Their Scrappy Style of Play is Starting to Pay Off
When the Nashville Predators lost five in a row and their record slumped to 5-8-1 while getting ran out of the arena on some nights, this looked like a shellshocked team that had no fight in them.
Thankfully, that uninspired play has shifted into more like a style that we’ve always come to expect. Hard hitting, winning puck battles, generating rebounds, blocking shots and creating chaos in front of the goalie.
If not for running into a hot goaltender against the Red Wings a week ago, the Predators would be in the midst of a seven-game point streak. Just how are they managing to get points and finding ways to win? It’s a combination of factors that all go back to playing a scrappy style.
This goal from Colton Sissons on Tuesday against the Ducks was what I like to call a “greasy goal” and a perfect example of playing an aggressive style to try to wake this offensive attack up:
, per MoneyPuck. Over 28 percent of their goals this season have come thanks to crashing the net and playing with that scrappy style that can lead to rebound goal opportunities.
Secondly, the Predators are starting to become a stingier team in terms of giving up shots. They’ve surrendered the 11th-fewest shots per game, which is a welcoming sight for Juuse Saros.
The Predators are fifth in the NHL in faceoff percentage and that has also helped in getting more offensive opportunities for a team that still finds itself struggling to put pucks in the net.
Finally, the Predators have regressed in this defensive area a bit but still remain in the top half of the league, and that’s shots blocked. They have prided themselves on getting in shot lanes and sacrificing their bodies, especially on the penalty kill which sits at 11th.
A lot of encouraging trends that has the Nashville Predators in the top half of the NHL in these hard-working areas of the game.