Predators Downward Spiral Continues With Home Loss to Chicago

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Dante Fabbro #57 of the Nashville Predators defends against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 16: Dante Fabbro #57 of the Nashville Predators defends against Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

After last night’s lopsided loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, you have to wonder if it’s going to get worse before it gets better for the Nashville Predators.

Most teams go through some sort of a rough spot in their 82-game schedule, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to deal with it. This is currently what the Nashville Predators are going through with losses in six of their last seven games.

It’s not just that they’re losing that’s the troubling part, but how they’re losing some of these. Last night was a perfect example with the 7-2 loss. The game was really over midway second period when the Blackhawks were cruising along up 4-0.

I have a hard time picking which loss was more ugly. This one against the Blackhawks, or the epic collapse in the second period to the Colorado Avalanche that ended in a 9-4 loss? They’re both five-goal losses, which should never happen to great teams like we thought the Predators were in the preseason. Especially not within ten days of each other.

Maybe they’ll end up labeled as a “great” team in April. As of right now, this team is heading down a very dark road. They need a long winning streak of their own to start being built in a hurry. They’re capable of it, but another divisional team going in the opposite direction of the Predators is up next with the Winnipeg Jets.

So, what happened last night?

Well obviously we’d rather just forget about this one like we’re still trying to forget the Colorado debacle. Unfortunately winning is the best cure to forgetting an ugly loss, and the Predators aren’t winning. Instead, they’re just compounding the problem and slipping further back in the division while they’re at it.

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After starting off the season so strong with no regulation losses in his first ten outings, Pekka Rinne has dipped dramatically. He was the starter in some of the worst losses the Predators have this season. Those top-three ugliest losses for me have to be Calgary, Colorado and last night’s horrendous showing against Chicago.

You know what will keep you up at night when looking over this game’s box score? The Blackhawks managed a meager 24 shots on goal, but ended up with seven goals. I seriously have the shivers just writing that. We know Rinne is a streaky goaltender, so let’s hope this negative streak is over and he gets back on a hot streak.

The slumping Predators penalty kill has been a topic of improvement, but they weren’t tested last night. They only had to kill off one Chicago power play, and they did succeed. Again, you see a team score seven goals and you assume that team lived on the power play. Not the case, which is another surprising note from this game.

How bad was it actually?

I actually think this loss was worse than the 9-4 Colorado loss because this was at home and honestly the Predators never showed up to the arena. This is was a spot coming back home after a demoralizing road trip that you would expect the Predators to come out firing on all cylinders and getting a big division win over a rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks team.

The flood gates opened up for me on Chicago’s fourth goal that came around the midway point of regulation. The goal from David Kampf was the product of Chicago skating right down Broadway into the Predators’ zone for a one-timer. Poor defensive pressure and the one that chased Rinne out of the game.

The Predators got on the board early in the third period to give the smallest glimmer of hope that maybe a comeback could be made, but the Blackhawks shattered that hope with Patrick Kane‘s 10th goal of the season.

Roman Josi tallies both goals for the Predators to put his season total to seven. He’s already nearly halfway to his goal total last season of 15 goals, which is also his career high. Other than that, nothing positive to take away from this game from a Predators standpoint.

Running into a hot goaltender like Robin Lehner didn’t help matters. He now has 90 saves in two games against the Predators this season. He’s the sole reason the Predators didn’t put up seven goals of their own in the first meeting between these two division rivals.

Some roster moves are probably going to shake things up again. Miikka Salomaki has been reassigned back to the Milwaukee Admirals. Could that pave the way for Daniel Carr or Yakov Trenin to be called up for Tuesday’s game with the Jets? I’d personally love to see that. This team needs new energy in the lineup.

We’ll end this with a pretty critical quote from Josi. A quote that you want to see from you team captain after an embarrassing loss at home in front of the fans. Quote via the Predators official website and Brooks Bratten:

"“Defense is always a five-man job out there, like offense. We’ve got to make sure we all defend together, we come back together and we battle it out together. We didn’t do any of that tonight.”"

Believe it or not, I do think the Predators are going to string together a winning streak of their own and get back on track. This team is too talented and has too many veterans to let this thing continue to spiral downward.

Final. 7. 94. 2. 151

Sometimes when it rains, it not only pours but you also find out you have a leak in your roof and you left your umbrella at home.  My bigger concern is does this team have what’s necessary to weather this storm and go deep in the playoffs. I’m not so sure about that as of now. Again, it’s how they’re losing that’s so concerning.