Compared to last season, the Nashville Predators roster is definitely improved. The team has more depth at every position and can cause damage from any line at any moment. In the postseason, scoring depth and the ability to sufficiently replace injured players is paramount.
Using the expected goals model, the team is declining from their performance last regular season. In fact, there are only two players on the team who have improved their expected goals percentage from last year: Craig Smith and Colton Sissons.
The Nashville Predators have not played consistently good hockey this season. Frequently, they rely on power play situations and outstanding goaltending to get points each night. Neither of those areas can be relied upon in a playoff run, so it’s cause for concern.
The good news is that there are still 35 more games before the postseason. If a few areas can be touched up during the next couple months, this team will gain a new level of consistent performance from all individuals.
Until then, the burden remains on the shoulders of these six impact players. They, more than any others, define the identity of the Nashville Predators.