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Moving Forward Without Josi in the Lineup

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10-07-2013, 02:57 PM
  #1
Seth Lake
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Moving Forward Without Josi in the Lineup

Injuries are a part of the game and there is no doubt that the injury to Roman Josi leaves a huge hole on the Predators back end, however injuries also open up opportunities for others to step into bigger roles and shine or falter as the case maybe.

Having attending practice the past two days, I can tell you that the tempo and mood is upbeat. The season is not over and the team is looking forward to starting the home portion of their schedule tomorrow night against Minnesota.

Replacing Josi's 25 minutes a night is going to be a challenge, but it appears Seth Jones will get the first crack alongside Shea Weber on the top defensive pairing at even-strength and Matt Cullen will move back to the point on the power play with Ryan Ellis to offset some of Josi's minutes there as well. Trotz made an interesting comment too after practice to the media about the possibility of Ellis joining Weber at even-strength occasionally as they seek solutions to replacing Josi's minutes.

Lineup from practice today:

Wilson - Fisher - Hornqvist
Smith - Cullen - Bourque
Nystrom - Legwand - Forsberg
Hendricks - Gaustad - Clune

Jones - Weber
Klein - Bartley
Ekholm - Ellis

What are you looking for as the Predators move forward? How much do you think Ellis and Ekholm will play protected minutes at even-strength with the final change the next five games? Do you think the current D corps is capable of sticking together when the homestand is over and the team loses last change on the road?

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10-07-2013, 03:04 PM
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I'm far more concerned about Ekholm / Ellis than Jones playing 1st pairing minutes and matchups. That third pairing is critical because if they can't hack it, you're going to have to lean on the first two even more. I like Jones very much, but I don't like him 25+ minutes a night every night. I like the idea of using Cullen + Ellis as primary point guys on the PP; something material needed to change there as the PP could not be worse through the first two games.

I don't think you have a lot of real options here. Injuries happen and you need to step it up as best you can. I do think this stretch will determine Ellis' future as a Predator though. I believe he can step it up; looked good in preseason when I saw him.

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10-07-2013, 03:10 PM
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triggrman
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Ekholm has looked really good the first 2 games, so that helps the worry a bit.

Ellis' size and speed scare me at even strength no matter who he's paired with.

I wonder how much they played together in Milwaukee?

I'm as much worried about Barley as I am anyone. He's been the weakest link in the first 2 games.

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10-07-2013, 03:13 PM
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Another question I have is, who sits now if Stalberg comes back?

Spaling was the easy one, Smith though has been really good at generating offense so far.

My vote goes to Hendricks.

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10-07-2013, 03:17 PM
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An additional concern for me (in addition to what other posters have mentioned) is a potential burnout of Jones. If the plan moving forward is to give him 20+ a night, I really hope we don't see him get gassed and disappear by game 20. I hope Poile is trying to get some decent D depth in the meantime.

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10-07-2013, 03:17 PM
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thecloser
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i think we need to bring up big 6'4 234lb jarvinen for that 3rd pairing. he was amongst last cuts and looked good in camp when i saw him

as far as forwards go, i do not know. our offense hasn't looked all that bad

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10-07-2013, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecloser View Post
i think we need to bring up big 6'4 234lb jarvinen for that 3rd pairing. he was amongst last cuts and looked good in camp when i saw him

as far as forwards go, i do not know. our offense hasn't looked all that bad
apparently Foppa is in tomorrow night according to Mike Organ, wha what !!??

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10-07-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecloser View Post
i think we need to bring up big 6'4 234lb jarvinen for that 3rd pairing. he was amongst last cuts and looked good in camp when i saw him

as far as forwards go, i do not know. our offense hasn't looked all that bad
I'm in favor of this too.

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10-07-2013, 03:39 PM
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thecloser
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Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
apparently Foppa is in tomorrow night according to Mike Organ, wha what !!??
am i dumb or is it ok for me to ask what Foppa is?

Forsberg reference?

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10-07-2013, 03:40 PM
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am i dumb or is it ok for me to ask what Foppa is?
nick name for Forsberg

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10-07-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecloser View Post
i think we need to bring up big 6'4 234lb jarvinen for that 3rd pairing. he was amongst last cuts and looked good in camp when i saw him

as far as forwards go, i do not know. our offense hasn't looked all that bad
I'm all for this, too. I'm kind of terrified of an Ekholm/Ellis pairing. Partly, but it seems that I'm in the minorty, because I didn't find Ekholm great the last two games. Not at all bad, but I don't see him "carrying" Ellis if he ends up struggling.

