Your 2008-9 Nashville Predators, performance vs. forecast

As we continue reflecting on the season gone by, I wanted to share an assessment of how individual members of the Nashville Predators fared against the projections I made at the start of the season.  The table below contains actual numbers alongside my preseason picks, and where they exist, the player names link to the articles I wrote for each player over at Kukla's Korner.

Overall, I think I nailed most of the skaters pretty well, obviously Joel Ward and Steve Sullivan were complete surprises, and a few players like Patric Hornqvist disappointed. As to the goalies, I expected Dan Ellis to take a bit of a step back, but not as large a one as it turned out to be. Pekka Rinne, on the other hand, took advantage of the opportunity and earned the #1 role by midseason.

Today, I'm just including a comment on each Pred, but will come back around to do individual profiles after the playoffs complete. For now, I've got to get my Stanley Cup predictions ready, so if you'll excuse me, I have some steaming pig entrails to read...

The Skaters

Actual Forecast
  Player Games G A Pts Shots G A Pts Shots   Comment
J.P. Dumont 82 16 49 65 176 32 48 80 220 Set career-high in assists, sometimes lacked assertiveness on offense.
Jason Arnott 65 33 24 57 196 29 40 69 240 Had best goal-scoring season ever, a rarity for a player of his age.
Shea Weber 81 23 30 53 251 15 24 39 225 Gigantic leap forward this year; surely has more All-Star games in his future.
Martin Erat 71 17 33 50 149 25 38 63 176 Would benefit from depth behind him.
Ryan Suter 82 7 38 45 143 9 27 36 155 Grew almost as much as Weber as a player.
Steve Sullivan 41 11 21 32 83 Should be a lock for the Masterton Trophy, but will he return?
David Legwand 73 20 22 42 175 19 38 57 172 On wish list: steady, gifted winger opposite Erat.
Joel Ward 79 17 18 35 133 He's like a $20 bill you pulled out of an old pair of jeans.
Dan Hamhuis 82 3 23 26 135 7 25 32 140 Needs more help on the 2nd pair.
Radek Bonk 66 9 16 25 102 12 25 37 110 Won faceoffs, but that's about it.
Ryan Jones 46 7 10 17 63 12 18 30 95 Must develop this summer, but has potential.
Vern Fiddler 78 11 6 17 114 8 20 28 80 Scored 11 goals for the 3rd straight season.
Jordin Tootoo 72 4 12 16 138 16 20 36 130 138 shots, 4 goals? 2.9% is brutal.
Jerred Smithson 82 4 9 13 74 3 5 8 35 Useful in limited, 4th-line and PK role.
Kevin Klein 63 4 8 12 41 3 10 13 60 Earned a regular shift, can he keep improving?
Ville Koistinen 38 3 8 11 42 7 29 36 120 Flopped as PP QB, likely leaving via free agency.
Greg Zanon 82 4 7 11 54 Shot blocker could earn ~$2 million on the market.
Scott Nichol 43 4 6 10 42 6 8 14 80 Had uncharacteristcally bad year on PK, even before injury.
Patric Hornqvist 28 2 5 7 54 18 15 33 140 What's Swedish for "bust"?
Antti Pihlstrom 53 2 5 7 88 2 4 6 25 And you thought nobody shot worse than Tootoo (2.3%).
Greg De Vries 71 1 4 5 38 2.78 GA/60 MIN on the 4-on-5 PK among NHL's very best.
Jed Ortmeyer 2 0 0 0 4 4 6 10 60 Spent vast majority of the season in Milwaukee.

The Goalies

Actual Forecast
  Player Games W L GAA Save Pct. W L GAA Save Pct.   Comment
Dan Ellis 35 11 18 2.93 .900 30 27 2.45 .914 Had a season like Chris Mason the year before, but should stay a Pred.
Pekka Rinne 52 29 16 2.38 .917 13 12 2.70 .905 Hugely impressive, but wore down at the end.
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