Nashville Predators Face Another Stiff Challenge Against Philadelphia Flyers

ELMONT, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02: Head coach John Tortorella of the Philadelphia Flyers handles the bench against the New York Islanders at the UBS Arena on October 02, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ELMONT, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 02: Head coach John Tortorella of the Philadelphia Flyers handles the bench against the New York Islanders at the UBS Arena on October 02, 2022 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Nothing is going to come easy for the Nashville Predators to break out of their current funk as the uptick Philadelphia Flyers are up next on Saturday night from Bridgestone Arena.

The Flyers have looked really good under the new leadership of Head Coach John Tortorella as they have come out of the gate with a 3-1-0 record, with their lone loss coming by a score of 3-2 to the Florida Panthers.

You’ve seen a pretty balanced offensive attack from the Flyers, while also seeing stellar goaltending from Carter Hart.

Hart’s most recent start came on Tuesday holding the Tampa Bay Lightning to two goals on 36 saves. Per JFresh Hockey, Hart is third among NHL goaltenders in Goals Saved Above Expected:

Nashville Predators face stiff test against upstart Flyers 

Juuse Saros, who will likely get the start against the Flyers for the Nashville Predators tonight, is 16th in the league but quite frankly his teammates in front of him have done him no favors, either.

We could be in store for a much tighter and low scoring affair between the Predators and Flyers. That’s assuming the Predators decide to actually stiffen up their defense and avoid self-inflicted errors that have plagued them over their four-game losing streak. A big “if”.

Filip Forsberg echoed that sentiment regarding the Flyers defensive prowess and sturdy goaltending with Hart between the pipes:

The fourth line has been shuffled around a bit by Head Coach John Hynes in the early goings of the season. On Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets he got Kiefer Sherwood back into the lineup along with Cole Smith and Cody Glass centering.

Sherwood hasn’t registered a point since his team debut against the San Jose Sharks in Prague.

This really comes down to the veteran leadership taking control of a game and not letting this losing skid continue. This is why they make the big bucks and are considered leaders of the team. They have to show up in crucial games like this and stop the bleeding.

Players like Forsberg, Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, and even Roman Josi have been held in check and underwhelming by their high standards. This has to change quickly for the team to get back on track against Philly.

The Predators have blown multi-goal third period leads in two consecutive games, but luckily the entire division, aside from the Dallas Stars, have stumbled a bit out of the gate. Even the untouchable Colorado Avalanche have three losses already on the young season.

Some disturbing NHL ranks for the Nashville Predators through their first six games:

  • 31st in Goals/Game (2.50)
  • 31st in Power Play % (3.9 percent)
  • 25th in Shots/Game (28.3)
  • 2nd Most in Penalties Taken (30)

Another really bad trend that has to be reversed is falling apart in the third period. The Predators are being outscored 9-2 in third periods through six games. Just two goals in the equivalent of two full games isn’t going to get you very far, and you can forget about continuing the postseason appearance streak.

The Flyers have really benefited early on from Hart’s goaltending. They are fifth in the NHL in Team Save % at .930, while the Predators are 17th at .895, per

Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes lead the Flyers in points with six each, while James van Riemsdyk and Tony DeAngelo come in right behind with five points each.

It’s a Flyers team that doesn’t have much in terms of superstar talent, but they play a fierce game under Tortorella and are one of the early season surprises of the NHL.

This is a time for the Nashville Predators to look themselves in the mirror and fix these issues that are correctable. I can’t come to grips with this team being as bad as they’ve looked over the last four games, and really the entire season if you count two less-than-impressive wins over the San Jose Sharks.

Saturday night’s tilt with the Flyers will be just the 31st all-time meeting between the two clubs, with the Predators narrowly owning the series with a 13-11-3 record, and also three ties.

Let’s see if the Nashville Predators can capture their first win over a quality opponent this season and do it without coming undone in the third period.