by Forechecker on 12/23/08 at 03:11 PM ET
With the holiday rapidly approaching and lots of stuff yet to do, I’ll just leave you with a few brief points heading into tonight’s Predators-Panthers game in Florida (6:30 Central):
1. The Preds have 5 shutouts in the last 12 games, and Florida has gotten stellar goaltending recently from Tomas Vokoun and Craig Andersen. Naturally, then, I expect tonight’s game to be a sloppy, 6-5 type of game. Something just tells me that.
2. A consequence of moving Martin Erat to the 3rd line against the Islanders was that David Legwand centered Antti Pihlstrom and Jordin Tootoo. I’d really like to see that line stick together for a bit and see what happens; they’ve got speed to burn and those wingers will dig hard and hit anybody.
3. All season long we’ve seen a battle between Ville Koistinen and Kevin Klein for a spot in the lineup each night. I’d be interested to see one of the Gregs (Zanon or De Vries) sit down for a game, so VK and KK could both play, which might provide a boost to Nashville’s pop-gun offense.
4. I wasn’t crazy about Jason Arnott passing up a good shot at the empty net Saturday night, opting instead to pass the puck to Vern Fiddler who was covered and didn’t score. Arnott confessed after the game that he didn’t want to break his recent goal-scoring drought with a “cheap empty netter”, but in a 1-0 game, the Preds needed that goal at the time. You take what you can get, captain, and remember, TEAM FIRST!
5. Even if Steve Sullivan returns to action later this season, this team needs an offensive center who help get more out of the wingers and take some of the pressure off of Legwand. As they circle the Eastern Conference toilet bowl, might the Islanders auction off Doug Weight? He’d make a nice fit…
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