Nashville Predators (0-0-2, 0 pts)
I know it hasn’t been pretty through two games for the Predators, but we need to keep some perspective on those two games. They opened up with one of the tougher two-game road trips in hockey and caught the Penguins on a bad night. I still think Nashville stacks up well against the Western Conference and within the Central Division. They are going to have to find a way to generate better chances, but coming back to Bridgestone Arena should be a jolt of energy and urgency that this squad needs.
Having said that, there is no real way to sugarcoat it. Several key players, including P.K. Subban, will need to play much better going forward if the Predators plan to get on track anytime soon. Early goals by Scott Hartnell and Viktor Arvidsson gave a glimpse on some of the depth the Predators will continue to use to score and are positive signs in what was an overall blah couple of games.
For now, we will chalk up the first two games to a Stanley Cup Final hangover and move on. But let’s keep an eye on how they respond from here and whether or not they can be legit contenders in the Western Conference again this season.