Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Report Card

Tonight's game against San Jose will mark the 30th game that the Preds have played so far this season. I thought I'd give a report on how each individual player is doing so far this season.

#4 Cody Franson- So far this season, Franson is tied for most points by a defenseman on the team with Shea Weber. He's played much better defensively so far this year and really has been a good player consistently. Grade: B+

#6 Shea Weber- The Captain of the Nashville Predators is doing a good job of leading the team, but his numbers aren't what we typically see out of him at this point in the year. However, he does seem to be getting better with each game. Grade: B-

#8 Kevin Klein- Oh boy. There have been times this year where Klein has looked to be a pretty valuable defenseman. There have also been times where I wanted to throw a hockey puck at him. Some of the mistakes he's made have just been at the elementary level of hockey. Grade: D

#9 Marcel Goc- Goc was my pick to be the breakout player this year for the Preds. So far, he's been one of three breakout players for them. So far, Goc has 6 goals and 7 assists for a total of 13 points and has proven to be an invaluable two-way player. Grade: A

#10 Martin Erat- Erat's inconsistency is a major drawback in his game. When he's on, he's great. When he's not, he's awful. He seems to be skating better and better as the season goes along. Hopefully he'll improve on his 14 point total this year. Only 3 have been goals. Grade: C-

#11 David Legwand- Legwand has been a pretty good defensive weapon when he's been healthy. Personally, I think his impact on the Preds is vastly overrated by PredNation. Proof to that can be observed with our current hotstreak and his absence. But I do agree he's a good defensive player. Grade: C

#13 Nick Spaling- Spaling has been a fantastic penalty killer and defensive player. He's not very good on the offensive front at all, but it was great to see him get his first NHL goal the other night. Grade: B

#15 Matthew Lombardi- I wish I could tell you. Grade: TBD

#16 Cal O'Reilly- O'Reilly has suprised everybody this year. Some, including me, didn't even think he was going to make the team. Now, he's leading the team in points with 18. Great start by O'Reilly. Consistency is the key though. Grade: A

#20 Ryan Suter- Suter has proven just how valuable he is to this team when he was out with injuries. He makes every player on the hockey team better, especially Shea Weber. Those two really aren't the same without each other. Grade: A-

#22 Jordin Tootoo - Tootoo has played pretty good so far this year. Nothing special offensively. He's been better defensively. Above all, he's become a smarter player which was something that was lacking the last few years. And he DESTROYED Michael Frolik. Grade: B

#25 Jerred Smithson- Smitty has been great on the penalty kill and in the faceoff dot for the majority of the season. He's even chipped in a couple of nice goals. Grade: B+

#26 Steve Sullivan- Sully got off to a blistering pace scoring 4 goals in the first three games. Since then I really haven't been all that impressed with him. He always goes to the forehand on the breakaway and every goalie in the league knows it. Although, he did have a sick shootout goal against Steve Mason of Columbus. Grade: B-

#27 Patric Hornqvist- Hornqvist had high expectations put on him going into this season by the fans and himself, after scoring 30 goals last year. So far, he's got 8 goals and 7 assists which is good for 15 points and third on the team in scoring. He's been frustrated and pressing a lot recently, which is why it was good to see him get those two goals against the Islanders. Grade: B

#29 Joel Ward- Ward has played a pretty good role in the defensive area. Offensively, he hasn't been very good. He's got just 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points. Honestly, that's not good enough. Grade: C-

#33 Colin Wilson- Wilson's play has been up and down so far this year. He started off good, went into a slump, and has picked it up a little bit recently. He's got to be more consistent every night. He has 6 goals and 6 assists for 12 points. Grade: C

#35 Pekka Rinne- Pekka has played good for the most part when he's been in there. Injuries have been an issue for him all year long, but he posts a .918 save percentage. Grade: B+

#39 Anders Lindback- Anders the Giant has been unbelievable so far this year. He posts a record of 7-1-2 with a .931 save percentage. He's been the biggest surprise so far this year, especially considering that backup goaltending was the biggest question for the Preds coming into this season. Grade: A+

#51 Francis Bouillon- The Cube has been very physical so far this year and has played well. He hasn't done much to hurt the team and has played on a pairing with Weber. He's done everything you could ask out of him defensively. Grade: B+

#52 Alexander Sulzer- I'm not a big fan of him. It looks like he's always a step too slow and gets caught out of position a lot. During Suter's absence, he had a chance to prove he belonged up here. He doesn't. Grade: F

#55 Shane O'Brien- Shane came via trade from the Canucks. He's played pretty well so far this season, and doesn't have a lot of penalty minutes, which was a concern when we got him. Grade: B

#71 J.P. Dumont- Dumont has played well at certain times this year and not so well in others. The crazy thing is, he looks faster than he's looked in a few years. He only has 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points though. Grade: C

#74 Sergei Kostitsyn- SK74 started off the year slow, but has become hot as of late. He currently has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. I think he's finally bought into Nashville's system. Grade: B+

There you have it. That's the Predators report card so far this season. Big game vs. San Jose tonight. It would be nice to have a great crowd getting loud for this one.

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