Amidst all the distractions of my friends being on fall break and constantly ringing the doorbell and the internet going on and off, I’ve decided to lock the doors, close the blinds and try to write a season preview.
Over this pre-season, I’ve noticed our penalty-kill has stayed strong over the off-season. They only let five goals go in on 49 power play chances for the other team. I’d say this is going to be another good penalty-killing year. Although, we should cut down on the penalties. Most of the ones we’ve taken have been really stupid, emotional penalties.
Our power-play on the other hand, is looking dreadful. On 62 chances, we only converted on six power plays. Sounds like a repeat of last season’s power-play. Watching the Preds on the power-play is frusterating. They either pass to much and only get one shot on goal or they end up taking a stupid penalty to make it 4-4. Gosh.
This pre-season, our blue line has been producing a lot of goals. Last year we struggled with this, especially on the power-play. Last season Barry Trotz said this was an area we needed work in. I hope this can continue throughout the season. This will definitely help us out in the future.
One player that has really proven himself is Patric Hornqvist. He has been snapping necks and cashing checks. He’s been producing goals and drawing penalties. This kid is going to be awesome.
The enforcer position is still up in the air. If Tarnasky remains injured, Josh Gratton might take the positon for that time. I guess we’ll just have to see how this one will play out.
Joel Ward is the likely candidate for staying up here, but I would like to see Antti Pihlstrom stay up. He’s like Scotty Nichol times three. He’s very agile, he can produce goals, he’s awesome on the penalty-kill, and he’s got an awesome haircut. Joel Ward also does pretty good on the penalty-kill. Ward scored 2 goals in this pre-season. His +/- was also fairly high. Let’s hope the coaches pick the right one.
I think if our blue line can continue to produce goals like they are right now, our vets can come back and put out a strong effort, Ellis and Rinne hold up in net, and we stay healthy, we could be a big contender this year. Hope hope.
Jackson Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass