Power Play: Carter Hutton doing well & Colin Wilson's bad luck
Nashville has been absolutely smothering the opposition in terms of possession this season, second-best across the NHL. What's been surprising, though, is seeing them come away with losses after dominating opponents. That didn't happen against Boston.
At least one part of Nashville's special teams is doing good work
While the Predators may not be doing an amazing job with their penalty kill -- a statement that would have blown the minds of Trotz-era teams -- Nashville's power play is having a whale of a time over the last handful of games.
Including last night's game against Boston, the Predators have registered seven goals in the past five games over their last 18 power play attempts.
It's a shame that both can't get on the same page, but the power play has at least been keeping them in contests lately.
Interestingly enough, five of Nashville's last seven power play goals have all come from defensemen -- including Weber's hat trick on Saturday night and Josi's two-goal performance against the Bruins.
Colin Wilson is having some rough times
There's no question that Wilson has been having a rough go of it for his first 26 games of the season, notching only eight assists and a single goal during that span.
It hasn't been a bad stretch of hockey for him, either. He's played surprisingly well in those 26 games, but nothing has gone right for him.
Against Boston last night, Wilson was the key recipient of a handful of scoring chances down close to Bruins goaltender Jonas Gustavsson -- including seeing the puck squirt free among piles of bodies to his waiting stick and a two-on-one with Mike Ribeiro.
The fact that Wilson's shooting percentage is under two percent right now should tell you something about his current struggles. That's a number that is completely unsustainable over the course of an 82-game season.
Yes, Wilson is on pace for a four-goal season, but that's just on paper. He's going to break free of the current slump he's in here sooner rather than later, regardless if it seems like he'll never score another goal for as long as he plays hockey -- which it has truly felt like sometimes watching his chances not end up in the back of the net.
Carter Hutton is having some good times
For all of the hell that Hutton takes from the Predators fanbase, who are obviously spoiled by great goaltenders over the course of the franchise, he's played great so far when called upon this season.
In Hutton's four games, he's won three and allowed only two goals in two of those. His only loss came in a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on the tail-end of a back-to-back.
I've been one of the many who haven't been too pleased with some of Hutton's games over the past season. There have been plenty of times where he should have made saves on routine pucks that ended up past him and in the net. There have also been plenty of times where he looked like a sub-average goaltender.
Here's what matters most, though: Nashville needs its backup goaltender to give them a chance to win games when Rinne is taking a break. Last season, that didn't happen very often. This season, however, it is happening.
Whether that's been because of the added work Hutton has put in with goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok or just a better overall focus, the Predators are getting exactly what they've wanted out of their backup goaltender.
Timely saves -- sometimes SportsCenter worthy -- and solid wins for Nashville. Right now, they can't ask for anything more from Hutton. He's doing exactly what needs to be done.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators -- For Josi to be locked up at only a $4 million cap hit until 2020 just seems to be highway robbery by David Poile. Two goals on the night for Josi as well as a fight. Sometimes it just isn't fair when players pair up against him.
Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville Predators -- Arvidsson is doing everything he possibly can to not be sent back to the Milwaukee Admirals when the right people get healthy. He's quick and shoots the puck as much as he possibly can. His fantastic goal in the third period ultimately gave Nashville the win.
Carter Hutton, Nashville Predators -- He only had 12 saves on 14 shots, but what's important is that he earned another win. His third win in four starts.