Currently sitting 5-5-2, 12 games into the season, we take a look at the Nashville Predators now, versus the same team this time last year.
It’s always fun to compare teams to others, and in some cases, even to the same team. The Nashville Predators are currently 12 games into the new season, now with a 5-5-2 record. They opened their 4 game West Coast road trip with a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks last night, and have the Anaheim Ducks next.
So we want to know, how to the current Nashville Predators compare to the Predators at this time last season?
Through the 12 games last year, the Predators sat with a 4-5-3 record. Right now, the Predators are 5-5-2. The statistic similarities are ample. We all know that those 4-5-3 Predators went on to win the Western Conference, so with a similar record, Predators fans have no need to worry about a slow start, yet.
The predictions for this team were a tall task to live up to, however, I believe they can do it. The Predators have always been a slow-starting, and strong-finishing team. So if you can hang your hat on anything right now, it’s that the Predators are just being the Predators.
By the Numbers
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Both teams were very streaky through 12 games last year, winning and losing their games in streaks of two or three for the most part. Both teams only had two losses at home, one regulation, one shootout. Each team was very undisciplined, however this season’s team more so.
Through 12 games last year, the Predators had 39 minor penalties. The 2017-2018 Predators have 61.
Both power plays were performing very well through 12 games last year. Last year’s Predators had a 26.7% success rate on the power play. This year’s team has the 7th best conversion rate right now at 23.1%.
At this point last season, Pekka Rinne was playing shakily. The Predators were playing well offensively and defensively, but losing close games at Rinne’s hand. With the exception of last night’s 4-1 loss at San Jose, Rinne has been the saving grace for the Predators on many occasions. The Predators are 2-3 in games where they are outshot this season, with Rinne in net. Basically, when the Predators are outplayed, Rinne keeps them close, with 2 of those 3 losses being by only one goal.
One of the main differences in this year’s team, and last’s, is the chemistry. The Predators were built off of lines that had experience together last season. This season, injuries, new lines, and new players are throwing a wrench in that chemistry that worked so well last year.
The JoFA line has been broken up at times.
Ryan Ellis‘ injury and Samuel Girard‘s presence have switched the D lines around.
This year’s Predators are just a different team than the one we saw last year. The team has more veterans, more young studs, and more problems to deal with this season. Not necessarily major problems, but just more issues to resolve.
Fear not though, there is time. We are only 12 games into an 82 game season. There is plenty of time for chemistry to develop, players to heal, and the lines to shake out and perform at their best.
No reason to worry Predator fans. This team, and last year’s team are on a similar track. Although the team looks a bit different, and is showing signs of less discipline this season, I’d just say that’s the Predators being the Predators. Next up, the Predators play in Anaheim, Friday night versus the Ducks.
Then to Los Angeles and Columbus, before returning home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins at home.
Keep cheering for the boys in gold. Go Predators