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Defensive Nashville will be desperate for goals

Aug 18, 2013, 11:35 AM EDT

Barry Trotz, Patric Hornqvist AP

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.

  1. bardown66 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I hate when teams take extreme philosophies with defense and offense. You have to find a balance to work. examples would be Chicago, detroit, the penguins from 08-09 (not the current atrocious blue line mess) , and boston. Even if nashville only gives up one goal a game, it’ll be tough for them to win simply because they have almost no scoring.

    • bardown66 - Aug 18, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Also if you are counting on Stalberg and cullen to save you, you are going to have some issues.

    • deathbyspl - Aug 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      most Nashville fans are sick of it too. I know I am!

      There are a lot of young skill guys coming up the prospect pipeline. Not to mention, Wilson and Bourque were having breakout years until they got injured. The coaching philosophy will have to give way to these skill guys to play their game and rely on the heavy d-corps and Pekka Rinne.

  2. pxland - Aug 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    We’ll give you a perfectly good Stastny for one of your top three defensemen…..

  3. afrancis55 - Aug 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    They really need to sign grabovski. Even then they will still have issues scoring but their defense is too good. Pencil em in for a wild card

    • lordfletcher - Aug 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      with their current roster, pencil them in for a top 5 pick and ink top 10.

      injuries will happen, and if any are on offensive zone, they are in serious danger of losing many 0-2 games.

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    The lack of goals put huge pressure on Rinne, who also had to play almost every game. If he game up more than 1, they were in trouble. Capgeek shows that they have 4.6 mill in cap space, but don’t know their budget, which is hampered by a smaller than average stadium that they do fill pretty well.

    Lacaviler (sp), signed pretty quickly after his buy out as he did not insist on making what he made on his old. If Grabovski really wants to play, sounds like it’s time he figure out he needs to humble himself and provove he still has value to a team.

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