I think Jones will be able to handle himself well, but not for 20+ minutes every night. After all, he's just a kid still and he'll be paired up against the most talented players basically every night.

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10-07-2013, 05:02 PM
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I don't know if Ekholm is ready to carry his partner but he's played well the last 2 games.

Ellis is tiny and slow, I don't know if Ekholm can overcome that....

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10-07-2013, 05:08 PM
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Im glad Trotz believes in Ellis as much as I do. Kid has so much talent. I think he'll tear it up this year. Hope he gets some time with weber as mentioned.

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10-07-2013, 05:09 PM
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I think Poile should acquire an experienced Dman. We have no idea how long Josi will be out. Could be a week or two, could be the entire season. I don't think the current roster is strong enough to make the playoffs. They just don't have enough experience.

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10-07-2013, 05:13 PM
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Ellis gets a shot tomorrow night. If he does well, he gets more time. If he falters, Piskula is probably on his way up before Thursday's game. The severity of Josi's injury and projected recovery timeline dictate if Poile makes a move or not.

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10-07-2013, 05:13 PM
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I think Poile should acquire an experienced Dman. We have no idea how long Josi will be out. Could be a week or two, could be the entire season. I don't think the current roster is strong enough to make the playoffs. They just don't have enough experience.
time to let the kids play, this was bound to happen so lets ride it out and lets see how they develop.

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10-07-2013, 06:13 PM
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if we see Piskula before we see Jarvinen I will lose some respect for Poile as a GM. Piskula is a career AHLer and deserves to be there. Jarvinen is a young, big, very physical and honestly looked better than all d-men except for jones, weber, josi and klein during camp.

no to piskula, no to ellis, no to anyone else before jarvs. yea i'm on his nuts but its because I believe your d-corps should be good skaters and big physical guys, especially at the 3rd pairing.

I'd like:

Weber/Jones
Klein/Bartley
Ekholm/Jarvinen

Ellis

I bet Poile is wishing he hadn't chosen Gill over Cube and then bought out Gill....

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10-07-2013, 06:15 PM
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am i dumb or is it ok for me to ask what Foppa is?

Forsberg reference?
Peter Forsberg's nickname. Not a huge fan of us slapping it on a kid that's played a mere handful of NHL games, tbh.

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10-07-2013, 06:21 PM
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Peter Forsberg's nickname. Not a huge fan of us slapping it on a kid that's played a mere handful of NHL games, tbh.
its not Peter's nickname solely... its anyones nickname who is named forsberg. Like Richard=Dick Andrew=Andy and so on...

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10-07-2013, 06:43 PM
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triggrman
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I bet Poile is wishing he hadn't chosen Gill over Cube and then bought out Gill....
both suck at hockey.

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10-07-2013, 06:49 PM
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its not Peter's nickname solely... its anyones nickname who is named forsberg. Like Richard=Dick Andrew=Andy and so on...
Good to know. Still figure most will associate it with Peter, so I'll stick to Forsberg for now.

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10-07-2013, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by AtlantaWhaler View Post
An additional concern for me (in addition to what other posters have mentioned) is a potential burnout of Jones. If the plan moving forward is to give him 20+ a night, I really hope we don't see him get gassed and disappear by game 20. I hope Poile is trying to get some decent D depth in the meantime.
You obviously never saw Drew Doughty's rookie season Jones will be fine. Promise

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10-07-2013, 08:06 PM
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Foppa = Forsberg is more like Smitty = Smith here in the states.

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10-07-2013, 08:09 PM
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You obviously never saw Drew Doughty's rookie season Jones will be fine. Promise
No, but I did see Bogosian and Burimistrov's rookie campaigns. Smith's too. Not every rookie burns out, but a good bit do. Hope you're right!

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10-07-2013, 08:21 PM
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Seth Lake
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IMO, Ekholm has looked good in a limited role the first two games. When he gets caught deep or is out there above his pay grade is when things have gotten a bit dicey, but for the majority of his ice time he has been solid.

That being said, if the team plans on protecting the Ekholm - Ellis pairing with their last line change, I think it can work to an extent, but the chance of success rests squarely on Ellis showing that he can play a regular shift at even-strength.

The Klein - Bartley pairing has given me some headaches. They play against top competition, but their failure to cleanly move the puck as soon as they get it has caused them to be hemmed in far too often. Those two need to figure out the chemistry, work together, and get the play moving the other way as soon as possible for success.

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