NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the Nashville Predators.
1. Shot-attempts differential
The Predators were ninth in shot-attempts differential (SAT) last season at plus-121, and their plus-200 SAT when trailing in games was sixth. Roman Josi was 14th among defensemen with a plus-185 SAT, impressive considering he averaged 19:24 of 5-on-5 ice time, third-most among defensemen, behind Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators (20:57, plus-30 SAT) and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings (19:25, minus-10 SAT).
2. Power-play percentage
The Predators were tied with the New York Islanders for 24th in the NHL on the power play at 17.3 percent. Josi led Nashville with 23 power-play points, the fifth-most among NHL defensemen behind Torey Krug, then with the Boston Bruins, now a member of the St. Louis Blues after signing a seven-year contract on Oct. 9 (28), John Carlson of the Washington Capitals (26), Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks (25) and Neal Pionk of the Winnipeg Jets (25). Left wing Filip Forsberg led Nashville forwards with 14 power-play points, which was tied for 65th among NHL forwards. One concern is that right wing Craig Smith, who was tied for third on the Predators with four power-play goals, signed a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins on Oct. 10. Without Smith providing additional goal support on the power play, Nashville will need increased production from Forsberg (seven) and forward Matt Duchene (five), who were first and second on the Predators in power-play goals.
3. Penalty-kill percentage
The Predators were tied with the Ottawa Senators for 28th in the NHL on the penalty kill last season at 76.1 percent. Goalie Pekka Rinne had a .780 power-play save percentage, last among the 45 goalies to play at least 30 games last season, while teammate Juuse Saros was seventh at .890. Rinne started 35 games last season to Saros’ 34, but the Predators may want to consider making Saros their true No. 1 starter this season as a way to improve the penalty kill.