For years the Nashville Predators have been a very good team at home.
During the 2005-06 season, the Preds registered 32 wins at home, the most in the NHL. The next three seasons, all which saw Nashville go to the postseason, resulted in home win totals of 28, 23 and 24. Even last season, when the Predators finished seven games below .500 and 14 points out a playoff spot, the team from Music City still had a winning record at home with a 11-9 record (four OT/SO losses).
Even during the worst of times, playing at home has usually brought out the best in the Predators.
Nashville’s 5-2 loss to Carolina on Thursday, however, left them with no wins in a four-game home stand and a 6-6-2 record at Bridgestone Arena. To put that in perspective, the team only lost eight regulation games at home the entire season in 2005-06 (32-8-1).
In contrast to playing at home, trying to find answers on the road has traditionally been very difficult for Nashville. The Preds were 5-14-5 on the road last season and have only posted a winning record on the road four out of seven seasons since 2005-06.
In his post game conference following Thursday’s loss, head coach Barry Trotz was asked if getting out on the road would be nice after the team was winless in its last four home games: “Well, we’ll see,” said Trotz. “We’ll see what the results are in the next two road games and I’ll answer that when we get back.”
The Predators are currently 7-7-1 on the road this season.
For a team that needs to find answers quickly due to their four-game losing streak at home (and overall), the Preds have little choice but to try and go against the history books and pick up two points in their contest tonight in Washington, D.C., against the Capitals (at 6 pm CT).
If the Predators have any chance of returning to the postseason this campaign, they’ll either need to return to their custom practice of stockpiling wins at home or start a new tradition on the road really fast.