Since reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals and falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Nashville Predators have been a contender; however after suffering a Second Round loss to the Winnipeg Jets last season, and now a First Round loss to the Dallas Stars, its clear this team needs to make some adjustments moving forward.
Here are three reasons why the Central Division winning Nashville Predators fell to the Wild Card seeded Dallas Stars.
Nashville Power Play Worst of All-Time:
To many people’s surprise, the Predators largest struggle this season was their power play.
With the offensive strength this team has there is no excuse for how their power play unit performed.
In this series Nashville went 0/15 this series.
Yes that is right the Nashville Predators were the only team to not score a power play goal in the First Round.
How do you win a playoff series with not one power play goal?
If Nashville wants any chance of bouncing back next season, their power play has to be their main concern.
Nashville’s power play finished the Regular Season a league worst scoring on just 12.9 percent of power plays.
In comparison the Dallas Stars scored four power play goals on twenty-two power play chances; this also shows that the Predators did not play discipline and took too many penalties including four in the first fourteen minutes of Game 4 which saw the Stars score on three of them.
It is no surprise the Dallas Stars beat the Predators.
Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne certainly had his up and downs this series, his downs coming when the Predators could use them the absolute least.
In the first three games of the series Rinne allowed just six goals, however between Games 4 and 5 alone Rinne allowed a total of nine goals, including being pulled in the first period of Game 4.
This drastically shifted the momentum of the series from Nashville to Dallas.
At the other end of the ice, a Vezina Trophy Finalist this year, Ben Bishop played incredible all series long.
Bishop has the second best save percentage in the playoffs of .945, and is tied for the second best goals against average of 1.90.
In comparison Rinne finished the series with a save percentage of .905, and a goals against average of 3.09, neither in the top ten.
The Predators even out shot the Stars 218 to 200 however were unable to score consistently on Bishop.
Rinne’s best play came last night where he stopped 49 of 51 shots an overtime Game 6 elimination loss.
Benn, Radulov, Seguin:
The Nashville Predators were completely unable to stop this line; arguably the only line the Dallas Stars have.
No not arguably, the only line the Stars have.
Each recorded six points for a total of 18 points this series.
Jamie Benn tallied a goal, and five assists, Tyler Seguin added two goals, and four assists, and Alexander Radulov recorded four goals, and two assists.
Even more impressive, this line has a combined plus-minus of plus-15.
Although this outcome may come as a little bit of a surprise to some people, when you look at what really happened it is not surprising at all.
Nashville Power Play 0/15, Dallas Power Play 4/22.
Pekka Rinne: .905 Save Percentage, 3.09 GAA Ben Bishop: .945 Save Percentage, 1.90 GAA.
Benn, Seguin, Radulov 18 total points Johansen, Forsberg, Arvidsson, Josi, Subban 11 total points.
This series highlighted Nashville’s inconsistent play, hot and cold goalie performances, and terrible power play resulting in exactly what should happen, the Dallas Stars moving on to the Second Round against the St. Louis Blues.
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