Hockey Tonkin’ – David Poile Wheelin’ and Dealin’
Well that was quite the week for the Nashville Predators. After starting off the week with back to back wins against the Coyotes and the Stars, Nashville then dropped back to back games to the St. Louis Blues. They picked up five points out of eight possible, but you can’t help but feel a little discouraged following the two losses to the Blues. Oh yeah, during the middle of that, David Poile was able to pull off three separate trades. Time will tell how these trades will shake out, but one thing is for sure. More is needed. Let’s go ahead and dive into this week.
Poile got the trade deadline kicked off early, making three different trades. He started off by acquiring Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils for a 2nd round pick in 2019. The price is a little high, but I like this deal. Nashville needed help on the bottom six with Austin Watson out and Boyle fills that role nicely. He can play in all situations and should be able to out on special teams.
The second trade was a bit of a head scratcher. The Preds re-acquired Cody McLeod for a 7th rounder in 2020. Look, I get that McLeod is a good locker room guy, but he provides almost nothing on the ice, especially when it comes at the expense of Rocco Grimaldi being scratched. The third trade was a minor league deal, sending Emil Pettersson to Arizona for Laurent Dauphin and Adam Helewka. If you really want to dive deep into the meaning of this trade, could Poile be building depth in Milwaukee because he’s about to make a move? We’ll see.
JOFA CARRYING PREDS
Seven of the 14 goals scored by the Preds this week were scored by either Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, or Ryan Johansen. This line is carrying the team right now, but Nashville has to get more from the other lines if they want to make a run in the playoffs. Teams will focus on shutting down the top line and with the way things are going currently that would be enough to knock the Preds out of the playoffs. Smith, Fiala, Turris, Bonino, Hartman, and Jarnkrok all have to start producing. Another offensive forward would do so much for this team. While I think Panarin may be out of the question, Poile needs to look at someone like Duchene or Stone to help boost the offense.
NWHL ALL STAR GAME
After the game on Sunday afternoon, fans were invited to stay to watch the NWHL All-Star Game. It was a cool event for those who stuck around. The game featured several Olympians from both the USA and Canada. Women’s hockey is definitely starting to grow in popularity so it was awesome to see Nashville get to participate in it. Should the NWHL look to expand into new markets, you have to imagine Nashville would be at the top of that list.
THREE STARS OF THE WEEK
First Star – Ryan Johansen – It may be Filbruary but Johansen just keeps on producing. Two goals and four assists this week, including the game winner in OT against the Stars.
Second Star – Viktor Arvidsson – Three goals and an assist this week for Arvi. He’s currently on pace for over 40 goals even after missing 24 games this season. He would be the first 40 goal scorer in franchise history should he pull it off.
Third Star – Filip Forsberg – It’s Filbruary which means that Forsberg is heating up. Two goals and two assists this week. I told y’all above that JOFA is the only one producing right now.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Three games this week, two of which are against Eastern Conference teams. On Tuesday night, the Red Wings will make their annual visit to Bridgestone Arena. Then it’s our old buddy Shea Weber and the Canadiens on Thursday night. Saturday, the Preds will head out to Sin City to face the Vegas Golden Knights. Points are starting to be critical now. Keep an eye on Poile. With the trade deadline creeping up, you never know when he’ll pull the trigger on a deal.
Be sure to check out the Talking Preds Podcast. New episodes almost weekly. Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook for live tweeting during the games along with something new we’re trying out. For certain games, I’ll be jumping on live during intermissions, pre-game, or post-game with thoughts on the game. Love to have some good hockey discussion so follow along and let me know what you guys think.
Herbie Brooks is the Lead Nashville Predators Analyst for SoBros Network. He knows three things: beating Commies, winning Gold Medals, and having great hair. Follow him on Twitter: @SoBroHerbie_B