Jed signed a two-year deal with Nashville last summer, and the expectation has been that he'd provide basic checking and penalty killing work. He began the 2007-8 season playing the left wing alongside Radek Bonk in the middle and Jerred Smithson on the right side, on what was supposed to be a shutdown line. As it worked out, however, the only thing that got shut down was the Predators offense when those three hit the ice.
|NAME||POS||GP||TOI/ 60||RATING||QUAL COMP||QUAL TEAM||PTS/ 60||GFON/ 60||GAON/ 60||+-ON/60||GFOFF/ 60||GAOFF/ 60||+-OFF/ 60|
This table, courtesy of Behind the Net, requires a bit of explanation. It isolates the Goals For and Goals Against performance for the Nashville forwards last season, in terms of Goals For and Against per 60 minutes of play while that player is on the ice, and also how the rest of the team performs when that player is on the bench, thus revealing the impact an individual has on the overall result.
The single column that points this out is Rating, which reflects, per 60 minutes of play, the shift in a team's GF/GA differential when a given player is on the ice. Jed's -1.52 showing there is pretty awful; as to whether or not he faced elite offensive opponents, and that had an effect on his results, the Qualcomp shows the quality of opposition he faced. At 0.01, he basically went against middle-of-the-road competition, so that's not an excuse. How about the performance of his linemates? Did that bring him down? An argument can possibly be made there, as Smithson and Bonk are the only two guys with worse 5-on-5 Ratings, and Jed's Qualteam (quality of teammates played with) mark of -0.62 is worst on the squad; that line just made for a horrible combination.
Offensively, when Ortmeyer/Bonk/Smithson went out there, the Goals For/60 Minutes for Nashville plumetted down to the 1.04-1.43 range, down from typical values of 2.5-3.5. Defensively, the Goals Against numbers didn't vary much from what the rest of the team did. In a nutshell they failed to shut down opponents, while contributing minimal offensive pressure at the same time. That's a losing combination, and I doubt we'll see this line brought back together this fall.
Jed's ice time may well be threatened by the prospect of rookies like Ryan Jones and Antti Pihlstrom cracking the Nashville lineup; Patric Hornqvist appears destined for Top Six duty, so that's not a direct threat to Ortmeyer. As to penalty killing, Smithson and Scott Nichol have dibs on the major duty there, along with David Legwand and Vern Fiddler. My guess is that Jed's going to be watching from the press box quite a bit this season, filling in as injuries strike one of the PK guys or when Barry Trotz is feeling too stressed out by rookie defensive gaffes.
So, for the official Forechecker's Forecast...