Nashville Predators: Bright Spots Early In The Season

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) after a win against the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) after a win against the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

It is still very early in the season, but the Nashville Predators are looking pretty good after getting off to a slow start. They are now at 5-4-0 and are sitting at number four in the Central Division.

Truthfully, the Predators are looking better than most fans, and sports prognosticators gave them credit before the season’s start. They are on a four-game win streak and in the midst of a six-game stretch on the road, three of those games against Canadian teams.

The Predators are making some waves in the NHL. Here are a few of the bright spots after the first nine games of the season.

Once again, Juuse Saros is playing out of his mind

Juuse Saros has erased any talk of “slow starts” with several impeccable performances at the start of the season. He has obviously picked up right where he left off last season.

His most recent performance against the Calgary Flames proved that he is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.

In the Predators’ OT win, Saros kept the Predators in the game by stopping 38 of 40 shots, several of which were high-quality looks and a few breakaways.

Saros has a .922 SV% and a 2.39 GAA on the season. If you take the awful loss against Winnipeg out of the equation, some of which wasn’t his fault, his stats would be even better.

The question of Saros’ ability to keep up this pace, especially if the team in front of him struggles, is a valid one. But for now, we are seeing Saros put together some great performances that will hopefully lead to some Vezina Trophy votes towards the end of the season.

The Herd Line is one of the best in the NHL

That is correct, folks. Up until the game against the Calgary Flames, the Herd line, consisting of Colton Sissons, Yakov Trenin, and Tanner Jeannot, was the best in the league, according to

The Sissons, Trenin, and Jeannot line was ranked number one in “xGoals %” at 71.8% for at least 50 minutes of ice time. In addition, their “xGoals For” sits at 3, making them a very formidable line in the NHL.

There is no doubt that the Sissons, Trenin, and Jeannot line is one of the major factors in Nashville’s success thus far. They are the tone-setters for every game and give their opponents lots to think about when facing them.

Josi proving why he is an elite player

We can all recall the banner year that Roman Josi had when he won the Norris Trophy back in the 2019-20 season. In the 69 games he participated in, he racked up 65 points (16goals, 49 assists). From the looks of things, he may be on the way to Norris Trophy land again this year.

This may be a bold statement so early in the season, and we all know that anything can happen, but the numbers for Josi are there so far, and he is only getting better.

Josi has been on a tear. In nine games, he has 9 points (3goals, 6 assists), and according to, he sits in 6th for most points out of all of the defensemen in the NHL.

Additionally, Josi is 7th among defensemen for Expected Goals Per 60 Minutes. He is also in the top ten in several other statistical categories.

If Josi can somehow keep up this pace and avoid injury, he will be a shoo-in for the Norris Trophy this year. He continues to show why he is Nashville’s elite player and captain of the team.

The story is still being written for the Nashville Predators

The good news is that the players who needed to step up their games this season now lead the team in points. Josi, Mikael Granlund, Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Johansen are the point leaders for Nashville and are playing much better hockey, at least through nine games.

The Predators have had a pretty tough schedule so far this season. However, November is shaping up to be a little easier schedule-wise, with some teams coming up that the Predators should beat. But as we know, any team is capable of winning on any given night.

The Predators are performing better than expected so far this season. The real test for this team, which, at times, struggles to score, will be to keep playing at this pace and avoid injuries.

It will take some ugly, defensive wins and Saros standing on his head in goal to even think about making the playoffs. But, hopefully, they can continue to string together some wins, play with intensity, and make other teams worry about playing them in the future.

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