Preds/Stars Match-Up to Watch

Friday, 10.2.2009 / 12:11 PM CT / Preview
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


Preds\/Stars Match-Up to Watch
Match-Up of Young Defensive Corps

The Preds and Stars feature two of the youngest defensive corps in the NHL this season. For Nashville, 33-year old Francis Bouillon is the vet of the group, followed by 26-year old Dan Hamhuis. The other four defensemen on the Preds Opening Night Roster are all under 25-years old.

For Dallas, gone are vets Sergei Zubov and Darryl Sydor, leaving Karlis Skrastins (35) and Stephane Robidas (32) to provide leadership to a youth movement which includes Jeff Woywitka (26), Trevor Daley (25), Nicklas Grossman (24), Mark Fistric (23), and Matt Niskanen (22). Robidas, Skrastins, and Daley – the only three Stars d-men with more than 200 career NHL games – were the only members of the blueline group to average more than 20:00 a night last season. For a team that surrendered 251 goals last season (sixth most in the league), the Stars will be relying on the young guys to mature in a hurry.

While the Preds group is young, Shea Weber (24 years old) blossomed into an All-Star and Norris Trophy candidate last season. Ryan Suter (24), matched with Weber on the Preds top pairing last season, led the team in average ice time, and Kevin Klein (24), long considered by league scouts to be an elite prospect, settled in as an NHL regular last season with 63 games played in ’08-09. The sixth blueline, Teemu Laakso (22) will be making his NHL debut on Opening Night, but with Hamhuis, Suter, and Weber all proven to handle 23-plus minutes a night, the Preds can monitor Laakso's responsibilities while he settles in to an NHL role.

Opening Night will feature impressive talent along the blueline for both sides; Suter and Weber are leading Olympic Candidates for Team USA and Team Canada, respectively, and Hamhuis and Robidas were paired together at Team Canada’s Olympic Orientation camp in August. Which team’s young group is able to settle in quickest will play a major role in the outcome.

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61