Nashville Predators 2022-23 Season Report Card

Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) guards his net against Calgary Flames center Jonathan Huberdeau (10) during the shootout period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) guards his net against Calgary Flames center Jonathan Huberdeau (10) during the shootout period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

All season long, I have been doing report cards for the Nashville Predators covering five different areas of play. This report card will cover the entire season and will be the final edition for the 2022-23 season.

Nashville Predators Mid-Season Report Card. light. Related Story

This season, while disappointing, was not all bad. There are a few categories that I will cover that I feel the Nashville Predators performed pretty good in. Now in saying that, the bad, is bad.

So, let’s get right to it and take a look with me on how I rank the Predators in overall record, power play, penalty kill, offense, and goaltending.

Nashville Predators Mediocre, at best, Record

The Nashville Predators finished the season with an overall record of 42-32-8. This put them in fifth place in the Central Division and two spots out of the final Western Conference Playoff position.

Only putting together winning streaks of three or four games six times throughout a season, is definitely not a method for success in a league as tough as the NHL. Combine that with the fact that the Nashville Predators had losing streaks of three or more games on four occasions, there should be no surprise that this team missed the playoffs.

Of their losses, the Predators had losing streaks of five and six games.

When breaking down their record to Divisional and Conference games. The Nashville Predators played 50 games versus Western Conference opponents. Their record in those 50 was 25-18-7.

If we break it down even further, the Predators had a record of 3-9-3 against the teams that finished ahead of them in the standings in the Central Division. Only getting nine points out of a possible 18 in the standings over Divisional teams ahead of you is not a way to make the playoffs.

Overall Grade: D

Power Play Continues to be Horrendous

After having some improvement last season on the man advantage, it seemed like John Hynes and the coaching staff took what worked, threw it out the window, and tried something else. Let’s just say it didn’t work.

The Nashville Predators had 250 power play opportunities this season and only converted on 44 of those occasions. Now, it is possible that had they not had the injuries that they dealt with later in the season, losing the majority of their top power play unit, that those numbers could have improved some, but we will never know.

Related Story. Crunching Numbers on the Nashville Predators Horrendous Power Play. light

Even when key players were in the lineup, the power play was abysmal. With a league average of 21.31%, the Predators measly 17.6% just wasn’t enough in the end.

The Nashville Predators ranked 27th in the league on the man advantage this season. That will need to be an area of improvement moving forward to bring the Lord Stanley Cup home to Smashville.

Overall Grade: F

Nashville Predators Powerful Penalty Kill

Now like I said in the beginning, not all that the Nashville Predators did this season was bad. The penalty kill is one of those areas that they excelled in.

While the league average was 78.69% on the kill, the Nashville Predators posted an 82.5% penalty kill rate, good enough to rank them 6th in the league. That is largely in part due to the outstanding play of Juuse Saros, Ryan McDonagh, and Yakov Trenin when playing with one less skater.

Next. Showing Some Love for the Nashville Predators Penalty Kill. dark

Out of 275 power play opportunities for the opposition, the Predators only allowed 48 goals. Compare that with the NHL averages of 252 power plays against and 54 power play goals scored against, this is definitely one area that helped them stay in contention till the end.

Saros was the best penalty killer on the team this season, without him in net, the Nashville Predators penalty kill rate would have been much lower.

Overall Grade: A

Nashville Predators Lack of Offense Destroyed Them

The Nashville Predators just could not seem to get into an offensive rhythm this season and beat opposing goaltenders. They ranked 27th in the league in goals for, and let’s be honest, it’s a pretty simple concept, you don’t score goals, you don’t win games.

Last season the Predators top five goal scorers, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Tanner Jeannot, and Roman Josi, played in a combined total of 387 games and scored 158 total goals. Duchene led the way for the Predators in the 2021-22 season with 43 goals.

Related Story. Rising Nashville Predator Thomas Novak Bringing Life to Offense. light

Just one season removed from having five 20-goal scorers, the Nashville Predators only had one 20-goal scorer this season, Matt Duchene. The top five goal scorers for the Predators this season played in a combined 290 games and accounted for 94 of the teams 229 total goals scored.

The lack of offense from this team is what ended up being their demise and that is the main area that will need to be addressed during the offseason for the Predators to upright this sinking ship.

Overall Grade: F

Lights Out Goaltending

This franchise has always leaned on their goalies and blue line to keep them in games. This season was no different.

There were several games that were won only due to the strong effort put forth by Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen. Saros played in 64 games this season, tying him with Connor Hellebuyck for most games played by a goaltender.

Must Read. Juuse Saros' Historic Night. light

The Finnish goaltender posted a 2.69 goals against average and .919 save percentage. Saros faced 116 more shots on goal than the next goaltender. In addition to that Saros made 121 more saves than the second-place goalie in that category.

To top it off for Saros, he had 46.7 goals saved above expected. The goalie that was closest to him in this stat was Linus Ullmark with 42.4.

Combine Saros’ stats with the outstanding play of Kevin Lankinen when he was called upon, and you have the main reason why the Predators were not eliminated from the playoffs before it finally happened.

Overall Grade: A+