Preds Lock Down Johansen

Written By: Conner Pack

– Agreement Has Been Reached

An agreement has been reached between the Nashville Predators and first line center Ryan Johansen, Johansen’s new contract is an 8-year $64 million deal. This is great news for both the Predators and Johansen. For the Predators, they will have a number one center for years to come and they didn’t have to spend a fortune to resign him. As for Johansen, he got a solid pay-day and he’s on a team that is a Stanley Cup contender.

– Why Locking Down Johansen Is Key

The Predators have a solid core group of guys in P.K. Subban, Fillip Forsberg, Victor Arvidson, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mike Fisher and Mattis Ekholm. Now, you could make an argument that any of these guys is the leader/driving force of the team. However, in my opinion it’s Johansen. Night in and night out this guy lead the team and made everyone around him better, especially during the playoffs. I’m not here to say the other guys aren’t a factor in leading this team, I just think there’s something special about Johansen, his play and attitude is what helped get this team to that next level.

Up until when he got injured and had to miss the rest of the playoffs, it was evident that this Predators team went as Johansen went. Throughout the Predators incredible playoff run Johansen was the driving force; he scored, he created opportunities for his teammates, and his puck handling and passing were off the charts. Locking down Johansen and bringing him back was the best thing the Predators could’ve done.

– Final Thoughts

Whether he came back or not the Predators were still going to be in the playoff mix. But now that he will be back, the Predators won’t just be a playoff contender but they should be favored to make it back to the Stanley Cup Final.

 

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Ryan Johansen

Preds Are Stanley Cup Bound

Written By: Conner Pack

The incredible playoff run continues as the Predators advance to their first ever Stanley Cup Final. Beating the Ducks four games to two in the western conference finals, keeping the dream season alive. This historic run the Predators have been on has been predicated by team hockey and heart. Oh and also, the fans. Which quite frankly might be the most important part. The city of Nashville and the surrounding area have got on board and behind this team. 

As I wrote before, coming into the playoffs the eighth seeded Predators were not favored to make it out of the first round. But they did, sweeping the Blackhawks in round one got the ball rolling for this amazing run. The way they played in that series was incredible. After a long eighty-two game regular season, those four games were probably the best hockey the Predators played all season. From Pekka’s goal keeping, to the great defense they played, to straight up just out skating the Blackhawks. It was great to watch. 

After what was a very up and down rollercoaster of a season, the Predators finally hit their stride once the playoffs started. Clicking and gaining the team chemistry they lacked for the majority of the season. The lack of chemistry during the regular season in large part was due to continuously having guys out due to injury. Because of that they were unable to gel and gain the continuity they have now. The playoff version of Predators is a completely different team. This team playing now is the one many predicted coming into the season would be in the position they’re in now. 

– Final Thoughts 

The team play of this Predators team has been so fun to watch. They’re getting contributions from everyone. You got your big name guys in Forsberg, Johansen, Josi, Subban, and Neal who’ve been good. Along with the big name guys the middle guys have played an even bigger role. Arvidsson, Ellis, Sissons, Ekholm, and Watson have been huge. 

The defense has done great as well. Deflecting and disrupting the passing lanes of their opponents. Also they’ve made Pekka’s life a lot easier by keeping the area close to the net clear. Even though the defense has played well Pekka has been playing out of his mind. He’s had an MVP kind of playoffs. 

With Ryan Johansen out for the remainder of the playoffs it’ll be interesting how the team responds. Obviously in games five and six they won without him. But offensively they lacked his passing and puck handling. In my opinion, other than Pekka, Johansen has been the Predators best player during the playoffs. His play on the ice helped create opportunities for his teammates. 

Finally, the captain Mike Fisher, he missed games five and six of the western conference finals because of a concussion. As of now they are saying he’ll be back and ready for game one on Monday. Let’s hope he is. So far throughout the playoffs he hasn’t done much as far as statistics go. But his presence and the leadership he brings to the team is huge. 

Game one will be Monday night May 29th in either Pittsburgh or Ottawa.