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Predators power-play outage is a big problem

Apr 13, 2012, 10:29 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 13: Martin Erat #10 of the Nashville Predators passes the puck in front of Brad Stuart #23 and goalie Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on April 13, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Getty Images

Despite getting 12 power-play opportunities in the first two games of the first round, the Nashville Predators haven been unable to score with the man advantage against the Detroit Red Wings. You might shrug that kind of information off as something that’s to be expected.

After all, the Predators don’t have a James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, or Steven Stamkos on their team. In fact they only had two guys who finished the season with over 20 goals and neither of them reached the 30-goal mark. So how good could they really be with the man advantage? Very.

The Predators ranked first in the NHL with a 21.6% power-play success rate in the regular season. Over a fifth of their goals were scored with the man advantage. So when they can’t capitalize on their opportunities, it’s a big deal.

Nashville’s success partially comes from its depth, but it’s also thanks to the magic Shea Weber and Ryan Suter can work if either one of them touches the puck in a special team’s situations.

By contrast, Detroit struggled during the regular season in power-play opportunities and they haven’t been remarkable when it comes to killing penalties either.

One of the clear advantages that the Predators had going into this series was their ability to take advantage of another team’s mistakes. If you take that away from them, then it’s hard to see them getting past the first round.

  1. geo91 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Statistics mean nothing come playoffs. Wins, losses, pp, pk, home ice record, it all is irrelevant. The season started Wednesday night

  2. aphoticapex - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I agree. I don’t know what the Preds have to do, but they need to get their PP and PK moving if they want to advance.

  3. mtheparrothead - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    They’ll have plenty of time working in it in the off season.

  4. warpstonebc - Apr 14, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    I actually feel sorry for the Preds. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that slick power plays with lots of movement (the Preds had constant rotation when I saw them in the regular season) are easily nullified with the greater acceptance of clutching and grabbing.

    It’s too bad. I like the hitting in playoff hockey, but just wish it didn’t come with so much acceptance of interference and unwillingness to call a 5 on 3 when it’s called for.

    • polegojim - Apr 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      Ummmmm….. they failed at 5 on 3 as well.

      • johnnycash19 - Apr 14, 2012 at 10:50 AM

        Twice

  5. tbo1960 - Apr 14, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Preds moved the puck well and they’ve had many opportunities but Howard has come up big when the Wings needed him most. The number of penalties has been just nuts in this series, you watch some of the other series and the same things are not being called. This goes both ways, to many power plays on weak calls. You can’t put the whistles away but they need to stop disrupting the flow of play.

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