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2013-14 Preview: Mike Fisher

Ed. Note: From August 21st through September 16th, we will be providing previews for each player for the 2013-14 season. In no specific order, today we continue with Mike Fisher…

Mike Fisher’s last 3 seasons
Team GP G A PTS P/M PPP TOI
 2010-11 OTT 55 14 10 24 -19 9 18:25
 2010-11 NSH 27 5 7 12 +2 5 18:15
 2011-12 NSH 72 24 27 51 +11 14 19:17
 2012-13 NSH 38 10 11 21 +6 6 19:27

2012-13 in review:
Much like many of Nashville’s forwards, the 2012-13 season was a season to forget for Mike Fisher. He particularly struggled in the first part of the season, registering only three points in the first 13 games for the Predators. Fisher got better as the season moved along, rolling off an eight-game point streak in March before missing 10 games in the month of April due to injury.

Fisher finished the season with 21 points in 38 games played and was third on the team in scoring behind Shea Weber and David Legwand. He scored just one power play goal on a man advantage and an offense that struggled to find consistency all season long. Fisher was still an effective defensive centerman in 2012-13, finishing the season with a plus-six rating, which was tied with Gabriel Bourque for the highest plus-minus rating on the team.

Before his injury in April, Fisher had started to play really good hockey for the Predators, which is something they’re hoping he can build off of heading into this season.

Burning question for 2013-14: Will depth at center place Fisher into a more comfortable role?
For the past two seasons, Fisher has been the No. 1 pivot for the Predators. With the addition of Matt Cullen in the off-season, it’s possible that he will not be the No. 1 centerman for the Predators in 2013-14, which could better suit his game. If Fisher is demoted to the second line, he will be in a very similar role to the one he played in Ottawa. That could allow him to not spend as much energy on the defensive side of the ice when he’s not having to go up against the opposition’s top line on a nightly basis, which could consequently make him more effective offensively.

The Predators are loaded with players who can potentially play at the center position. Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Matt Hendricks, Nick Spaling could all play at the center position but will in all likelihood be on the wing due to Cullen, Fisher, Legwand and Paul Gaustad making up the four center spots. The flexibility at center could be a blessing in disguise for Fisher, even if it means he won’t be getting top-line minutes.

The Predators are going to need more production offensively from Fisher in 2013-14 than they got a season ago. Even with the new additions, scoring goals is still going to be the biggest challenge for the Predators. Fisher has been playing a first line role when he really should be playing a second line role. If all works out with Cullen, Fisher could be placed into that second line role this season. If he can stay healthy, look for Fisher to have a bounce-back season. He didn’t play well at all in the beginning of last season, and that’s something he’ll be looking to correct this season.

 
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