There are two main reasons why reasons why teams settle for outside shots: either they aren't moving the puck well enough to force defenders out of position, or they aren't driving the net due to size or willingness. And over an 82 games season, not everyone is able to withstand that abuse with a smaller frame. As much as I love Calle Jarnkrok, he's always going to have limitations.
All of that to say: Nashville needs a skating upgrade on it's 4th line, and a size upgrade on it's middle lines.
Frankly, that's why Jimmy Vesey is a big deal. He's big, he plays at the net, and he has the hands & vision to play in the NHL right away.
But he could stand to get some help from the PK unit. His save percentage last year on the PK was 85.77%. This year? 81.69%. That's.... not good. And the adjusted save percentage (takes into account the high-danger scoring chances) looks even worse compared to last year's campaign. He went from a 86.07% to a 78.31% this year.
So who is to blame? We'll dig up more on the penalty kill later this week. Chances are that it'll still be a problem. But if they can fix their penalty kill, they'll fix most of what's wrong with this team. They lost the Coyotes and Jets games because of lousy special teams, which allowed both teams to set up shop and clear away rebounds.
As a teaser, what forward is the worst penalty killer?
If you judge by who is most likely to be out there for a goal allowed: Paul Gaustad, Austin Watson, Mikka Salomaki
If you judge by who allows the most shot attempts: Gabriel Bourque, Paul Gaustad, Mike Fisher
If you judge by who allows the most scoring chances: Calle Jarnkrok, Paul Gaustad, Filip Forsberg
This is a great time to tell you that Paul Gaustad plays more PK time than any other forward.
Nashville Predators News & Notes
Predators Weekly Player Grades: Ryan Johansen Shines -TSS
A bit harsh on Rinne, but fair everywhere else.
Predators mailbag: Johansen trade biggest in team history? | Tennessean
"Are Eric Nystrom and Paul Gaustad blocking the development of younger players?" Yes.
Predators should probably be more concerned about goaltending | ProHockeyTalk
"Perhaps they’re not willing to confront their most glaring problem, though?"
Other Hockey Stuff, feat. ALEX OVECHKIN
Ovechkin nets No. 500, Caps crush Sens - Article - TSN
Congrats to one of the real good guys in the league, Alex Ovechkin.
Top stats to know: Alex Ovechkin scores 500th goal | ESPN
He has a 150 more goals than everyone else since he joined in the NHL.
Alex Ovechkin's 500th career goal brings his parents to tears - SBNation.com
Other people probably cried too. They're not as important, clearly.
Scratched again, Bryan Bickell's frustration boiling over | Chicago Sun-Times
Gosh, why can't he just be a quiet locker room cancer?
Did the referees in Anaheim miss a sneaky Red Wings goal? - SBNation.com
Puck don't lie. Wings won anyways.
Jonathan Drouin of Tampa Bay Lightning can be traded, Steve Yzerman says | NHL.com - News
O RLY? That's a bit surprising.
Jonathan Drouin showcasing himself well in AHL - Sportsnet.ca
The 20-year-old is getting lots of playing time with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, while the Lightning try to make a trade for the talented youngster.
Coach's Corner: Stamkos not getting respect he deserves - Sportsnet.ca
The 18 Essential Nashville Restaurants, Winter 2016 - Eater Nashville
Roll/War Martin's BBQ.
It's so cold in Minnesota that camera batteries are freezing, and it gets worse - SBNation.com
I guess if playoff hockey could be coming to two Florida cities, this is the receipt. And well done, Bud Grant.