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On the Road to Recovery: Bouillon and Fisher Bring Needed Experience to the Predators Lineup


After practice yesterday, it was reported by Ryan Porth that Francis Bouillon could make his season debut tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Added to that, there is the possibility of Mike Fisher also suiting up for the tilt. Today, that was confirmed as Josh Cooper said BOTH players would be playing tonight.

This is welcome news for a team that has shown a lack of NHL experience and grit can have a devastating effect on the ice and the ability of the Predators to breakout out offensively, go to the hard areas for the puck, and maintain possession in the offensive zone.

Bouillon has been sorely missed since a concussion took him out last season after 44 games played. At the time of his departure he had only 10 points but logged the 4th highest TOI by a defenseman. He amassed 133 hits and the previous season accounted for 162 hits, second on the team behind Weber.

Bouillon’s style of play is more the stay at home defensive type, but his sandpaper ways and fearless drive might be what the Predators need in barrels. A lack of effort is the culprit to many a loss for the Predators and a heart and soul guy like Bouillon, alongside some stingy defensive play, can solidify the cogs that help a defensive machine such as the Nashville Predators.

Mike Fisher has been on the shelf since going under the knife over the summer to correct a shoulder issue. His rehab has been tedious, but he has been practicing full contact over the last 3 weeks for the Predators and many felt it was only a matter of time before Fisher was back on the ice. Fisher, much like Bouillon, is steeped in the tradition of going to the hard areas for the puck, playing a tough, hard-fought hockey game, and going full tilt to the net for rebounds and scoring opportunities.

Fisher represents everything that the Predators look for in a hockey player: heart, drive, determination, and work ethic. These four tenants make up the mantra known to many as “The Predator Way” and having Fisher back will help to institute change from the lackluster, “calling-it-in” style that the Predators maintained through their winless streak.

Coming off the 14 shot win over the Calgary Flames, the Predators need to push the issue and get back to playing the clamped down defense many fans are used to seeing. Also, the Predators need to fire the puck on net more in order to effectively use Fisher and Hornqvist to gather the rebounds and dirty goals. A goal is a goal and much like Terry Crisp says on a nightly basis (aside from “Head on a swivel”) is you can’t score if you don’t put the puck on net.

Having this resurgence of NHL talent and experience is a huge benefit for the Nashville Predators going into a three game home stand starting with the much hated San Jose Sharks tonight. The addition of Martin Erat down the line will help the offensive push tremendously, especially breaking into the opposing team’s zone with the puck instead of the dump-and-chase method that has yet to click.

Quick question: Who do you think will ultimately get scratched/sent down with Fisher/Bouillon back and Erat being hopefully close? What would be your ideal line combinations for a healthy Predators squad?