PREDATORS 15 Seasons with former coach Barry Trotz, the only coach in the team’s history, before hiring Peter Laviolette in 2014. Projected Roster HEAD COACH: PETER LAVIOLETTE LW C RW 1st Line Colin Wilson Mike Ribiero James Neal 2nd Line Matt Cullen Olli Jokinen Filip Forsberg 3rd Line Gabriel Bourque Derek Roy Craig Smith 4th Line Viktor Stalberg Paul Gausted Eric Nystrom D D 1st Pair Roman Josi Shea Weber 2nd Pair Mattias Ekholm Seth Jones 3rd Pair Anton Volchenkov Ryan Ellis G Starter Pekka Rinne Backup Carter Hutton Scoreboard 2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 PLAYOFF FINISH DNQ DNQ Conf SF Conf SF Conf QF REGULAR SEASON 38-32-12 16-23-9 48-26-8 44-27-11 47-29-6 POINT TOTAL 88 41 104 99 100 SHOOTOUT RECORD 2-9 2-6 5-5 6-4 8-4 GOALS SCORED 216 111 237 219 225 GOALS ALLOWED 242 139 210 194 225 POWER PLAY % 19.2 17.1 21.6 15.2 16.4 PENALTY KILL % 80.3 75.7 83.6 85.0 77.1 (18 goals, 25 assists) to show that there is still some hockey left to play in the 35-year-old. Derek Roy will also be counted upon to provide some scoring depth in the lineup. The former Buffalo Sabre has bounced around the league over the last few years, while he scored 37 points last year (9 goals, 28 assists) for the St. Louis Blues, a return to his Sabre playing days would be a huge lift for the Predators. Defense Any team that has a Norris Trophy candidate on their blue line automatically has a leg up on the opposition. But, with the change in coaching philosophy, will the defensive end suffer? Shea Weber will make sure that there is an easy transition for coach Laviolette. The All-Star defender led the Predators in points last year with 56 (23 goals, 33 assists), making him one of three defensemen to lead their teams in points, the others being Erik Karlsson for the Ottawa Senators and Keith Yandle for the Phoenix Coyotes. With a focus on a more offensive-style of play, Weber could be primed for a career year this season. Weber isn’t the only player of note in this group. Weber’s defensive partner Roman Josi has blossomed into a top-pair defenseman in the league. Coming off of a campaign where he put up 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists), the future looks bright for the Swiss-born Josi. Playing with the Norris-caliber Weber has shown an uptick in his offensive production. At only 24-years old, the Predators are hoping he takes the next step in his development and becomes a household name around the league. Josi isn’t the only young blue-liner to patrol the back end of the Nashville defense. Another player to keep an eye on this season is second-year player Seth Jones. At 19-years old, Jones shows enough promise to be a potential top-pair two-way defenseman in the league for many years to come. In his inaugural season, Jones had six goals and 19 assists. While he still needs to understand the nuances of playing in his own end, there is still a lot to like about this young player.
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