The Nashville Predators have their captain back just in time. The team will take on the Chicago Blackhawks this afternoon in their first game of 2022 and Roman Josi has been activated from the COVID protocol in time to participate. Josi returns along with Colton Sissons, who has also been activated. Meanwhile, Michael McCarron has been recalled from the taxi squad and Mathieu Olivier takes his place.
Nashville has lost the first two games following the holiday break, both played without Josi in the lineup. The 31-year-old defenseman is the most important skater on the Predators roster, playing in all situations and driving the offense almost single-handedly at times.
In 30 games, the 2020 Norris Trophy winner has ten goals and 29 points, good for the team lead (tied with Mikael Granlund). Josi averages almost 25 minutes a night, though it remains to be seen whether he’ll see that much ice time in his first game back.
Sissons too is an important player to have back in the lineup, given his role as one of the team’s regular centers. While not a huge offensive contributor, his 13 points in 29 games are still a good bit of secondary scoring.
With these two back, the Predators were almost completely out of the woods when it comes to their current COVID placements. Fabbro’s presence will obviously be missed, meaning they won’t be at full strength for a little while longer.