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Predators' penalty kill needs to improve

by John Kreiser


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           
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       
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       
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           
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            
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         
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.

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.
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