About Michael CaplesMichael Caples was born just minutes outside of Detroit and the Canadian border, into a family that introduced him to hockey the day he was born.
By the age of three, Michael could recite every NHL club, where they were from, and the primary colors in each jersey. He has worked for the Red Wings’ official website since 2008 and has contributed articles for LAKings.com, Michigan Hockey, and various other sports publications.
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|2010-11 preview: Nashville Predators|
|Written by Michael Caples|
|Saturday, 04 September 2010 00:00|
Are the Predators slowly building a dominant team in the Western Conference, or will the new season bring more of the same unfulfilled promise for a team that rarely takes risks?• 2009-10: 47-29-6, 100 points, lost to Chicago in first round
• Key additions: F Matthew Lombardi, F Sergei Kostitsyn, D Ryan Parent
• Key losses: F Jason Arnott, D Dan Hamhuis, G Dan Ellis
The Predators missed out on a tremendous opportunity in April, when they blew a 2-1 series lead against the Blackhawks in the first round. Nashville is still looking for a playoff series win, and it is difficult to tell how their roster additions will impact a team in desperate need of scoring depth. The defense looks solid with a franchise cornerstone in defenseman Shea Weber and young goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Preds will miss the offense and leadership of Jason Arnott; will new forwards Matthew Lombardi and Sergei Kostitsyn be enough up front?
• What they’re missing:
Scoring depth. Lombardi is expected to be a first or second-line center, which will ease the burden on David Legwand. Kostitsyn could add to their firepower, or he could become a cancer in another locker room – here’s hoping he doesn’t become the latter.
• Players to watch in camp:
Rookie Jonathon Blum will be fighting for a spot on the blue line during camp; the Preds hope their 2007 first-round pick could someday replace what was lost with Hamhuis. G Chet Pickard will give Mark Dekanich a run for his money in the competition to be Rinne’s backup. And it will be interesting to see how the Predators welcome Kostitsyn, after his well-publicized feuds with the Canadiens last year.
HPT is counting down one team each day before NHL training camps open on Sept. 17. Tomorrow: New Jersey Devils.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2010 01:08|