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Sissons recalled but can he help the scoring problem?
- Updated: March 10, 2014
This morning, the Nashville Predators recalled Colton Sissons from their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
Sissons, 20, leads the Ads in goals with 24 and in points with 41. The Preds are having a hard time scoring goals at the moment so the natural assumption is that he was recalled to help the offense.
But not so fast.
The former Kelowna Rockets captain has played four games with Nashville already this season, registering one assist, one shot and a plus-2 rating. Not bad for a guy who spent the majority of the time on the fourth line. His average time-on-ice at the NHL level so far is just 7:50. If the Preds have really recalled Sissons to help chip in on the score sheet, they’ll have to bump up his minutes and bump up the talent of his linemates.
Nashville has scored just six goals since the Olympic break (five games), they’ve scored a goal or less in four straight games and they have the second-worst offense in the Western Conference (152 goals). In addition, they’re 10 points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot thanks to a four-game losing streak and the eighth place Dallas Stars having won three of their last four.
In short, the Preds need goals more than ever. The trade deadline is over so they can’t just go out and acquire the help. They must use the cards they already have in the deck. That said, expecting a first-year pro to come in, play fourth line minutes and impact the scoresheet is absurd.
Sissons and the Preds play tonight in Ottawa against the Senators and then tomorrow in Buffalo against the Sabres. These are two teams Nashville should beat. Ottawa is in 12th place in the East and Buffalo is dead last in the league. If the Preds win both, and the Stars lose their two games tonight and tomorrow, they’ll find themselves just six points out with 16 games remaining in the regular season. While certainly tough to do, six points can be overcome.
Puck drops at 6:30pm Central.
The official press release is below.
Nashville, Tenn. (March 10, 2014) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Colton Sissons from Milwaukee (AHL).
Sissons, 20 (11/5/93), has appeared in four games for the Predators during his rookie professional season in 2013-14, recording an assist, a +2 rating and two penalty minutes. The 6-1, 189-pound forward has recorded back-to-back two-goal games – and seven points (5g-2a) in his last four AHL outings – to lead the Admirals in goals (24) and points (41). The 2014 AHL All-Star’s goal total is also good for sixth in the league, while his point total ranks sixth among rookies.
The native of North Vancouver, B.C., was Nashville’s second choice, 50th overall (second round), in the 2012 Entry Draft and spent the previous three seasons (2010-13) with the Kelowna Rockets, amassing 149 points (71g-79a) and 162 penalty minutes in 182 Western Hockey League games.
The Nashville Predators head on the road for the next three games, making stops in Ottawa, Buffalo and Chicago. The Predators return home to Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, March 15 to take on division rival St. Louis in a 7 p.m. CT tilt (FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.5 The Game). Fans are invited to stick around following the game for the Preds vs. Blues alumni game featuring Preds alum J-P Dumont, Darcy Hordichuk, Stu Grimson and more, slated to begin at approximately 9:45 p.m. Fans can purchase a McDonald’s Family Four Pack, starting at just $33 per ticket, and receive four tickets, four gold hats and four McDonald’s Happy Meal coupons with every Four Pack purchased. A limited number of tickets still remain, for more information, visit nashvillepredators.com or call 615-770-7800.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua (used with permission)