Nashville Predators: A Crash Course in Modern Hockey Analytics

(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
6 of 7
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /


You might recognize PDO from Dimitri Filipovic’s excellent Hockey PDOcast. It’s the first metric I’ve brought up that actually combines two different types of statistics. Officially, the NHL refers to PDO as shooting percentage + save percentage, or “SPSV%.”

As the official name implies, this metric first employs a player’s shooting percentage, or the number of goals scored divided by shots on goal. That percentage is then aggregated with a team’s save percentage while the selected player is on the ice. It seems complicated, but the goal is rather simple: to accurately describe a player’s overall influence on his/her team’s performance.

I’ll be honest, I don’t find too much value in PDO. The average score is 100, and the rule is that everyone always regresses to the mean. The best example is combining a shooting percentage of around 9%, and a save percentage of around 91%. The result is 100, which is the mean.

A good example for the Nashville Predators is Cody McLeod. Currently, his five-on-five PDO is 101.5, good for sixth-best on the Nashville Predators’ roster. Is Cody McLeod the sixth-best player in Nashville? We would be in bad shape if that were the case.

The Predators’ shooting percentage with McLeod on the ice is 10.26%, slightly above league average. The team’s save percentage during his shifts is 92.3%, also above average. Everyone in the league understands the true role of Cody McLeod. He attempts to protect his teammates by use of force, not put them ahead on the scoreboard.

PDO is perfectly acceptable as a descriptor, but requires a bit more context than other metrics. For that reason, I tend to leave it out of my analyses.