311 Total NHL Games. That is the total combined NHL experience that the six defensemen comprising the Nashville Predators defense at the beginning of December. With captain Shea Weber out with an eye injury and Kevin Klein out day-to-day, the Predators rag-tag defense will be led in NHL games played by Roman Josi, with a total of 117. For the Predators, the six members of their defense will comprise of Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Victor Bartley, and Joe Piskula. [table id=253 /]
Although Josi had recently reclaimed his spot alongside Shea Weber on the top pairing, taking the position from youngster Seth Jones, Josi will now be tasked with heading up the committee on defense. Comprised of 4 players who haven’t yet played a full NHL season, the Predators will need to keep in line with the system that Trotz has had in place since his first year with the franchise.
With over one-third of the Predators defense’s NHL experience coming this season, the front office might be concerned with the fact that those six players have a combined 4 goals on the season, 3 of which were from Seth Jones. Ryan Ellis is the only one of the other 5 players on the defensive squad that has a goal this season.
While the Predators have never exactly been known for their offensive prowess, even with guys like Kimmo Timmonen, Shea Weber, and Ryan Suter, the complete lack of scoring could spell trouble for the inconsistently consistent team. Even with Weber and Klein listed as day-to-day, every game with this inexperienced blue-line could spell disaster for the Predators.
Outside of working in politics, Nick also loves watching hockey at all levels. In addition to writing about the Nashville Predators for The Hockey Writers, Nick also writes for Faceoff Factor about his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.