UGG Baratas online. Australia UGGs Outlet España.

Your #1 Source for Nashville Predators News, Updates, and Opinions – A Nashville Predators Blog

Advanced Statistics Breakdown: Predators vs Canadiens – October 19th, 2013


Oct 20, 2013


Need to understand any of the terms in the article below? Check out our Introductory Guide to Advanced Hockey Analysis

If the LA Kings were to be a pop quiz for the legitimacy of the Nashville Predators as a burgeoning puck-possession team, the Montreal Canadiens represented a final exam or a thesis defense.

Coming into last night’s match-up, the Canadiens held the league’s seventh best Corsi-For percentage while the Predators had ascended to number 11 after strong possession performances in four straight games. Even those who discount the credibility of advanced statistics could scarce deny that Montreal represented a formidable opponent, in the traditional sense. Fortunately, the Predators were able to rise to the challenge and overcome the Canadiens in the advanced stats battle and, more importantly, the scoresheet.

For much of the game, it appeared that Nashville might hold control of the puck for much of the game, generate a higher quality of shots and chances, but ultimately fall victim to the inability to get the go-ahead goal past Montreal goaltender CareyPrice. Admittedly, a strong possession game is only so satisfying, if Nashville loses the game. As such, there was a palpable sense of relief when Seth Jones finished David Legwand’s centering feed with a beautiful toe-drag goal.

The Predators came out on top of the Corsi-For and Fenwick tally, edging Montreal in both categories. While the totals weren’t dominant by any means, the accomplishment isn’t diminished. As stated, the Canadiens have been a tough possession squad for a couple of seasons, and with home-ice advantage they had the benefit of match-ups as a result of last-change rights. With so many penalties, the 5 on 5 sample that we example is a little smaller than normal, but enough to paint the picture we’re looking for.

For the game, the Predators out-Corsi’d the Canadiens by a 42 to 37 margin, and won the Fenwick race 34 to 26, or 53 and 56%, respectively. The Predators’ Corsi events consisted of 26 shots, eight blocks, and eight misses; the Canadiens had 23 shots, 11 blocks, and three misses. For Fenwick numbers, subtract the blocked shots from the Corsi total.


The Bourque/Cullen/Smith line: It’s starting to seem like a broken record, but this line was again the Predators’ best. The fact that this trio put forth an average CF% of 69.3 and ranked 1-2-3 among forwards is impressive, if not a bit predictable. However, that they did so with a heavy concentration of defensive zone starts makes this performance notable. As always, advanced stats are great, but you could tell that this line had a great game just by watching.

Klein/Ekholm defensive pairing: This pairing has been on the bottom of the team’s possession scale for a few games. Typically, I’m not a fan of judging a defensive pairing by Corsi scores. It’s simply not as reliable as it is when judging a forward line. With that disclaimer in mind, I’d like to see their numbers start to fall into line with those we’re seeing from Jones and Weber. in particular.  I’ll exclude Ellis and Bartley as a pairing because typically they play more sheltered minutes. Last night’s game was a little different from the previous few as Klein and Ekholm had the heaviest concentration of defensive zone starts at 5-on-5 than any of the other pairing.

Were they placed out as a result of a previous line being hemmed in resulting in Rinne freezing the puck? Or because they themselves iced the puck in the previous sequence to alleviate pressure? The Corsi results for defensive pairs one and two bear watching over the next several games, to establish what we should expect to see in a larger sample.

Patric Hornqvist: Hornqvist makes it on to this list for the wrong reasons. Expecting strong possession numbers from Hornqvist, when he puts forth a CF% in the low 40s in 2 of the last 3 games, it bears mention. Hornqvist’s deployment is as balanced as ever, so that doesn’t seem to be the culprit.  He did finish with a strong 64% against the Kings, near the top of the team, but we’ll keep an eye on him for a while to see if we start to see a pattern.

After defeating the Canadiens in all aspects of the game, the Predators have risen from number 11 to number 10. We are still early in the season, but this climb is encouraging especially when you consider that the team has finished in the bottom third every season since 2009-2010. The sample size (and I can’t stress enough how important that concept is) remains small, but a few more games like the last several and there may be cause for optimism.

Statistics courtesy of The Extra Skater