Neal recorded an assist during Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Wild. It was his third assist in the last two games. Now with 27 points in 48 games, Neal is on pace for roughly a 40-point campaign, which would fall significantly short of the 58 points he posted last season. Missing a combined nine games to injury surely hasn't helped, but the fact remains Neal is not a top-six forward for the Preds at the moment. The role of No. 1 left wing now belongs to Viktor Arvidsson, which means Neal has been shuffled to the third line alongside Calle Jarnkrok and Colin Wilson. Neal has also become a notoriously streaky scorer this season, having been held off the scoresheet in 19 of 28 games since the beginning of December, which further limits his fantasy value in most formats.
Neal notched a goal and a power-play assist Tuesday, but also finished minus-3 in an overtime loss to Buffalo. The offense is surely appreciated by his fantasy owners, but the poor defensive showing takes a lot of the shine off it. Neal's rating for the season is now down to minus-8 -- his worst mark since 2008-09 -- and his production is down in pretty much every category except goals. If you're going to succeed in only one area, putting the biscuit in the basket is the best one to choose, but it'd still be nice to see Neal get back to contributing more of the other stats that make a star a star.
Neal (upper body) was activated from injured reserve for the purpose of playing in Saturday's road clash against the Avalanche, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports. Neal was held off the scoresheet in five straight games before sustaining the upper-body injury and being held out for five more. He'll jump back up to the second line opposite the hard-hitting Austin Watson, and with veteran Mike Fisher at the center spot. Generally speaking, established players returning from a non-serious injury make for sneaky good plays in daily fantasy. Neal fits that description, as he's accumulated a team-leading 14 goals with six helpers in 33 games.
Neal (upper body) was on the ice for morning skate Thursday, though he's expected to be scratched for the evening's contest against the visiting Bruins, NHL.com reports. The Predators rely on Neal for his scoring prowess; he's leading the team with 14 markers in just 33 games, plus he's logging 3:04 of ice time with a pair of goals and three helpers on the man advantage this season. However, Viktor Arvidsson and Austin Watson will have to continue holding down the fort in the top six with the veteran remaining on IR and about to miss his fifth consecutive game.
Neal (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Saturday. Neal missed the last two games dealing with the ailment and it appears he'll need a minimum of seven days off before returning to action. The 29-year-old has tallied a team-high 14 goals this season so the Preds will likely be cautious with their star forward to make sure he's ready for a second-half run. The right winger will be eligible to return Jan. 17 on the road against the Canucks.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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