Nashville Predators: NHL 19 Rankings The Latest To Diss Nashville

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators is awarded the EA Sports NHL 19 cover by Ryan Russell and Steve Campbell onstage at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators is awarded the EA Sports NHL 19 cover by Ryan Russell and Steve Campbell onstage at the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

It is a trend we see too often. Players from the Nashville Predators not getting the respect they deserve. So, about NHL 19…

We’re in the period of the NHL off-season where everybody makes lists that rank Nashville Predators players too low for our liking. It’s always been a thing with Nashville. The Predators are a well-oiled machine that doesn’t place too much responsibility on one player. It’s good for results, but it doesn’t lend itself to players standing out from the pack & reaching superstar status.

Let’s be honest. Filip Forsberg would have higher numbers if he was on most other NHL teams, and he would get more respect from the list-makers. Playing for the Nashville Predators means he has to share the puck with his fellow forwards & offensive-minded defensemen. Sharing is caring, but it doesn’t get you high spots on lists.

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This week’s list comes to us from the good folks at EA Sports. NHL 19 is coming out on September 14, and as usual, they’re building it up by releasing player ratings on social media and making a list of the Top 50 Players. How did Nashville do?

Pekka better be on there

The first member of the Nashville Predators to make the list was Pekka Rinne. No surprise that the Vezina Trophy winner would be Top 50 in the league. He wasn’t before, and I figure they wouldn’t want to bump him too high due to recency bias.

Rinne was at 87 & outside the top 50 last season. Looking at the categories, he was at four & a half stars in Puck Control last year, so they bumped him up to five this season & gave him an extra point. Which goalies were in front of him according to EA?

46. Andrei Vasilevskiy
34. Devan Dubnyk
33. Jonathan Quick
23. Tuukka Rask
12. Braden Holtby
11. Sergei Bobrovsky

As somebody that had Vasilevskiy on their fantasy team, I’ll vouch for him. Bobrovsky, Holtby & Rask have previously won the Vezina. Quick has won two Stanley Cups & a Conn Smythe Award. Devan Dubnyk doesn’t have those credentials, but he did have better numbers than Rinne for two years prior to 2017-18. Corsica Hockey had Rinne as the sixth-most effective goalie last season behind John Gibson, Bobrovsky, Corey Crawford, Marc-Andre Fleury & Antti Raanta. Carey Price was thirtieth and one has to wonder if EA is overrating him based on his performance from a few years ago.

Rinne was top-notch last season, but I’ll actually give EA credit here for not automatically bumping him ahead of everybody else. There’s also the age factor to consider. Rinne is older than everybody mentioned here. That means he deserves credit for his season, but it also means EA will account for his decline coming sooner than these other men.

Two other Nashville Predators made the top 50, and I think they should have been higher.

Considering Subban is the cover athlete for NHL 19, I would have expected him to be higher on the list. Seems logical, right? I would have at least expected him to be the top defenseman on his own team, but that’s a tougher feat in Nashville than in most other places. Which defensemen got ranked ahead of them?

37. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
31. Alex Pietrangelo
27. Brent Burns
14. Erik Karlsson
7. Victor Hedman
4. Drew Doughty

I can’t complain too much about most of the people ranked ahead of Subban & Josi. Well, there’s one head-scratcher. Oliver Ekman-Larsson? I fully admit to not watching much Arizona Coyotes hockey. Heck, I missed both their games with the Predators last season. This still seems off, as I can’t find a traditional stat category he bested Subban or Josi in. I can only assume they needed to give somebody from the Coyotes a high enough player rating to justify a gamer using the team.

Corsica Hockey had Subban as the fifth-most effective defenseman last season, while Josi was tenth. Burns was number one, followed by Kris Letang, Karlsson & Dustin Byfuglien. Doughty, Hedman, Pietrangelo & John Carlson were between Subban & Josi. Ekman-Larsson was 25th on the list, in case you were wondering.

The most interesting part of this to me is seeing how Josi & Subban stack up against each other. Josi’s biggest advantage over Subban comes in the Discipline category, he scores 85 while Subban cheks in with 78. I’d definitely agree with the assessment that Josi’s biggest advantage over Subban is discipline. Subban’s biggest advantage is in the Fighting Skill category, where he puts up a 77 to Josi’s 70. Considering Josi has had a grand total of one fight in his career, I’m surprised it’s that high. His one fight did go well though.

Brad Marchand has gotten it from both Subban & Josi, so maybe we should ask him.

Let’s break it down

Subban was 87 overall last year & bumped up to 88. He saw point increases in Deking, Passing, Puck Control, Acceleration, Stick Checking, and a two-point increase in Defensive Awareness. He didn’t go down in any categories. Josi was at 88 overall last year & remained there this year. He went down a point in Slap Shot Accuracy, Wrist Shot Accuracy, Offensive Awareness, Stick Checking. He did go up a point in Defensive Awareness. I’m not sure why Josi’s shot accuracy went down when he had the same 5.5% shot percentage he did in 2016-17. Maybe it was a delayed reaction since he was up at 7.1% in 2015-16.

It should also be noted that Subban’s leadership qualities were mentioned in his EA write-up while Josi’s weren’t.

Next. Five players hold the key to Preds future. dark

While I think Pekka Rinne was rated fairly, I feel that EA Sports fails to give the Nashville Predators defense their proper consideration due to their overall excellence. Not to mention the fact that we have no idea what went on with any of the offensive players, who weren’t terrible. As usual, the mainstream media fails to give the Predators the respect they deserve.