Nashville Predators: The Second Line Falters For The First Time

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 19: Craig Smith /

Last night was the first time the second line couldn’t rise to the occasion. The Nashville Predators even sheltered them but to no avail.

As an objective hockey fan, Tuesday night was one of the best hockey games I have seen all season. It had everything including leads changing, big hits, line match-ups, and some questionable goaltending on each side. This kind of fire-wagon hockey is exactly what the sport needs to continue to grow to “non-traditional” hockey markets. This game could’ve gone either way and it reminded me of why hockey is the best sport in the world. Honestly, I hope the Nashville Predators meet the Winnipeg Jets in the playoffs. That series would have the potential to be the series of the entire playoffs.

But before I fall too far down my fandom rabbit hole, let’s talk about where the Nashville Predators faltered last night. Specifically, the first time the Turris line was dominated by the opposition.

All stats are at five on five unless explicitly stated otherwise.


Simply speaking, the Nashville Predators were not their normal dominant selves. They lost in just about each possession stat, except Corsi, where they won 51.69%. The only players that were positive possession players were the JoFA line and the Ekholm-Josi pairing.

The Turris line, for the first time this season, was just average in terms of possession. In 8:52 minutes, owned a Corsi and Fenwick of 50%. This resulted in six shots for and seven shots against. The negativity continues as the Turris line gave up three goals against, but they were true to form in the offensive zone as they scored two.

While the Corsi and Fenwick stats are completely average, they’re down from their average numbers. In the past 18 games, The Turris line has a Corsi of 54.35% and a Fenwick of 56.04%. The goal ratio was equally as dominant as they’ve scored 12 and only given up 7. But that’s not the only place where the second line failed.

Take a chance on me

Chances equal goals, and high danger chances often lead to more goals. Once again, the Turris line was stalemated by the Jets in terms of scoring chances. The Turris line produced five scoring chances but gave up five of their own. While scoring chances are good, the Predators need to do a better job of getting to the high danger areas.

This is where the Turris line failed, although not terribly. They accumulated one high danger chance but gave up two, with one goal against coming from a high danger area.

Where things get rough

You might be looking at the above stats and saying to yourself, “those stats are pretty average” or, “is this really considering faltering?”. And you’d be right in thinking that, but we haven’t considered the opposition and zone sheltering.

The Turris line started in the offensive zone 70% of the time! 70%!!!!! That’s more shelter than the Rolling Stones ever asked for. In fact, the Nashville Predators pretty much threw the bottom six to the wolves to shelter JoFA and the Turris line as both started in the offensive zone more than 70% of the time. When the Turris line took a faceoff, the puck was usually headed to the Predators zone. Not a good sign for the second line.

Playing matchmaker

The worst part about the second line’s performance was their competition. They spent the majority of their time against the Jet’s third forward line and second defensive pairing. The Jets third line consisted of Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, and Brandon Tanev. With the second defensive pairing being Dmitry Kulikov and Tyler Myers. No offense, but these guys are basically no-names. They had no business being on the same ice as the Turris line, yet the Jets walked all over them.

Turris, by himself, recorded a 30.33% Corsi and a 30.77% Fenwick against the Kulikov-Meyers pair. What’s worse was his scores against the third forward line, as Turris owned a 38.33% Corsi and a 43.96% Fenwick. Bad games happen, but usually against much tougher competition.


While this was a bad game for the Nashville Predators, it’s a really good sign for the future. The Predators continued to prove that they could contend with some dominant scoring teams without the help of their second line. I expect a bounce back from Turris and co, especially if they continue to receive the sheltering that they received.

Next: Maximum Entertainment, Minimum Points

The Nashville Predators will look to resume their winning ways against the Carolina Hurricanes. The possession juggernaut may not be high in the standings, but they’re widely considered to be one of the “monsters of the Metro”. That should be exciting as the Turris line looks to regain their groove in the offensive and defensive zone.