Leading up to the lockout-shortened season, we will be providing2012-13 previews for each player. In no specific order, we continue with Nick Spaling today…
After becoming a playoff hero for the Predators in their first ever series win against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinalss, Nick Spaling became an integral part of Nashville’s lineup in the 2011-12 season. He played in a career-high 77 games, scored a career-high 10 goals and finished with a career-high in points with 22 on the season. Spaling was also good in the faceoff circle for the Preds, winning 50.1 percent of the draws he took and played a key role on the penalty kill.
Spaling anchored the third line as a centerman for the majority of the season and played with a host of different wingers. He logged the fifth-highest amount of ice time for a forward on the team, and even had 44 more minutes of ice time than Nashville’s leading goal scorer, Patric Hornqvist, despite only playing in one more game than Hornqvist did.
The Predators were 8-1-1 on the year when Spaling scored a goal, so things went pretty well for them when he put the puck in the back of the net.
Spaling stayed in Nashville and skated at A-Game Sportsplex throughout the entirety of the lockout.
Spaling will likely anchor the third line once again this year to start and will also play a key role on the penalty kill. Barry Trotz and the rest of the coaching staff place a high value on what Spaling brings to the table every night, and he gets rewarded for that by being put in many different situations throughout the course of a game. Expect Spaling to chip in around five goals in the shortened season and have way more of an impact doing the dirty work.