Nashville Predators: Will Impact Players Drive Predators to Success?

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

Last season, a certain group of impact players led the Nashville Predators to new heights. This year, each is back and edging the team to its first Cup.

It’s no secret that the Nashville Predators have a star-studded lineup. For the first time in their 20-year history, nearly every other NHL team should look enviously at their roster. The importance of personnel depth is exhausted in every analysis, but there’s another cliché worth discussing: your best players have to be, well, your best players.

For the Nashville Predators: that comes down to a small handful of extremely talented players. There is obviously room for discussion here, but there are six players – four forwards and two defensemen – included in this analysis. It’s valuable to compare this season to last, in order to understand the true impact of the team’s stars.

The sample size here is much larger than just a single game. As such, we can use metrics that are more descriptive than simple shot attempts. Primarily, that includes expected goal percentages.

Much like Corsi or Fenwick, calculating “expected goals” involves the performance of all players on the ice. Unlike other metrics, however, it accounts for shot quality. Emmanuel Perry, the mastermind behind Corsica, explains his calculation process here.

Before we break it down for each individual, let’s see how the Nashville Predators as a whole compare to last season.