face loss. An accidental deflection in the front. Final moments of Game 6 of 2021 Stanley Cup first round against Carolina Hurricanes are fan favorites Nashville Predators Will not forget soon.
Predators seem to have all the pieces together. They have a front-six that can score and play, a back-six that can close the neutral zone and play physical, and a defensive core that can clog high-risk areas.goalkeeper Juuse Saros Not bad, too, with 56 and 61 attempts in games 3 and 4, respectively. The Predators won both games in overtime to tie the series.
However, it’s clear that the Predators’ firepower on the front lines, as good as they are, can’t be compared to the Hurricanes. After another year of disappointment, general manager David Poile had to make a decision. The team was not reshuffled, but remained relatively unchanged.Only minor tweaks and the striker’s departure Victor Avicson stand out. The message was clear, Poile trusted the team, and it was just a matter of the team trusting itself.
Predator player bounces back
Nashville has a decent amount of high-end players who are able to provide a lot of stats.Just look at the name like Philip Forsberg, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen, three players who are being paid handsomely for their abilities and looking to put teams on the map. While Forsberg had a noble performance of 32 points in 39 games, both Johansson and Duchenne were underwhelming.
In the 2019-20 season, Johansson finished the fourth year of his eight-year, $8 million AAV contract with a modest performance, scoring 36 points in 68 games. Despite a first-round playoff sweep that season, he had one goal and four assists in those four games. As far as his performance goes, there’s nothing to complain about, but you’d hope his earnings allow him to contribute more. The next year was more or less the same, scoring 22 points in 48 games and being somewhat inconsistent with his performance without the puck. Some fans are starting to get impatient with his inability to play in every game he shows up, and rightfully so. Your top performer should be the highest paid person, and for Johansson, that has become an issue.
Fast forward a year and the situation is quite the opposite. Johansson has become one of the Predator’s top scorers. He fights for hockey and he looks hungry. Johnson, who has already surpassed last season’s scoring total, is poised to have his best season of the past three years and possibly as a member of the Predators. Head coach John Hines continues to put his trust in the star striker, who has stepped up to the occasion when the team needs to score.
Last season, Duchenne had a season he might want to forget. For fans, they will support the sentiment.
After a disappointing second-round exit in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs columbus blue jacket, Duchene chose to pursue his career in the capital of country music. With nearly the same contract as Johnson, just one year short, Duchenne joined the team as one of the highest-paid forwards on the Predators’ payroll. His name is well known in the league, and along with Johansson, he provides the team with a very dynamic two-line combination to deliver on a nightly basis. During the 2019-20 season, his first year at the club, Duchenne gave the team a taste of his potential, scoring 42 points in 66 games. Unfortunately, the following season will have no aftertaste as he walks off a cliff into the worst season of his career.
For management and fans, this is a major problem. The disastrous season came just two years after his expensive contract, and fans began to doubt Duchenne’s ability to bounce back. He made teams and their fans almost unbelievable due to his lackluster performances and lack of competitive level. Until he turns things around in 2021-22. So far, Duchene has maintained a score-per-game pace, averaging 19 minutes on the ice per game, and remains a key player in games when the team needs him most.
Duchene and Johansen, like the Predators at the end of the 2021 playoffs, have hit rock bottom. It’s that trust in each other and the face of adversity that has led both the star players and the team itself to one of the most successful season starts in franchise history.
Contribution of deep-sea predators
It’s nice to have some depth in your back-six and bottom pairings when you can’t rely on your star player every night or every shift. It has become an important luxury for the Stanley Cup-winning team. When the Tampa Bay Chargers won their second straight Cup, Ross Colton In the sixth game, they relied on who scored the winning goal. At the time, he was making less than $1 million and playing in the team’s bottom six. Previous year? Blake Coleman scored an insurance goal in Game 6 against the Dallas Stars, with assists from Cedric Paquet and Patrick Malone. All three players combined were below the point of Braden, who scored the first goal of the game.
Looking at the bottom end of the Marauder’s list, we see promising qualities.line Luke Kooning, Tanner Jeannot and Colton Sissons are doing well in the team’s current game. With injuries and players entering COVID-19 protocols, Hines has shuffled the deck, handing more responsibility to Janet and Kooning, the former gaining time in the second tier and the latter seeing strong opportunity to play. Players like Yakov Trenin and Michael McCarron have stepped up and haven’t looked out of place. Philip Tommasino Playing very well, Nick Cousins didn’t look out of place when asked to play in the top six and the first wave of power play.
