Predators Player Rankings – Week Two

Photo Source: Mark Buckner, Getty Images

A disappointing week had the Predators going 0-0-2 to open up the season and dragged many frustrated Preds fans out of the woodwork. Blaming everything from offense, to Rinne to defense and, of course, coach Trotz, few of them took the time to remember that it was still early days. 

The two losses weren't the optimal results, and a lot of players still looked like they were gliding around in offseason. But there were some success stories over the last week. Notably Carter Hutton who was anything but bad in only his second NHL appearance. 

Read the full play rankings below, and check out last weeks here.

Player Position Rank Movement Short Description
Mike Fisher C 1 +2 Fisher is clicking very well on his new line with Nystrom and Spaling. Registering a goal and an assit in two games. He had tremendous hustle in the opener against St. Louis and seemed to be one of few who were still involved when the odds were against the Preds. 
Eric Nystrom LW 2 +18 Nystrom was leaps and bounds above my expectations. He has been phenomenal on the second line with Fisher and on the PK. The winger works the boards with the best of them. He also fought that pissant Downie on Friday. 
Seth Jones D 3 +12 Jones has been one of the best defenseman in the first two games. His passing has been top notch and his physical presence is impressive for a rookie. Jones played 25 minutes in the Colorado game. I bet we see him on the first line during Josi's absence. 
David Legwand C 4 +4 Legwand has been on par, chipping in a goal in the early campaign. Neither of his linemates seem to be showing much enthusiasm yet this year. Never helpful. 
Paul Gaustad RW/C 5 +9 Gaustad has the team's third goal this season which is more than most would have expected from him. He has also managed to stay out of the penalty box while still having a physical presence. 
Patrick Hornqvist RW 6 -2 A nice assist on the Legwand goal in the season opener is a good start for Hornqvist. But many fans will expect more out of him in what should be a break out year.
Nick Spaling C 7 +10 Spaling is making a case for himself as the third unit in the successful Nystrom/Fisher line. He is certainly playing in a way that would guarantee him a spot on a fully healthy lineup
Craig Smith C 8 +8 Smith had an assist in the Colorado game, but has been quiet otherwise. He spent his first game on the nearly invisible line with Cullen and Bourque. Smith had a VIP membership in Trotz's doghouse last year – he will want to turn it around quickly to not return.  
Pekka Rinne G 9 -7 Rinne was pulled in the first game on little fault of his own. The three goals in 9:45 were the result of a complete lack of defense. Rinne bounced back against Colorado where he earned a 2nd star for his .943 SV%
Carter Hutton G 10 +13 Hutton blew all expectations out of the water during his solid fifty minutes in the season opener. The Blues were on fire when Hutton hit the ice, but the backup was solid in a 21 save performance
Victor Bartley D 11 +7 Bartley has been the more convincing defenseman in a pairing with Kevin Klein. I'm quite impressed with his use of his body this year as well. 
Mattias Ekholm D 12 +9 I thought Ekholm would be the odd man out defensively, but playing on the third pairing he has looked good enough. 
Shea Weber D 13 -12 Weber has a -2 and 6 penalty minutes in his first two games. He is a contributing factor to our abysmal powerplay. The captain needs to step up immediately. 
Colin Wilson RW/C 14 -8 Wilson has also been under-contributing in the first two games. It could be a big season for Wilson, but right now he isn't earning the minutes he's getting.
Kevin Klein D 15 -5 Klein has been a bit underwhelming. His head just doesn't seem to be in it yet, and he has a had a few bad mistakes in the opening two games.
Gabriel Bourque LW 16 -7 Bourque has been too quiet in the opening two games. On the line with Cullen and Smith he has talent to work with, but we haven't seem him do anything so far.
Richard Clune RW 17 +5 Clune has an unbelievable 0 penalty minutes in the first two games. A member of the "Grind em till they cry" line, Clune has been looking not too bad offensively. His play defensively does need to improve though. 
Roman Josi D 18 -13 Hasn't been a big presence defensively or offensively. Playing like a man who will soon be replaced by Seth Jones. Got injured by Steve Downie on a hit that was preventable. 
Matt Cullen C 19 12 Cullen has been my biggest disappointment so far. He is playing like our worst center. He has the worst faceoff % on the team. He's slow and he has not demonstrated the ability to set up a play. 
Matt Hendricks LW/C 20 -8 Hendricks is the only Predator at -3, the worst +/- on the team. I'm not sure if he is adapting to his role as a winger very well. 
Ryan Ellis D 21 -8 Ellis was scratched for the first two games in favor of Ekholm. He will get a chance to prove himself with the Josi injury…unless the Preds call up Piskula
Filip Forsberg C/RW 22 -11 Forsberg should make his season debut on Tuesday after being day-to-day with an upper body injury during the first two games. Not sure who he will play with though.
Viktor Stalberg RW 23 +1 We're closer to seeing Stalberg play, but that's all that can be said for now. 
Simon Moser C 24 -4 Sent down to the AHL. I thought he might hang around the NHL roster for a bit, but the Preds sent him to Milwaukee. Maybe we'll see Moser later in the season.