We’ve seen it plenty of times before when Nashville Predators fans starting panicking after a couple losses, including a blowout loss when the Dallas Stars put up a touchdown.
The Predators are now on a three-game losing streak in a season that only has 56 games. Every loss is magnified because you’re playing division opponents, so the level of concern is understanding.
With that being considered, we have to keep things in perspective here. The Predators just got annihilated on Friday night against the Dallas Stars. A team that made the Stanley Cup Final, has one of the better team defenses in the NHL and was amped up for their season-opener after COVID-19 outbreaks delayed their start.
The Predators responded on Sunday with a much better effort, albeit it was too little too late. Be that as it may, the Predators had a chance to tie it up as the seconds ticked down and they had their net empty.
It comes down to cleaning up the sloppy penalties so that you don’t have to test your woeful penalty kill so often.
Jumping off the train already?
The sky isn’t falling, Predators fans. You can turn things around really quick by playing an all division schedule. They have the Chicago Blackhawks up next. Two wins against them will have the Predators right back in the middle of the pack.
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Remember that the top-four make the playoffs in the division. Most people expect the Predators to be right around that fourth spot, with their ceiling maybe being a third place finish if everything goes right.
So why are we freaking out again? Because of one really bad loss? The other two losses were largely strong efforts that saw the opponent make one or two more plays to get the win.
The loss to the Carolina Hurricanes was actually a solid performance from the Predators, but sometimes one or two critical errors is all it takes.
We didn’t get to see the rematch due to Carolina’s own COVID-19 concerns, so there’s no way to know if the Predators were going to respond and get the win in the rematch.
Five games in and I’m already seeing fans say they’ve given up on the season and it’s the same team as last season. While I agree that the special teams issues are concerning, the Predators can right the wrongs and go on a run.
Nashville Predators have to be disciplined on defense
I will say that what the last three losses has proven is the Predators aren’t there just yet. “There” as in, they’re not a top division contender. They’re an average team that has things they can build upon to maybe snag a fourth spot.
This team lacks many superstars that can erupt offensively. They can’t be spotting teams all of these power play goals. The Predators have to be a very disciplined team defensively to keep the scores low.
Aside from Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, and sometimes Viktor Arvidsson and Mikael Granlund, this team lacks supreme offensive stars. But they have that critical depth that can be strong defensively when it’s even strength hockey at 5-on-5.
Get back to being smart with your stick and not getting caught out of position, and this team can win enough games to finish in the top-four. If you have wild aspirations about this team making a Stanley Cup run, then your concern is understandable.
Predators Head Coach John Hynes had this to say about moving forwards and fixing the team’s issues, per Brooks Bratten on the team’s official website:
"” I think we just have to evaluate certain parts of our game, go back to the video and look at what it is, and then I think the other one is just player impact – what players are or are not making impacts in the game.”"
There’s no reason for you to be freaking out or shocked right now. The Predators, at least so far, are who many of us thought they were before the season started.
Everyone remember how last season started? The Predators were mowing through quality opponents and Matt Duchene looked prime to maybe lead the team in scoring. So let’s just realize that the hockey season is usually a rollercoaster ride, and there’s plenty of time before we have to get off.
Talk to me again if the Predators drop another two games to an atrocious Blackhawks team. That will be reason to actually freak out.