The Nashville Predators’ recent play has been worrisome, and the splashy trade to land Ryan Johansen hasn’t steered them back on a winning path.
Saturday represented another troubling loss, as the Predators dropped their third straight game (and fifth loss in six games) in humbling fashion. The Arizona Coyotes beat them 4-0, culminating with a salt-in-the-wounds goal by Anthony Duclair.
In fact, that defeat bumped Nashville out of the West’s playoff mix as of last night.
The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan caught up with multiple members of the team who recognized a problem … though specifics were scarce.
Asked Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg same question: "Are you concerned?" They had the same answer: "You have to be."
Johansen and simple bounces may help the shooting side … but what about Pekka Rinne‘s failings, and the shortcomings of Nashville’s goaltending in general?
Rinne wasn’t in net last night, but the team uses him like a workhorse, making his struggles that much more glaring. His record isn’t very good (16-13-6, leaving among the NHL’s biggest losers) and his .906 save percentage falls in the “bad backup” range.
It makes sense to stick with a $7 million guy, especially since the team doesn’t seem to have much trust in Carter Hutton, but maybe GM David Poile should try to work the phones for a better second goalie option?
Ultimately, the Predators’ biggest concern might just be their lack of concern in net.
That said, feel free to float other hypotheses in the comments.
Here’s what Lightning reportedly want for Drouin (Hint: not Shattenkirk)
It’s easy to see why this is the asking price, with an emphasis on price. While Shattenkirk is quite the steal at a $4.25 million cap hit, the Lightning need to save every nickle and dime to re-sign the likes of Steven Stamkos, not to mention other prominent players who are only a season or two away from expiring contracts.
That’s all pretty reasonable, yet it’s specific enough that it might be a trickier asking price for some teams, especially if Yzerman is picky about the type of prospect he’d take in return.
Speaking of Shattenkirk: Friedman notes that the Blues are getting calls about Shattenkirk now that his name surfaced in rumors, and he was possibly being floated for Ryan Johansen.
Really, that could be just as interesting to watch as Drouin trade scuttlebutt, at least if St. Louis is truly serious about moving its underrated scoring blueliner.