Nashville finds itself in some unfamiliar territory writes NHL.com’s Cutler Klein. Expectations are high after the Preds’ trade for P.K. Subban, which ratcheted up Nashville’s chances of competing for the Stanley Cup. Add in a young nucleus of players, and the Preds could be staring contention in the face. Klein reports that while the Preds boast some formidable young players, it will be crucial that they step up to their projected ceilings. Klein believes that despite having Filip Forsberg, and Ryan Johansen among others, the Preds still need depth scoring to break through to the next leve.
The departures of Eric Nystrom and Paul Gaustad will give some of the younger players the chance to step up and contribute. Klein also adds that Preds reaching the next level is contingent on Pekka Rinne’s performance between the pipes. Klein writes that should Rinne return to the elite status that buoyed the Predators for many seasons, they will certainly be in the running for a Stanley Cup. Klein notes that while Rinne slipped a bit in performance last season, he is still one of the best in the league.
In other NHL news:
- Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski wades into the great Shea Weber for Subban trade debate after yesterday’s news that former Canadiens analyst Matt Pfeffer called Weber “average.” Wyshynski brought visuals in, as well as the written word, to break down the trade even further. Employing graphs from Micah Blake McCurdy, McCurdy indicates (via Twitter) that while calling Weber average may be too simplified, Weber has certainly reached his ceiling in terms of performance. Further on in the article, Wyshynski addressed Pfeffer’s claim that analytics are being scared off in NHL circles. Wyshynski concludes, after speaking with other analytic consultants in the league, that this is a subjective in nature. Some organizations are more comfortable with an integration of analytics while others prefer and old schools approach. What Wyshynski did find was an “ideological gap” between general managers and coaches regarding analytics. Regardless, Wyshynski believes that Weber is more than “average” in 2016-17 and that analytics are an organizational preference.