It seems to be a common thread, at least for the past two weekends, that I get a whole lot of nothing done from Friday night until Monday morning. In the meantime, we had a couple more of our 30-in-30 previews go up, so I’ll spend this morning getting you all caught up. First up, we have Dan Bradley from over at Predlines, our Predators blog. The Preds are a tough team not to like, unless you share a division with them. Despite being one of those teams that never gets to spend to the cap, and is limited by their tenuous financial situation, Nashville has consistently been competitive for some time now. A lot of that has to do with a fantastic bench boss in Barry Trotz, but even more of it has to do with their rock-solid back end, anchored by Vezina candidate Pekka Rinne. Here’s what Dan had to say about his team’s blueline:
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are both entering the last year of their existing deals. While there will be some uncertainty in the offseason, the season itself could be their best ever together. Suter found his physical game last year, and could be considered the most valuable non-goalie for most of the season. Weber is one year older, meaner, and stronger. Behind the top pair lies Jonathan Blum and Kevin Klein. Blum had himself a stellar campaign in the last couple months of the season, and seemed to lift Klein’s game tremendously. The hope is that toss two will develop into the second pairing, or at least in Klein’s case be a stop-gap moving towards Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, and Mattias Ekholm. There’s lots of potential on the blue line, but the number of open spots decreased with Jack Hillen was brought in to anchor the 3rd pairing. He seems like a good fit, but should he not work, the next hungry younger player will get the call. As long as Trotz and Poile are running the show, expect some serious depth.
Check out the rest of his season preview here.