Defense is one of the most important positions in hockey and makes a huge difference in terms of how successful your team is. From shutting down chances to making your goaltender’s job much easier, defencemen play a vital role on any hockey team. For this game, both teams have fantastic defense cores, each with their own mix of offensive production and shutdown ability.
For Carolina, everyone knows the highlight of this team is the defense. From the offensive juggernaut Dougie Hamilton (Who’s making his own bid for the Norris Trophy so far) all the way to the elite shutdown defencemen in Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, it’s hard to find a hole in this group. I haven’t even mentioned Jake Gardiner, Joel Edmundson, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Haydn Fleury, who are all great in their own way.
For Nashville, their defense is just as impressive. Leading the way in assists and points for the team is Roman Josi (17 assists and 24 points). Ryan Ellis brings great offensive upside for Nashville as well, currently posting 4 goals and 15 assists in 24 games. Mattias Ekholm is another big name that only adds to the great defense.
With how stacked both defensive cores are, we could potentially see a low scoring game. If Carolina wants to win this game, the blue-liners will have to come up big and outplay the opposing defense. It won’t be easy, but it is a big first step in securing a win over the Predators.