Nashville Predators Key Stat Leaders: Forsberg Charges Offense, McDonagh's Defense

Over a quarter of the way through 2023-24, here's an update on Preds Stat Leaders

Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) celebrates
Nov 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) celebrates / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Nov 24, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Nashville Predators center Ryan O'Reilly (90) controls the
Nov 24, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Nashville Predators center Ryan O'Reilly (90) controls the / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Powerplay points: Ryan O'Reilly and Filip Forsberg

One of the areas for the Predators that had to improve under Brunette was the powerplay, as it had been one of the league's worst for years beforehand. This was one area where he was especially open about working through trial and error, but it has already improved from a dismal 17.6% last year to 20.6% so far this year.

Personnel also is contributing to the improvement on the man advantage, especially when you look at one of the guys who is tied for the team lead in points. Ryan O'Reilly has made the lives of everyone else so much easier with the extra man on the ice.

He has seven goals and four assists for eleven points on the powerplay, as the work he does in the middle of the ice each time has been so key for the Predators. His combination of size, hockey smarts, and raw skills is oftentimes too much for opposing teams to handle, and it has been awhile since the team has had someone who threatens penalty killers so much.

Forsberg also has eleven powerplay points, as he has two goals and nine assists. That is a little bit surprising to me, as while he is no slouch of a distributor, he is a better shooter, and you would figure that he would be the sniper while O'Reilly would be the one doing the work down low.

Regardless, we know about Forsberg's overall offensive skill and the year he is having, so one way or another he will be a huge threat on the powerplay.

Besides Forsberg and O'Reilly, Josi has been another big powerplay weapon with three goals and six assists, Nyquist has two goals and six assists, and Novak has four goals and two assists. Those contributions are about expected from Josi and Nyquist, but let's talk about Novak, who is second on the team in powerplay goals in far fewer games than everyone else.

We know that he will go through some bumps along his overall road with his lack of experience, but that might not be the case with his powerplay work. He has two attributes that translate to big production on the man advantage: finishing plays in front of the net and shooting the puck.

You can see how his abilities have aided him, as he is still one of the team's best powerplay contributors despite missing eleven games. What I really wonder after looking at the Predators' powerplay production is what if Novak did not get injured.

He might even be the very best weapon or close to it if he did not go on injured reserve, but we should still expect him to play a critical role going forward, even if he has significantly less experience than everyone else.