In tonight's game against the Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist suffered a lower-body injury. This came a day after newly signed forward Viktor Stalberg went down with an upper body injury versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, this isn't all bad news.
Due to the nature of Hornqvist's game, it's not a surprise that he got injured. The 26-year-old forward missed half of last season due to injury. However, the timing of the injury is unfortunate – after all, it's just the preseason.
While these injuries are extremely frustrating to the Predators organization and fans, I think there's some light at the end of the tunnel. The Predators were expected to have a real tough decision to make on who would make the last few roster spots, especially among forwards.
Here is where I see the roster at without Stalberg and Hornqvist:
Now, these aren't necessarily what I think the combinations will be. However, this does paint you a picture of where the Preds are at WITHOUT Stalberg and Hornqvist in the lineup in terms of depth.
We know Stalberg will only be out for a month at most. There has been no official diagnosis on Hornqvist but assuming he misses Opening Night, at some point, the Preds will have to make a decision on someone getting sent down. It could be Taylor Beck as he is on a two-way deal.
So in reality, having these two injuries are a bit of a blessing in disguise for Nashville. They won't have to demote someone down right away and give Beck and Filip Forsberg the chance to show what they can do.
While the Preds are definitely at a loss in not starting the season with two players of their top-six forward core, I think there are some definite opportunities for other players to try and prove themselves.