The Predators won their last game but lost Mike Fisher to injury in the process. The team has acquired a slight injury bug over the last couple of weeks. Until Fisher, they managed to keep their top offensive scorers off the scratch list, so the production was easier to replace with Milwaukee guys.
Now, Nashville finds themselves in a predicament. The team is going through a dry spell in terms of lighting the lamp, so the loss of Fisher, tied for third on the team in goals, is definitely not going to help that problem.
We’ve all seen the chatter across the fan base for a trade to take place in order to claim a true #1 center. The Fisher injury only ratcheted up that discussion. In the simplest of terms, a trade of that magnitude is very unlikely and almost impossible to predict with any accuracy most of the time. The answer will have to come from within for now.
Jarnkrok will presumably take the responsibility of Fisher in the lineup while he nurses his injury. Jarnkrok has been playing well this season and an uptick in quality of linemates and minutes could be exactly what he needs to progress as a center. He is by no means the big splash addition that would take the offense to a whole new level, but it’s an opportunity to build center depth.
Everyone knows Fisher and Ribeiro aren’t getting any younger, so any development down the middle is met with open arms. Jarnkrok has a great two-way skill set that makes him a very versatile and important player.
Putting a player in the most advantageous position to succeed is the easiest way to see significant improvement. That’s where Jarnkrok will get his chance. Being beside top six forwards such as Forsberg or Neal for an extended period of time will allow us to see if Jarnkrok can take that next step forward.
There’s a possibility he may fall short and not be ready. In that scenario, Nashville will hope Fisher can get back sooner rather than later. But at least the team found out. That’s a silver lining when dealing with injuries in an otherwise negative situation. Finding players that shine in adversity when they wouldn’t get that chance under normal circumstances can improve a team immensely.
Fisher’s injury is in no way a positive turn of events. He helps this team win on a nightly basis and will be missed for however long he is sidelined. But looking at the glass half full in regards to Jarnkrok’s upcoming opportunity will be important.
If Jarnkrok were able to succeed, the team would gain much needed center depth even if it’s not by the sexy blockbuster trade that so many in Nashville are itching for David Poile to make.