Game 4 is on the horizon, and the Nashville Predators aim to deal a huge blow to the Dallas Stars. Goaltender, Pekka Rinne, has come up huge, making nearly impossible saves. And the team’s depth has provided some clutch goals to help take a 2-1 advantage.
Twenty players have suited up for the Nashville Predators this playoff season, and 15 have notched a point. That speaks to how important is to win games by playing as a team. However, two of the biggest names have laid a goose egg so far: Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. Nashville’s top line, aside from Filip Forsberg‘s nifty goal in Game 3, has been neutralized. Should we be concerned?
Stats Don’t Lie
One point from your top line in three games certainly tells a story. On the other hand, Dallas has 7 points from their big 3 players. But, alas, they’re down 2-1 in the series. Still, the production from the Nashville Predators top line has been MIA. Both Arvy and Forsberg lead the team in iCF, and
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they rank in just about every “chance” category. The offense is there, but no points have been generated. That can also be seen in the ixG (individual expected goals) where JoFA all rank in the top 4. To me, that’s just another way of saying they should be scoring goals, but they’re not. It’s nice to see scoring chances, and sooner than later the JoFA line will up their point total. Right now, that’s all it is scoring chances.
Of the Nashville Predators players that have suited up for all three games, the JoFA line is top 4 in on-ice CF%, FF%, and SCF%. They’re putting the pedal down on offense, and that’s what you want to see. Then again, Joey and Arvy are the only two players who have not been on the ice for a goal. That’s pretty glaring. When you look further into it, the scoring chances lean towards the Stars when JoFA is on the ice.
What’s happening is that the JoFA can generate shots and chances of their own, but they’re doing minimal damage or they’re not high-danger. Then the opposition comes in and is able to get pucks to the net for high-danger chances of their own. Credit to the Stars defense and top line group for neutralizing Nashville’s number one offensive line.
To answer the question posed, it is concerning to see zeros on the stat sheet from two of the Nashville Predators’ best players. The Dallas Stars have the top line advantage and it is apparent. But you also need to look at who is winning and how. Right now, the Predators are up 2-1 going into Game 4. We’ll see if we’re telling a different story tonight.