Realignment and the Nashville Power Play

Realignment Thoughts

For a Nashville Predators’ fan, what’s not to like?

Travel is much better for the team.  For the fan, there will be far fewer away games that start after 8:30pm CST.

Nashville fans get to see every team in the League at least twice with the home-and-home games.

Divisional playoffs will breed all sorts of rivalries.

The downside is slightly odd rotation of either 5 or 6 games with the other teams in our “conference”.  Nashville’s current conference is also pretty tough at the moment, but all the conferences look pretty tough.

All in all, I’m loving this move.

Interesting DobberHockey Stat

Nashville’s PP unit is currently tied for 10th in the NHL with Chicago at 19.0%.  That’s pretty impressive, especially for Nashville.

That said, it was just a few weeks ago that I thought they were trending down again.  It seemed to pick back up after Legwand’s return, so I wanted to see Nashville’s forwards have contributed to the power play.

Using DobberHockey’s report generator for Nashville’s Top Power Play forwards, it showed that Nashville forwards have earned 34 PP points.  Of those, 16 (or 47%) points were accumulated by the trio of David Legwand, Craig Smith and Colin Wilson.  No other forward grouping earned more than 3 power play points.  That trio is currently tied for 8th in the NHL with the Maple Leaf line of Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak.

Now, each of those players has been out there with other forwards, so there are some additional points scored while they were on the ice.

If you look at the total number of power play points earned by Nashville forwards while they were on the ice, the Nashville forwards break out like this:

Player Points Percentage of Total Points (34)
David Legwand 26 76%
Craig Smith 25 74%
Colin Wilson 24 71%
Sergei Kostitsyn 8 24%
Mike Fisher 7 21%
Martin Erat 6 18%
Patric Horqvist 5 15%
Jordin Tootoo 3 9%
Nicklas Bergfors 1 3%

 

Just to clarify how this works, let’s consider this scenario:  Craig Smith scores a goal with assists awarded to David Legwand and Shea Weber; Colin Wilson and Ryan Suter were also on the ice.  That’s three points.  Since both Smith and Legwand earned a point, the forward trio of Wilson, Legwand and Smith will be credited with 2 points.  Since Weber also earned a point, the “line” of Weber and Suter will have their “PP point total” increase by 1 point.

So, out of 34 points awarded to Nashville forwards on the power play, David Legwand has been on the ice 76% of the time, Smith 74% of the time, Wilson 71% of the time, etc.

For those curious about the defensemen after my last column: Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are the only defensive pairing that have earned any point on the power play (earning 18 between them).

 

Stats were pulled from the great fantasy hockey site: DobberHockey.  If you’re playing fantasy hockey, or just looking for a great way to analyze statistics, you can’t find a better way to spend a few bucks than their Frozen Pool membership.

David Singleton

You are invited to follow me on Twitter (@SingletonPreds).  For game recaps of all Predators games as well as great insights on the Predators and the NHL, check out my HockeyIndependent colleague, Mark Willoughby (@TheViewFrom111).

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About the Author: Nashville Predators Blogger, Software Engineer (C#.NET), Novice Woodworker, Southern Cook, Husband, Father of Two. You may contact me at David.R.Singleton AT gmail.com.

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