Preds lose Erat until postseason
Predators left wing Martin Erat suffered a sprained knee in a third-period collision with teammate Jason Arnott during Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to Detroit and will be out four weeks, the team said today.While he's not a household name, Erat's a big loss for Nashville.
The 25-year-old Czech winger is in the midst of a career season, and was on pace for 66 points heading into tonight's game. Given he was a seventh-round pick all the way back in 1999, it's easy to forget Erat is both this young and still on the rise into his productive years. He certainly hasn't looked out of place on Nashville's top line this season.
The Western Conference leaders are looking a little beat up on their forward corps, with Steve Sullivan, Peter Forsberg, Scott Hartnell and Scott Nichol on the limp. Add Erat to that list, and the Predators' depth is really going to be tested over this stretch.
Still, with Paul Kariya, J.P. Dumont, David Legwand, Jason Arnott and Alex Radulov, they should be able to compensate offensively, and it's going to come down to how well the team's depth forwards, like Vernon Fiddler, can fill in.
Winning tonight in Detroit — the Red Wings are 14-3-3 in their last 20 games — is going to be a tough go.