What the hell are the Nashville Predators doing? Ismo Lehkonen excited about the historic flight: “Saamari’s rough puck” | Sport

What the hell are the Nashville Predators doing Ismo Lehkonen

A wise man learns from his mistakes. In early February, Nashville lost to Dallas 2-9 on home ice and learned from it.

The cancellation of the planned concert trip to Las Vegas due to the loss perhaps cheered up the team, because the pride of its comical music city has not been lost during the actual game time. More than five weeks can fit between appointments.

Nashville has played seventeen games without a loss in regular time. It’s a new club record. Fifteen wins can fit on the trip, two losses after the actual game time.

What the hell is going on in a country town?

– It seems that the leading players took a cue from that, and there it was decided to hit everything in the game every damn second from then on. It’s been pretty sweet looking, ‘s hockey expert Ismo Lehkonen thinking.

Lehkonen is on the trail, as the team’s Finnish star goalkeeper is already fresh Juuse Saros showed mature responsibility in an interview with Urheilu.

– A self-inflicted thing. It would be nice to see U2, but if the game isn’t in order, I don’t think it’s very wise to go to Vegas for two nights to rock out with the playoffs in mind.

Hatches closed

Gamewise, Nashville reversed course in a very traditional way. The floodgates were closed, so to speak, and not just thanks to the goalkeepers this time. Nashville clearly raised the level of what they did in those famous fundamentals of hockey, starting with scrimmage.

– In the end, it’s a very simple mathematical equation. There are currently five players in the top five, none of whom are cheating. In general, there are always guys in the hockey team who want to get off easy, Lehkonen reflects.

– There haven’t been any of those in this team for a while. At this point, the eye also turns to coaching and club management.

The attitude movement is best seen in how much less time Nashville has spent in their own zone defending in recent weeks.

After the Dallas loss, in January-February, it had given opponents more than 11 dangerous scoring opportunities with five against five per hour of play, after the Dallas loss, the number is the lowest in the entire league, 7.8.

Dangerous goal posts created against

Dangerous goal posts created against the team in five-on-five situations after February 7, 2024:

Nashville 7.84

New York Islanders 8.37

Vancouver 8.93

Tampa Bay 9.32

Minnesota 9.65

It’s no big wonder that the statistics of goalkeepers have also started to change to completely different readings. Below are two draws from the last two matches.

– When you look at the defense equipment, it’s quite physical there. Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh are the top names, but there is quite a lot of concrete pork in the background. The kind of guys who really don’t give up. And the soul is being tackled all the time. In terms of defense, this team is able to play with no openings.

Goal kick created against me

Expected goals created against the team with 5 on 5 after 7 February 2024:

Vancouver 2.06

Nashville 2.17

Los Angeles 2.21

Dallas 2.24

Minnesota 2.24

At the offensive end, in addition to star defender Jos, the team relies a lot on its first line, where the brightest stars shine Filip Forsberg mixed Ryan O’Reilly.

– Forsberg, O’Reilly and Gustav Nyqvist look ahead in conquering space and time. In how to constantly go behind the lines by throwing and then straight to the goal. It has been stripped of all unnecessary niceties into a thousand pieces. There are guys in the background who have been pickled for a long time in the AHL, some of them have gone through quite a bit of hell, Lehkonen states.

Does the flight carry in the real place?

After a hot March, the question is, will Nashville’s fitness spike and charm last until spring?

In the season previews, is there even a team left out of the playoffs to cause confusion even in the playoffs, where it will likely, upon leaving the wild card spot, immediately receive one of the best in the Western Conference?

The match schedule has also favored the team in recent weeks. Of the fifteen wins, only five have come against a team on top of the playoff line. On the other hand, they have been even tougher: Vegas, Colorado, Winnipeg and Florida.

Nashville’s 15 wins (x=playoff spot)

St. Louis
Vegas X
Los Angeles X
San Jose
Colorado X
Winnipeg X
San Jose
Florida X

– Nashville is not a free ticket to the second round of the playoffs for any of its opponents, under no circumstances, Lehkonen’s line.

– Against this team, you have to pay a hell of a price for the next place. This team plays such rough hockey. Loose pucks, dunks, corner and goal transition battles are where this team is at its best. And if someone wants to bloat, that goes very well for this group, Lehkonen laughs.

Nashville is arguably one of the roughest teams in the NHL. It has the second most big freezes throughout the season, often caused by fights, but at the same time it is one of the combinations that take the fewest minor penalties.

Toughness and discipline can be found in the same package. The most important cornerstone is still the reliability of performance in the last few weeks in five-on-five games, where it has rumbled during the point streak by a crushing goal difference of 55–19.

Lehkonen still reminds Nashville to keep their foot on the gas.

– We can’t afford to loosen anything before spring. They have such a way of playing that now you just have to squeeze to go. You can’t and can’t save anything for spring.

Stats: NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick