Nashville Predators 2021 Season Preview
(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators did not finish very well last season. They lost in the bubble qualifiers to the Arizona Coyotes. They had a 17.3% conversion rate on the powerplay and 76.1% on the penalty kill. That’s not good. They’ve had really talented forwards and really string defensemen but they can’t seem to have them both at the same time. They won the conference championship in 2017 but lost in the finals to the Penguins. After a long cup run like that, usually, a rebuild isn’t far behind. 

Key Additions: Mark Boroweicki (Ottowa Senators) 

Borroweicki was signed as a free agent after playing in Ottowa for 9 seasons. He went back and forth between the NHL and the Sens affiliate team which isn’t ideal but it’ll have to do. Getting a solid physical presence on the backend is what the Predators need and that’s precisely what Mark Boroweicki is.

Losses: Nick Bonio (Minnesota Wild) 

Nick Bonino was traded to the Wild for Luke Kunin. Bonino won two Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh before he went to Nashville. He was a very talented center who had a lot of experience but moving him to Minnesota cleared a lot of cap space for Nashville. 

Forward Line Predictions:
Filip Forsberg Ryan Johansen Viktor Arvidson 
Eeli Tolvanen Matt Duchene Luke Kunin 
Rocco Grimaldi Colton Sissons Nick Cousins 
Yakov Trenin Brad Richardson Calle Jarnkrok 
Defensive Pairing Predictions:
Roman Jossi Ryan Ellis 
Mattias Ekholm Dante Fabbro 
Mark Boroweicki Matt Benning 
In the Net: 

Pekka Rine has been Nashville’s goaltender for a long time. He hasn’t been a tandem goalie in the past but he’s getting old. He’s obviously still got some pep in his step, but I think it’s time that Juuse Soros steps in and starts to make those moves to break into the league. 

The Verdict: 

I think this team is on the up & up. They need to look at the smaller things, like the powerplay and the penalty kill to find those missing pieces. There are quite a few forwards that are getting outscored by defensemen. That’s not how this game is supposed to work. Guys like Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen are going to have to do more. Move the puck more. Score more. Everything. Especially now that they’re on long term contracts. Filip Forsberg had some injuries last season but now that he’s healthy, he needs to deliver. I think the Nashville Predators playoff stance will really depend on how much more those forward line players can give. 

More NHL Previews: Ducks, Avs, Jets, Flyers

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