Predators top defenders drawing high praise from Penguins

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban warms up before an NHL hockey preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, in Nashville, Tenn. Predators general manager David Poile updates the health of All-Star defenseman Subban on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, a day after Nashville placed him on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

PITTSBURGH, Penn. (WKRN) – If the Predators top four defenders were flying under the radar they certainly are not in Pittsburgh.

After scoring the game winning goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7, forward Chris Kunitz made a bold statement comparing the Preds top two back lines to arguably the best defenseman in the league.

Penguins forward Chris Kunitz said, “We gotta make sure that we’re prepared for another different type of team they (Predators) have a speed team that’s gonna’ come at you with an active D they got four Karlsson’s on their team.”

Erik Karlsson is one of the best players in the NHL and a Norris Trophy winner, the award given to the NHL’s best defenseman. A lot of people would argue that the Senators got to a Game 7 against the Penguins primarily because of him.

Ryan Ellis (Photo: WKRN)

Karlsson led the Senators in points during the regular season as well as in the playoffs. Comparing four different Predators players to one of the league’s best defenseman is high praise.

“Eric Karlsson’s a pretty good defenseman not that my game might look any similar to his,” said defenseman Mattias Ekholm. “I think he’s a little bit more offensive minded but we’ve gotten some credit this playoffs. I think we’ve been playing pretty good and other teams are noticing.”

Added defenseman PK Subban: “You know – one thing for sure, and I think probably what he meant by it, is we all have skill and ability. We’re mobile and we can move the puck up the ice and defend well. We’ll take that as a compliment for sure.”

The Predators top four defenseman include PK Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. They have combined to produce one-third of the team’s points during their Stanley Cup Final run.