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Predators Defense Dealt Another Blow With Jeremy Lauzon Injury



Photo of Jeremy Lauzon by John Russell/Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators general manager Barry Trotz may have inadvertently jinxed himself when talking about his defensive logjam and stating it’s difficult to get everyone into the lineup because the team hasn’t been fortunate to not have any injuries on the blue line.

Well, fast forward two weeks and three Predators defensemen have gone down with an injury in the last three games, prompting Trotz to go to the Milwaukee Admirals well again to call up defenseman Marc Del Gaizo.

With Dante Fabbro already out 2-3 week with an upper-body injury and Spencer Stastney week-to-week, also with an upper-body injury, the Predators announced that Jeremy Lauzon was also week-to-week with a lower-body injury, dropping the Predators below six healthy defensemen and converting Del Gaizo’s call up from a regular recall to an emergency one.

During morning skate on Tuesday, the Predators defensive pairings were as follows: Ryan McDonagh with Roman Josi, Del Gaizo with Alex Carrier, and Tyson Barrie with Luke Schenn. It’s expected those will be the pairings when the Predators host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

To make matters worse, Lauzon, who broke Tanner Jeannot’s franchise record for hits earlier this season, is just 56 hits away from breaking Matt Martin’s single-season NHL record. The Predators have just 14 games left in the regular season, and if Lauzon were to miss significant time, his chance at breaking the record obviously takes a hit, pun intended.

Fortunately for the Predators, they’re well-stocked on the blue line in the American Hockey League. The Admirals have four defensemen — Roland McKeown, Jordan Gross, Jake Livingstone and Kevin Gravel — with NHL experience should they need to call up another defender, plus there’s also youngsters Adam Wilsby, Luke Prokop, Jack Matier and Griffin Luce if Nashville decides it needs more speed or youth on the back end.

The Predators (82 points) occupy the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 14 games left in the season. Should they finish as the first wild-card team, they’ll face the lower-seeded division winner in the playoffs. If they finish as the second wild-card team, they’ll play the higher-seeded division winner.

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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