4. The best defensive core in the league
Night in and night out Nashville is able to start the best group of six defensemen in the league. Many teams looking to build their organization should take notice of how general manager David Poile has done it. Nashville has always had great depth on its blue line in Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Dan Hamhuis. Poile also knows when it is time to refresh his core on defense. All three of those defensemen were let go at some point during the franchise’s history.
Today’s team features plenty of starpower all on its own. The player that every hockey fan knows is P.K. Subban and for good reason. Subban is in the top 10 in points scored by defensemen and is a dynamic personality both on and off the ice. This team is much more than Subban. Often overshadowed by Subban is Roman Josi. Josi has been steady for Nashville for a long time. After being drafted in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft, Josi was able to learn by playing with Shea Weber. But wait — there’s more. Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm are two great depth defenseman who give Nashville so many possible combinations. None of its defensemen are worn down during the regular season with high minutes of ice time.
Every year depth is a major factor to a long playoff run. Nashville’s blue line is one of the deepest in the league. If Nashville is going to run into injuries on the blue line during its push for the Stanley Cup, the Preds will be ready for it. Their top four is strong; Alexi Emelin and Matt Irwin are good bottom pair defensemen. If they are injured or playing poorly, Anthony Bitetto and Yannick Weber are strong options to fill in. The options that Nashville has on defense are unmatched by any team in the playoffs, and it will be one of the reasons they win this year’s Stanley Cup.