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Predators' penalty kill needs to improve

Thursday, 09.24.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

NASHVILLE PREDATORS
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 88
(10TH WEst/20th NHL)
Change from 2007-08 -3
Home Points 52
(8TH WEst/16TH NHL)
Away Points 36
(12TH WEst/24th NHL)
Advantage Margin           
-20
The Predators hurt themselves by generating only 151 power plays away from the Sommet Center while surrendering 188 -- and 42 goals -- away from home.

Even-Strength Goals Margin       
-13
Seven Nashville forwards finished plus-1 or plus-2, and the team as a whole had a narrow plus-minus range except for five players -- Ryan Suter, Radek Bonk, Vernon Fiddler, Jordin Tootoo and Greg de Vries -- who ranged between minus-12 and minus-16. Only Suter and Tootoo are back this season.

Special Teams Goal Margin       
-8
Nashville's penalty-killing was a tale of two teams. At home, the Predators were second with an 88.7 percent kill rate and only 17 goals allowed; on the road, they were 27th at 77.7 percent and were torched for 42 goals. Nashville also allowed 12 goals while playing 5-on-3, more than any team in the NHL except Tampa Bay.       

Goals by defensemen           
45
Shea Weber's booming shot accounted for 23 goals, a team record for defensemen that left him tied for second in the NHL among blueliners. Ryan Suter (7-38-45) also provides plenty of offense from the blue line.   

Overtime Record
Total: 12-3-5 (OT: 6-3, SO: 6-5)
Rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne gave the Predators a boost in the shootout, winning five of seven and stopping 19 of 24 attempts -- his .792 save percentage was tied for third in the NHL.
   
Times Scored First
41 (Record: 29-9-3)
Some of the big disparity in Nashville's home and road records can be traced to scoring first. At home, the Predators scored the first goal 24 times, going 18-4-2. On the road, they opened the scoring only 17 times and were 11-5-1.       

Best 08-09 Number            
15-5-0
Nashville's record on Saturdays. The Predators lost at least half of their games on every other night of the week, but were 10 games over .500 on Saturdays.

Worst 08-09 Number         
6-14
Nashville's record in games decided by three or more goals. The Predators were especially susceptible to being blown out on the road -- they were 1-11 away from the Sommet Center when the margin was three goals or more.

Scheduling
Nashville has a five-game trip in mid-October, starting a stretch in which the Predators pay nine of 11 away from home -- then come back for eight of nine at the Sommet Center. They also have a five-game trip in January and play the last four games before the Olympic break on the road.
Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com