Despite getting 12 power-play opportunities in the first two games of the first round, the Nashville Predators haven been unable to score with the man advantage against the Detroit Red Wings. You might shrug that kind of information off as something that’s to be expected.
After all, the Predators don’t have a James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Corey Perry, or Steven Stamkos on their team. In fact they only had two guys who finished the season with over 20 goals and neither of them reached the 30-goal mark. So how good could they really be with the man advantage? Very.
The Predators ranked first in the NHL with a 21.6% power-play success rate in the regular season. Over a fifth of their goals were scored with the man advantage. So when they can’t capitalize on their opportunities, it’s a big deal.
Nashville’s success partially comes from its depth, but it’s also thanks to the magic Shea Weber and Ryan Suter can work if either one of them touches the puck in a special team’s situations.
By contrast, Detroit struggled during the regular season in power-play opportunities and they haven’t been remarkable when it comes to killing penalties either.
One of the clear advantages that the Predators had going into this series was their ability to take advantage of another team’s mistakes. If you take that away from them, then it’s hard to see them getting past the first round.