In today's edition of "Three Questions," we get to ask Predators blogger Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck some questions about the team's struggles. He got a chance to ask me a few questions, which can be found over at his site right here.. Be sure to check them out!
1. Aside from Pekka Rinne, who do you feel is the most important member of your team, and why?
Right now, the answer might well be Colin Wilson. For a team which is consistently outshot, he's the one guy who seems to create offensive chances night after night, and with injuries striking other key forwards, that only makes the Predators rely on him even more.
2. Is there any way to explain the lack of production from the Preds this year, and will it get better?
It seems like the Predators are habitually slow starters, and are leaning on Pekka Rinne to keep games close once again until the goals start flowing. Losing their leading goal scorer in Patrick Hornqvist for a few weeks certainly doesn't help, either. The big question tonight is whether Martin Erat might return to the lineup. If he's available, he helps Nashville fill out two competitive lines.
3. Do you feel that Shea Weber is missing Ryan Suter, or is he more than capable of playing without him?
Weber is certainly missing Suter, even though Roman Josi has tremendous potential, the can tell that there just isn't the chemistry/familiarity yet between he & Weber. Recently, Barry Trotz has played Scott Hannan alongside Weber in the hopes that Hannan can play safety net and allow Weber to jump up into the play more, but Hannan can get exposed against top-line opposition. I think that eventually Josi/Weber will make a fine top pair, but it's just going to take some time.