Pop quiz hot shots: Who led the Nashville Predators in goals last season?
Before you go running off to look that up, we’ll just tell you it was center David Legwand with 12. He was one of three players on the team to reach double figures in goals and if you can guess the other two guys, you’re clearly keeping very busy. (FYI: It was Gabriel Bourque and Mike Fisher).
Why the run-around on the questions? To show that the Preds are going to need to find their offense from somewhere.
Free agent additions Matt Cullen and Viktor Stalberg will add speed to the wing and solid play up the middle as well as 16 total goals combined from last season. If Stalberg can repeat what he did in 2011-12 with Chicago, 20-plus goals would be a boon for Nashville’s offense.
The guy they’ll have to hope has a big bounce-back season, however, is Patric Hornqvist.
The Swedish power forward missed half of last season with varying injuries and his presence in front of opposing goals reminds many of the work Tomas Holmstrom did in Detroit. Pretty goals aren’t his forte but the Preds don’t care how they get in, just that they do. After three straight solid seasons of scoring, they need that effort back.
With how the Predators defense stacks up, a lot of their offense will come from there. Shea Weber’s gigantic shot and the skills of Roman Josi and Seth Jones should help stir things up as well.
Only thing that’s certain in Nashville is they’ll be able to keep teams off the board well enough. If they can’t put crooked numbers up on their own side, however, making the playoffs will be an arduous process.