The Nashville Predators are winless through the first two games of the new NHL season. Despite struggling to score, it’s not time to panic, yet.
This isn’t unfamiliar territory for the Nashville Predators. A year ago, the Predators started off the season with a 1-3-0 record. Despite the early woes in 2016, that team proceeded to the Stanley Cup Final. Despite being 0-2-0 at the beginning of 2017, it’s not time to panic, yet.
Although it’s far too early for fans to panic, there is plenty of reason to worry. The Predators have had too many offensive woes to count. They are turning the puck over too often, and are showing an extreme lack of depth. That issue can partially be attributed to injuries to Ryan Ellis and the up-and-down status of Kevin Fiala.
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On opening day, the Predators posted a mediocre Fenwick percentage of 40.82%. In their second game against the Penguins, Nashville improved a bit, with a Fenwick percentage of 49.21%. This is not good for the Predators’ overall offensive outlook as they rank 24th in the NHL in Fenwick percentage at 45.54%.
In conclusion, the offense is not producing many scoring chances. They actually rank 27th in the NHL in scoring chances with 28 in two full games. The Predators have only allowed 31 scoring chances to opponents, ranking them 7th in the NHL.
It’s definitely far too early to consider this season a bust, but improvements need to be made quickly. Another point to note is that the Nashville Predators have yet to play a home game this season.
The Home Crowd
The Predators’ crowd has been regarded as one of the best in the NHL and will make it tough for teams to come into Nashville and get a victory, just like last season.
Another key that could help get the Predators going is the addition of Nick Bonino.
Obviously, after missing the entire preseason, he hasn’t had a chance to mesh with the team, yet. Once he gets accustomed to the team and gets a feel for his role, Bonino should give the Predators some offensive help.
Yes, it’s too early to panic. No, it’s not too early to be concerned. Head coach Peter Laviolette shouldn’t have any problem getting his guys in gear, after the heart-breaking finish to last season. This isn’t the start Nashville wanted, but it’s never too late to turn things around.