The Predators making a move to get Mike Fisher two weeks ago turned out to be a really good idea for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons being that Nashville will be without center Marcel Goc for the remainder of the year thanks to a shoulder injury.
Goc is a grind line type of player and in coach Barry Trotz’s system, he’s been especially important and useful for the Predators. He’s had nine goals and 15 assists through 51 games with Nashville and he’s helped hold down the fort at the center position while guys like Matt Lombardi, David Legwand, and Cal O’Reilly have all missed significant amounts of time this year with injuries.
The addition of Mike Fisher helped build up the team’s depth at center for a bit as they’d already had Legwand back in the lineup. Now with Goc out, look for Jerred Smithson to do a bit more work or to see Nick Spaling get a shot for more minutes as well. As On The Forecheck makes note, the Predators have been using Colin Wilson as a third line center of late, but a young player with his sort of offensive talent is wasting away on a checking line.
Goc’s absence will be missed as he’s the sort of player that makes helps make other teams feel miserable in the playoffs with his tenacious play. With Goc out, it’s possible GM David Poile will be on the hunt for a depth center to help fill his spot.