Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Calling Mike Fisher

(Photo Credit: The Tennessean)

On February 10th, the Nashville Predators acquired Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators via trade for a 1st-round draft pick. It came as a surprise to many fans of both Nashville and Ottawa. Since that time, Fisher has accumulated one goal and three assists as a Predator.

With the injury to Matthew Lombardi, Fisher is the number one center on the Nashville Predators. That means that he is going to be expected to produce offensively, but has not done that yet.

There are many things that Mike Fisher is very good at. He plays the game at a very high level. Unfortunately, it's at a much higher level than a lot of his teammates. He's very good defensively. He backchecks very well, and is excellent at blocking shots. He's also very good with the puck. He doesn't turn it over and is a good skater. Why does this not translate into offensive production?

Some of it has to do with his line. Fisher has been on a line with Sergei Kostitsyn and Wilson/Erat/Hornqvist. Kostitsyn rarely decides to shoot the puck. Fisher would have about three more assists if SK74 would simply have decided to shoot the puck. However, that still doesn't explain why he isn't scoring goals.

Fisher has never been a player that has been superb on the offensive end. He's a good offensive player, but is not a consistent scoring threat. However, he is very good at one thing that all goal-scorers have in common: Creating good shots. He can get the shot off from almost anywhere, and has an excellent wrist-shot. The problem is, he is simply not finishing off the scoring chances that he is creating.

Nashville is an offensively challenged team, so it's imperative that the number one center contributes offensively. Obviously, Fisher is not a legitimate number one center in the NHL, but that doesn't mean that he's not an extremely good hockey player. He simply has to finish when he gets his scoring chances. The Predators cannot afford for him not to do so.

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