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HOWFORE DOTH WE SUCKETH

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BECAUSE THERE MUST BE REASONS

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

So why exactly does this team suck right now? Or, as @awesometania put it:

It’s a tough question, considering that this team has lost eight games in a variety of ways— shootouts, blowouts, close games in regulation, physical battles, speed battles, etc. If this team was just getting blown out, well, we would know the problem was much deeper and needed a complete overhaul. But that’s not the case.

How do you explain a team that can dominate one period and get overrun the next? How do you explain a team that can blowout the defending Cup champs but then blow a lead in the 3rd period to a perennial cellar dweller? How does this team continue to disappoint us when we know they should be good?

Time for some "opinions based on facts" to sort this out.

NOTE: THIS IS ONLY PARTIALLY SCIENTIFIC. THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF SUBJECTIVITY IN THIS ANALYSIS. A HUMAN, AND NOT A COMPUTER, COMPILED AND ASSESSED THIS ANALYSIS, SO PLEASE DON’T WRITE THE MAYOR.

To do this, let’s take a look at how each Predator is playing compared to how we would expect them to play. For skaters we will look at two major factors: 5v5 shooting percentage and 5v5 Corsi percentage (possession). For goalies, we will just look at Pekka Rinne, and we will look at overall save percentage as well as 5v5 save percentage.

First, the skaters. The two left columns are each players' shooting percentage and Corsi percentage numbers for the 2016-17 season. The two right columns are their career numbers. Green values are above their career averages, red values are below their career averages.

The far right column is the subjective part. That's explained below.

2016-17

Career

Player

5v5 Shooting %

5v5 Corsi %

5v5 Shooting %

5v5 Corsi %

Factor in the suckage

Austin Watson

0.0

39.5

5.3

45.8

Unclear

Calle Jarnkrok

8.3

52.3

9.9

52.7

Minor

Colin Wilson

7.7

53.6

11.4

51.1

Insignificant

Colton Sissons

0.0

38.7

14.3

51.1

Minor

Craig Smith

13.6

54.8

8.2

52.1

None

Filip Forsberg

0.0

47.9

10.6

56

Major

James Neal

6.7

49.4

11.2

53.3

Major

Kevin Fiala

11.1

51.3

7.7

56.3

Unclear

Matt Carle

0.0

49.6

2.9

50.5

Unclear

Matt Irwin

60.0

49.6

4.4

51.8

Unclear

Mattias Ekholm

0.0

50.1

4.6

53.7

Major

Mike Fisher

0.0

46.7

10.1

48.4

Significant/Unclear

Mike Ribeiro

0.0

53.5

12.1

52.1

Insignificant

P.K. Subban

0.0

48.8

4.3

52.2

Significant

Roman Josi

4.8

47.1

6.2

48.6

Significant

Ryan Ellis

0.0

47.0

6.1

52.8

Major

Ryan Johansen

0.0

50.4

10.3

48.9

Significant

Viktor Arvidsson

6.9

49.7

4.3

53.5

Insignificant

Yannick Weber

0.0

50.7

3

49.4

Insignificant

(all stats from Puckalytics.com)


2016-17

Career

Overall Save %

5v5 Save %

Overall Save %

5v5 Save %

Factor in the suckage

Pekka Rinne

0.916

0.931

0.917

0.927

None

So, on the "factor in the suckage" field, I put each player in one of five score categories. These are based on how they are performing this year compared to how we would expect, the degree to how far below or above they are in that comparison, the player's role, and their overall impact in the game... how much would we expect them to be not allowing the Predators to suck.

Essentially, the categories answer the question "how much is this player making the Predators suck right now?" and the categories are:

  • Major. They are just terrible right now. Dumpster fire.
  • Significant. They certainly aren't helping things. They need to get better real quick or the team will get worse.
  • Minor. They are not as helpful as usual and could play better.
  • Insignificant. They are not really affecting much of anything. If they played better you might notice, but it wouldn't necessarily help with winning.
  • Unclear. Not enough data. They haven't played enough games in this season or in their career to make a determination
  • None. Hooray! They don't suck and they may actually be helping!

There you go. After a flawless examination of the facts and healthy sprinkling of pure feeling, your major contributors to the suckage are Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Mattias Ekholm, and Ryan Ellis, while your significant contributors to the suckage are Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, and maybe Mike Fisher!

So, basically like 50% of the salary cap!