Let’s stop fooling ourselves. The Nashville Predators’ power play is downright terrible. And nothing is changing. We have some ideas to help.
Abhorrent. Ghastly. Disastrous. Unfortunate. Rotten. Dreadful. Loathsome. Hideous. These are just a few words we can use to describe we witness for 2-minute segments during games. No matter how you look at it, the Nashville Predators power play is filled with some of the worst hockey possible.
Honestly, it should not be this way. When you think about the personnel on the Predators’ roster, they should have one of the best special teams in the NHL. Problem is, they fail all the time.
No, seriously. Ninety percent of the time, they fail to score on a power play. On 74 chances, the Predators scored eight goals. It is the least amount of goals on the most chances in the league. With most of the same players, the Predators’ finished last season with a 21.17% conversation rate on the power play. This year, it is only 10%.
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Now, the Predators are without Viktor Arvidsson for 6-8 weeks, and need to find a way to fill the vacancy he leaves. Star defenseman P.K. Subban is on injured reserved for the time being. He is eligible to return next week. Not only does this hurt the 5v5 situations, but it also hampers the power play.
So, what can the team do? Well, here are a few options.
Power Play fixes
Our first thought is just to decline the penalties. Surely the other team would understand. I mean, opponents are getting short-handed chances rather often. The Predators’ power play has allowed 12 high-danger chances to opponents this season. That is the most in the NHL. Oddly enough, the team has allowed only 13 shots to opponents on power plays, which is second best.
Unfortunately, declining the penalty is not an option. So, the next best thing is to just commit their own penalty and go 4v4. Nashville does rather well at even-strength, so this could be a solid idea. Of course, it needs to be done rather immediately after they go on the power play to eliminate long penalty kill moments.
At this point, it may be thoughts and prayers that work the best. Why? Because yesterday morning, coach Peter Laviolette said the team just needs to keep working in order for special teams while talking on the 102.5 The Game Morning Drive on Thursday.
The team needs to keep things simple? How about changing the formation and play? The simple dump pass to a trailing player and attempting to break through a crowded blue line just ain’t happening. Laviolette even said they have done the same thing for the last four years, with the same players.
Last night, the Predators attempted to dump the puck into the offensive zone and chase it down. The Coyotes were ready for this and gained the puck. They cleared it most time and created a breakaway chance on another.
How about not shooting it from the perimeter so often? Seven of the 10 shots on goal last night came from players outside the circles. The high-to-low game is not working as opponents are pinching into the net and staying in shooting lanes. They are not chasing the puck forcing the Predators to shoot from the outside. This leads to blocked shots and breakaways.
So, what can be done? Changes. We all know the definition of insanity. Watching this power play is driving us insane for sure.