Nashville Predators: I Can’t Believe The Predators Protected A Lead

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues in what was a defensively grinding battle that saw goaltenders pushed to their limits.

The Blues game should be a game that the Nashville Predators look back on with pride. They beat the top team in the west with no powerplays and in the high danger chance category. Something the Predators have struggled with so far this year.

The game in St. Louis was quite possibly the best game the Predators have played in their season. They may not have put up four or more goals, but they kept opposing chances to a minimum and kept the high danger areas clear. Their defense was almost impregnable when it came to locking down the slot. P.K. Subban was especially incredible.

P.K. Subban

The St. Louis Blues made a fatal error last night. They tried to match their first line against the Roman JosiMattias Ekholm pair. It’s not because that pair is a defensive stalwart, it’s because they allowed Subban to face middle competition, not something he’s seen a lot of this season.

Subban went on a tear, posting a 53.33% Corsi and 52.38% Fenwick. The numbers actually jump when you adjust for score and venue as they rocket to a Corsi of 58.68 and 57.24 Fenwick. What this means is that Subban was impacting the game heavily when the score was close. Subban wasn’t collecting garbage time stats, he was earning the points when it mattered the most.

While Subban’s possession stats were incredible, his biggest impact was on chances. Subban was on the ice for 10 scoring chances for and only five against. While the scoring chances against might be a bit high, the chances for is beyond Erik Karlsson numbers. The numbers look even better when we consider high danger chances, as Subban was on the ice for four for and one against. Absolutely Norris level numbers. He was rewarded with an assist for his valiant efforts.

Ain’t no shelter for the second line

The Turris line has been heavily sheltered through the homestand, and for good reason. Fiala, Turris, and Smith are all offensively minded players and starting them in the defensive zone would just put them in a situation to fail. Unfortunately, Laviolette had no choice but to put the Turris line against second line competition and they were noticeably silent.

The Turris line put up a 41.18 Corsi and a 42.86 Fenwick. The good news is that they only gave up one high danger chance and they put up one of their own. Even then though, they were outshot and started in the offensive zone 80% of the time. I’m having some reservations on this line, especially if they have to face top six talent with no sheltering. The next game against Carolina will be a good test.

Big game hunting

There has been no hotter line in the NHL than the Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko line, but the Nashville Predators shut them down. The trio recorded no high danger chances for but also no chances against. The JoFa and Jarnkrok line kept the first line to absolutely nothing which is something to celebrate.

Onto the next one

The Nashville Predators face off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday at 12pm Central time. it’ll be two of the better possession driving teams facing off. You won’t want to miss this one.

Next: Filip Forsberg: The Gift That Keeps On Giving