Over the past week, the Nashville Predators have been two-faced by playing different styles each game and even during a game. There have been players who are playing and not, which is the reason for the missed playing time with the club.
Surprisingly, goals allowed have been killer for the Predators, which would have never been thought possible under head Coach Barry Trotz's system and having stars like Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber to limit the scoring. Nashville has given up twelve goals in the past four games, average out to three goals a game.
As of Sunday, they are a point out of playoff position and are a winning streak away from being in playoff position, which isn't too shabby after a five game losing streak.
Hot: Martin Erat
When the top line is producing, the Predators are winning. That is the current trend with Mike Fisher, who is also hot, and Martin Erat, who are both on the top line. In the past two games, Erat has been on a tear in the point production by having five points (1 goal, 4 assists). Erat still needs to produce in the goal department, but as long as he is feeding the puck to his team mates for goals, that is okay.
The Czech Republic native is third in the points for the team.
Cold: Pekka Rinne
It may seem unfair to blame Pekka Rinne for some of the goals being scored on him, but it is his job to prevent them no matter what. That is what his big contract is paying him to do.
Rinne has a .875 save percentage this week, which is mediocre to his high standards. The Finnish born goaltender may have the worst save percentage and the most shutouts ever, currently with five.
Right now, it appears Rinne is slowly rising, as per his goals allowed trend this season. Lately, he has been giving up a lot of goals, but before too long, a shutout will appear. The level of inconsistency is wild, but will have to be controlled before the playoffs in order to get there.
(Photo by: Mark Humphrey/AP Photo)
Hot: Mike Fisher
Again, if Mike Fisher plays well, so does the team. Despite scoring an own goal, Fisher has been very productive overall recently. In his past six games, he has tallied at least a point with 5 goal and 2 assists. The Predators were thirsty for goals and now Fisher is stepping up and fulfilling the "A" on his jersey. Barry Trotz needs players like Fisher and Erat to produce consistently in order to win, and that has been the case while winning games.
Cold: Ryan Ellis
Ryan Ellis is having trouble right now as an offensive defenseman. He is currently neutral in the scoring department, which is not what Trotz wants when attempting to limit the opposition's scoring chances. With veteran defenseman Hal Gill returning to the lineup, Ellis is the odd man out at the moment. Trotz called him the seventh defenseman after Saturday's win against Columbus (s/t John Manasso of Fox Sports South).
"He’s a poised puck-moving defenseman who makes good plays. I don’t think he’s been poised and making good plays."
Ellis and Jonathon Blum have traded places as there is eighteen games remaining in the season.