Nashville Predators: If the team wants to win, four players must step up…now

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Ryan Johansen

The talk coming into the season was first-line center Ryan Johansen‘s ranking as one of the best centers in the league. Certainly, scoring 61 points last season helps. After signing a major contract in the off-season, Johansen is not performing up to expectations.

The stats back up my opinion. So far, Johansen is averaging half a point per game this season. After 12 games, he still has yet to but the biscuit in the net. He in on pace for a 40 point season.

What makes those numbers most appalling are the advanced metrics. Johansen is matching his CorsiFor (55.9) from last year so far this season. That is his best in his career. He is on pace for his best Fenwich rating, and is starting in the offensive zone more now than ever. However, he only has 17 shots on goal, or 1.42 shots per game.  All in all, it means he is scoring less while in positions to score more.

The Predators need Johansen to find the back of the net a few times. If he does, the rest of the offense will open up. As it stands, opponents can back off from Johansen and focus on other forwards on the ice.