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3 Questions with On The Forecheck

We exchanged Q&A sessions with our pals from OTF in advance of Tuesday night's tilt between the Preds and Avalanche.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

On The Forecheck is my favorite SB Nation NHL blog, if of course, you don't count MHH. I like them. You should too. Because we don't hate them, we decided to provide knowledge to the other's blog doing a 3 Questions segment. I asked Alex Daugherty of OTF the following questions about the Preds, and his answers are listed under each riddle.

1) What's the verdict been on P.K Subban so far?

Subban has taken the city of Nashville by storm, as was expected. This town has always been hungry for personality and style from its professional athletes and Subban delivers plenty of both. He's a huge draw from a marketing standpoint and the Predators have done a good job maximizing, but not overloading, his presence beyond the rink. This town loves him.

On the ice, it took a few games for him to adjust. The initial excitement of Subban with Roman Josi ended when the two didn't quite mesh together for some reason. The pairing of Subban with Mattias Ekholm has been much better, with Ekholm playing a more traditional two-way defender role, allowing Subban the freedom to roam the offensive zone.

2) 2nd through 6th in the Central is all separated by 5 points. Tight! How do you feel about Nashville's standing so far?

After such a disappointing start to the season, I'd say most Preds fans are pretty happy sitting in 4th place. "It's early" was the refrain of Preds apologists everywhere for much of the first month, but along with that was some genuine concern: Is the defense taking too many risks? Why isn't anyone scoring? Whats up with Filip Forsberg? Why is Cody Bass here? And so on.

Then the Preds went 8-3-2 in November. Along with that, the offense started clicking, the blueline pairings seem set, Pekka Rinne has resurfaced as a top 10 NHL goalie, and the team has a more dynamic presence at both ends of the ice. All the team needs is to be in arms reach of 1st in the Central and comfortably nestled in a playoff spot in order to feel good about the rest of the season.

3) Who's someone on the team that's quietly been really good and maybe not that well known to hockey fans outside of Nashville?

Viktor Arvidsson. Without question.

Tiny Hockey Man has been the most consistent skater on the team this year. He is absolutely relentless and never gives up on a play. He shoots like a madman, forechecks like a hurricane, and celebrates like an 8 year old at Christmas.

On top of that, he's on pace to have a career year. With 6 goals and 7 assists so far, he will shatter his season totals from last year (8 goals, 8 assists), though he is bound to cool off a bit. The only downside is that he might be playing himself into a starting role for Las Vegas next year. The two most likely candidates to be exposed and then selected from the Preds are Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok. Vegas would be stupid to not take Jarnkrok, as his contract is expansion team friendly, but Arvidsson would be a real value pick.