Originally written November 14, 2011 on PredsOnTheGlass:
Nashville_predators_v_b2cc
To see how important the return of Francis Bouillon to the Nashville Predators has been, you simply have to look at the team's record. Prior to his return on October 25, the team was 3-3-1 and the defense was yielding 2.71 goals per game and was lacking Bouillon's veteran presence. The Preds even started three rookies on defense on a couple of occasions.

In his first outing against San Jose, the  Preds played much better but lost 3-1 on a pair of late goals by the Sharks. Since that time, Nashville has sported a 5-1-2 record and has not had as much confusion in the opponent's end of the ice.

Bouillon was sidelined with a concussion on January 25, 2011 and had a long road to recovery, with no real time-table for a return. Over the months, he gradually increased his workouts and eventually began contact drills last month.

Since his return, he has seen his minutes increase and he has returned to being an anchor on the penalty kill unit. He has been at 22 minutes a game for three of the last four games.

When he first returned, he was played some on the third line but soon found himself paired with Kevin Klein. "It's been a few years now and we played well together last year and when I came back they put us together again. He's a good player. I like playing with him and I'm used to playing with him. We have a tough job to do every game since we are always up against a good line."

"Webs and Sutes do a good job against the first line, and me and Kleiner have to do a good job against the second line every game. We have to be consistent."

After Saturday's game, Bouillon claimed to have put the injury in the past. "I don't have to think about it. I've got to play my game, a physical game. That's the way I made it to the NHL so that's the way I'm going to play."

Solidifying the second line has also paid benefits with the third defensive pairing of Jack Hillen and Jon Blum getting more comfortable with each other's game.

The Predators are facing a stretch of four home games, split between Eastern and Western Conference teams. Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will be at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and then the much improved Toronto Maple Leafs will follow on Thursday.

The weekend will bring division rival, Columbus and the final home game of the month will be a week from tonight against the surprising Edmonton Oilers.

Bouillon is looking forward to the upcoming competition. "It doesn't matter who we play. We have to play the same every game. Game after game, we have to play hard in our own zone and move the puck. It doesn't matter who you play or against which line, you have to do the job each game."

Go here for POTG discount tickets for Tuesday's game as well as all remaining games and use the offer code preds.


More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams engage in war of words

Georgia RB Todd Gurley falsely accused of punching student

Russell Westbrook: "I'm the best point guard" in NBA

Texas WR takes shot at Baylor ahead of big game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh: Deion Sanders' report is 'a bunch of crap'

Bills bench E.J. Manuel, Kyle Orton to start

Report: Jovan Belcher likely had CTE

Carmelo: Leaving NY would be hard after I 'forced my way here'

Twins fire Ron Gardenhire

Jon Lester on Wild Card start: That's why I'm here

Chiefs player penalized for praying after touchdown

Bill Belichick laughs off QB question...literally

Patriots fan fails with American flag face paint

Joe Fauria's new puppy is responsible for his ankle injury

LaRon Landry suspended four games for PED violation

NBA GMs on the hot seat

Rockets GM Daryl Morey fires back at Mark Cuban

The most and least improved hitters of 2014

WATCH: Tom Wilhelmsen dances to 'Turn Down for What'

Michigan student newspaper calls for Brady Hoke's firing

14 amazing stats from Week 4 in the NFL

What in the heck is going on with LeBron James' hairline?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Raiders fire Dennis Allen after 0-4 start

Chiefs player penalized for praying after TD

Did Roger Goodell’s bodyguard assault a photographer?

Kobe, Deron engage in war of words

Belichick laughs off QB question

Joe Fauria's puppy caused ankle injury

Texas WR takes shot at Baylor

Jim Harbaugh rips Deion Sanders' report

NBA GMs on the hot seat

Bills bench Manuel for Kyle Orton

The most and least improved hitters

Report: Jovan Belcher likely had CTE

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.