On the back end, while Roman Josi has been in normal Norris form, the team has also been lucky enough to get a Matthias Ekholm, his season was off to a rocky start. As we approach the end of 2021 and into the new year, Ekholm looks more composed and confident, qualities we’ve seen from the 31-year-old over the past few seasons.While he’s not bad defensively, his physicality hasn’t been noticed until recently, so being in the Predators’ top four is welcome as the team strives for the top spot in the league (Egypt Kholm Signed a 4-year, $25 million extension, starting next season).
Dante Fabbro, Alexandre Carrier and Matt Benning filled the first two pairings along with Josi and Ekholm, who all saw opportunities in all three pairings.with a veteran Matt Borowitzki, these three components make the Marauder’s defensive core what it is today. Limiting high-stakes scoring opportunities, jamming the neutral zone, throwing hard hits, and playing a big role in starting rushes to the rink, they really can do it all.when you think they have Ben Hapur If anything happens, Phillipe Myers is ready to step in, and the Predators’ blue line looks competitive and one of the deepest we’ve seen in years.
Everything starts between pipes
When you have the Norris candidate, the Calder candidate and Forsberg, Duchenne and Johansson lighting it up this season, it’s easy to forget how good Saros has been this season. But the 26-year-old network administrator has a solid 2021-22 season. The Predators are currently 7-2-1 in their last ten games, thanks in large part to the quality of Saros’ play.Just last week, he received 2nd star of the week Voted by NHL.com, the NHLPA named him Player of the Week.
Sarros’ recent performance has not only helped his team top the Western Conference, but it has also earned him the talk of Vezina. If you look at the way he plays, and how he plays stats, it’s not that much of an exaggeration anymore. He currently leads the league in appearances (30), wins (20), field goals (937) and saves (870). His 0.928 save percentage (SV%) currently ranks fifth, not far behind the four goalkeepers ahead. No goalkeeper has faced more shots or saves than he has with equal strength, and the same is true when a team kills a penalty. If it weren’t for his strong play, the Predators would be far worse than the ninth-best spot in the league.
He has an SV% of 0.900 in 23 of the 30 games Sarros has started this season, tied with him Andrei Vasilevski 1st place in this statistic. In percentage terms, that means he has an SV% of at least 0.900 or higher in 76.7% of the games he’s played. Also, in his 30 starts, Saros has only been pulled once.only consider Tristan Jarry, Jordan Binnington and Jacob Markstrom haven’t made the cut among goalkeepers who have played at least 20 games all season, which is promising as the team goes deeper into the season.
What are the odds for a looter?
While a rocky start to the season raises some doubts, it’s safe to see the Predators start the new year and rise up in the Western Conference to put an end to critics.They are No. 1 in the West and No. 4 in scoring percentage, second only to Colorado Avalanche, the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild, who are both leading the way in Nashville. League-wide, that puts the Predators outside the top 10. With the exception of Tampa Bay, all teams ahead of the Predators are playing against Nashville, so a pending result could significantly affect Nashville’s standings.
The Predators currently have a 96.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, which means they’ll be in the game unless the top player or Saros suffers any major injuries. They have a 58.8 percent chance of making it to the second round, trailing only the Avalanche (60.7 percent) and Hurricanes (59.8 percent). The percentage reaching the third round is 32.4%, while the percentage reaching the final is currently 18%. The big question is what are their chances of winning it all and lifting the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history? A whopping 9.6%, which may seem low at first glance, but only Lightning (10.6%) and Avalanche (10.1%) lead the way.
If ever there was a year the Predators had the best chance of getting to the top and seeing their name etched into the Stanley Cup, this is it. From top to bottom, this team has scoring, grit, defensive awareness, and is one of the best goalies in the league right now. Given Forsberg’s future with the team and decisions made after the season, that window could start to drop. Not completely closed, but makes it harder for air to circulate. It has to be now, or maybe not for a long time.
Covers the Nashville Predators. I work for a company called SPORTLOGiQ and have loved the game of hockey for over three years. I’m obsessed with advanced analytics and combine it with my love of vision testing – namely watching games (and I do!)