to bottom, perhaps the toughest in the league. The question is: will this young roster pay dividends in February? Or not until next year?

worstfaceoffmanever 09-10-2009 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by RollingPredFan (Post 21036256)
I may get in trouble for this, but I think we have taken a step back. We are in a tough division now, and we did nothing to improve our very weak power play, lost good penalty killers, we are young with a lot of potential, but who knows if and when it will be realized. We are dependent on our older players, some are injury prone....

We lost some penalty killing forwards, but it's not like we haven't replaced them, or we don't have plenty to begin with.

Legwand and Erat
Smithson and Ward
Guite/Goc and Sullivan

Plus we still have Trotz and Peterson (who I believe is in charge of the PK), both of whom have a very good understanding of the defensive game and know how to run an effective penalty kill.

I'm not the least bit worried about the PK, but I am still very concerned about our power play.

MemphisMTLfan 09-11-2009 08:57 AM

I have a feeling we'll have a pretty good season, but who knows? I just hope we can prove everyone wrong.

jstreet 09-11-2009 11:11 AM

I could care less if we lose 70 games this season just as long as we crush the Hamilton Coyotes 20-0 at least once.

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