On Friday, November 23rd, Kyle Turris exited the game in the first period following a hard check from Blues forward Brayden Schenn. Although the Preds were already down 2-0 it was easy to dismiss the game as just a bad night. The question is when Kyle Turris is not on the ice for the Predators will we have more bad nights?
Just looking at Kyle Turris’ skill- since joining Nashville, Turris has scored 58 points in 88 games, along with providing a lot of the support on the power play, an area where Nashville has more than struggled at this season.
In addition to his skill, Turris being in the lineup puts Nick Bonino in a better position. When the Preds signed Bonino to a contract, they were hoping that he could step in and make the jump from elite third line center to serviceable second line center….and well, some things are the way they are for a reason. Bonino is a third line center because of how useful he is as a two-way player. The addition of Kyle Turris allowed Bonino to slide back in the third line center role where he could return to a high level of play thanks to more favorable matchups.
If it hasn’t been stressed enough, losing Turris hurts, especially when you consider the fact that Johansen, Turris, and Bonino make up one of the best center groups in the league. With Toronto, Pittsburgh, and San Jose being the teams with the best center group in the league, The Preds elite trio has the same type of dominance that the Blues, Jets, and Kings get out of there faceoff takers. For those keeping up at home the breakdown between Eastern Conference teams and Western Conference teams in the previously listed teams works out to 2:4 in favor of the West, which will stress the level of importance that the Nashville centers have on the team, especially since they are relied on to establish possession following key faceoffs.
All in all, every single injury that has hit Nashville this season has been without a doubt a major blow to the team, and it is not possible to rank which player’s absence is the most missed, but each one provides a hole in the team that is very hard to ignore. These are the things to keep an eye on while Turris is out for an unspecified period, which is cause for concern. In summation as far as replaceable players go, Turris is much harder to replace than other players.