With the three offensive lines the Predators boast, pretty much every fantasy hockey owner who didn’t spend the past several months in South America knows that Nashville will be among the top-scoring teams in the NHL.
The team is not waiting until the regular season to show this either. After Monday’s games, only two teams have scored 20 goals Â– Nashville, which did it in four games, and Anaheim, which took six to reach the mark.
It hasn’t been Paul Kariya or Steve Sullivan piling up the points, either. In fact, the two leadings scorers on the team from last year have played just a game each. Granted, that single game was a productive one Â– Kariya tallied four points and Sullivan tallied two Â– but the fact of the matter is, this team is deep up front and offensively skilled on the blueline. It has been scoring by committee so far and you can expect more of the same in the regular season.
The Preds have already sent Ramzi Abid, their leading goal-scorer in the pre-season with four goals and nine shots in two games, to Milwaukee of the American League and may do the same with rookie Alexander Radulov (three points and an impressive 16 shots in four games). To have the luxury of so many offensive guns that Abid and Radulov do not need to be a part of their arsenal is a pretty bold statement.
As far as line combinations go, coach Barry Trotz has not really settled on set lines. He does seem to favor Jason Arnott playing with Sullivan, but they have seen limited ice time as the kids get their look. Martin Erat was the third member of the troika before being moved to a line with Josef Vasicek and Radulov. Kariya, meanwhile, saw significant time with J-P Dumont and either Vasicek or Arnott at center.
With David Legwand yet to suit up, it is hard to say if Vasicek will continue to play such a prominent role, but it is clear the Preds have a boatload of options. There is certainly no shortage of draftable players for your fantasy leagueÂ…
The Minnesota Wild have gone with an all-Slovak line, matching up Marian Gaborik with countrymen Pavol Demitra and Branko Radivojevic. Obviously, Radivojevic owners would be the beneficiaries in this deal. If he can stick all season (which is a big if Â– keep in mind, it is pre-season) he will definitely break his career high of 32 points and take a healthy run at 50Â…
The Vancouver Canucks have probably settled their right wing question marks as far as the two scoring lines go – they’ll combine the two lines into one.
Throughout the season you will see the Canucks continue to experiment with different players on the Markus Naslund–Brendan Morrison line or the Daniel and Henrik Sedin line, but they will always go back to this arrangement: Naslund will slide into that right wing spot with the twins.
Two unexpected cuts on Tuesday. It was clear that Ted Nolan was not happy with the lack of physical play that he saw in Robert Nilsson, but cutting him was somewhat surprising. Nilsson will likely be among the scoring leaders in the AHL this year.
Farm Report: Other notable cuts include Bobby Ryan, Anaheim; Shane Willis, Carolina; Sebastien Caron, Chicago; Janne Hauhtonen, Eric Boguniecki, Joakim Lindstrom, Columbus; Evan McGrath, Detroit; Lauri Korpikoski, Rangers; Ryan Potulny, Stefan Ruzicka, Ben Eager, Daniel Corso, Philadelphia; Jeff Taffe, Donald MacLean, Yanick Lehoux, Phoenix.
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