Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Photo Credit: AP/Mark Humphrey Stagnant. That’s the word I would use to describe the Nashville Predators’ offense after a terrible showing in St. Louis. While firstly, credit deserves to go to the Blues, the Predators played miserable hockey. They were too predictable, too stale, too shy, and too unsettled, and maybe even too small to beat the Blues. While Trotz and company are more than likely going to stick with their “top line” of Erat/Fisher/Kostitsyn, it is the other line that’s seeing prime playing time that stands a better chance of breaking out. That line features a very sharp Patric Hornqvist, and an also sharp Colin Wilson. Through the first few games, it’s hard to find anyone who has had a better showing. The Blues expose quite a few flaws in teams by playing a very very basic form of hockey. They’re big, creative, patient, a little nasty, and win battles along the boards. And if either of their goaltenders are on their game, think of any term you want to use that’s along the lines of “You’re Screwed!”, and it works.  Wilson looked pretty dynamic for most of the time on ice, even though he does show a -3.  Frankly, unless Hornqvist is well rested or the team started on the offensive side of the red line, neither of his linemates can keep up with him. (Legwand has had a BRUTAL start to the season, just based off the eye test.) He’s forechecking more, and been effective  in that role. He’s still filling out his frame, but this year looks like another step forward for the player that the coaching staff eventually wanted to move to center this year. Comparing his annual stats is a tough task. His rookie year he was slotted with Erat and Arnott on the top line. The year after, he bounced from line to line before being scratched throughout the playoffs. Last year, he was scratched also during the postseason at times to make way for Paul Gaustad and Gabriel Bourque, which did make a difference in the postseason against Detroit. He also saw time when Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were in Trotz’s personal drunktank against Phoenix. How does a player go from being a healthy scratch in the playoffs to someone trusted enough to center a line? I’m not truly sure. Wilson has the tools needed to be exactly what Nashville needs, which is a top line center or left wing. He shoots well, he can make plays, and now he’s figured out that the boss likes this whole defense thing. (His -3? One of which was Artem Anisimov scoring about the coolest goal ever while battle Gaustad on a breakaway, and another was Vlad Tarasenko being all evil Russian sniper. If you’re into that whole +/- kind of thing.) He’s becoming the player that Nashville needs more of: a guy who can skate the puck, a guy who is big enough to where he won’t be knocked off the puck in the neutral zone, and a guy who actually shoots the puck. His PPG totals have been hovering around .44, which is impressive given that most of those goals he’s creating himself and playing with less than stellar offensive talent. The old running line among the “smart” Nashville hockey fans was to include Wilson in a package with Jonathon Blum for someone like a Bobby Ryan. Was Wilson included in the package for Rick Nash? Proabably, he’s Rick Nash. He doesn’t suck at hockey. However, having Wilson on the roster isn’t the worst thing in the world at all. In fact, he’s slowly creeping out of Trotz’s woodshed. (Currently occupied by Craig Smith) It’s hard not to feel bitter watching the Blues play, with their roster of large and skilled forwards like Backes, Berglund, Tarasenko, Oshie, Steen (at times), and even guys like David Perron. The fact is that while Nashville was making the playoffs during the late 2000s, the Blues weren’t (save for one year) and made good on their draft pick. Wilson has a chance to be in that same company of large, stellar American forwards like Dustin Brown, Backes, and others. A little patience would serve him well with the puck. Moving forward, Wilson might be best served playing in a role with better skaters, or at least one he can count on to keep up with him. The Preds won’t always look as bad as they did in Scottrade Center, but the top line hasn’t looked great in a long while. Playing alongside another big body like Fisher may be just the recipe needed to jumpstart an offense that relies far too much on the powerplay.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

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.