The Nashville Predators remain winless in North America to open the 2022-23 NHL season, as they most recently lost at home to the Philadelphia Flyers. It was not how it has usually been in this rough stretch, as they actually controlled offensive possession and the opportunities for most of the game, but ran into a brick wall net-minder in Carter Hart.
Regardless, a loss is a loss, and it is not like the Predators’ own issues such as turnovers and defensive zone breakdowns did not make a difference. The team now has five points in six games to open the season, which is unacceptable considering expectations.
As for their next outing, the Nashville Predators do not take the ice again until Thursday night, which is an unusually long time between games for any team during the season. They will use this opportunity to calm down and re-evaluate what they are doing before the season spirals out of control.
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Nashville Predators need time off to clear their minds
One worry that a lot of people had was that players such as Roman Josi and Matt Duchene would experience heavy regression this year, which makes sense since both had career years last year in their thirties. But that does not explain what is happening now.
It is one thing to regress, it is another to be nonexistent, and that is what is happening to the Predators’ forwards including Filip Forsberg. Considering absolutely everything that happened to the team during the offseason, the fact that they are at all worse, let alone significantly so, makes zero sense.
And that is where benefitting from this five-day break comes into play. They can take this time to re-evaluate several things, such as their approach to the powerplay in all areas including unit setup.
They can also take time to re-evaluate the lineup decisions, including both their current groupings and potentially calling up some other guys from Milwaukee. The decision to send Philip Tomasino down does not look very good right now, so maybe this is when they decide to bring him back to Nashville.
Besides all of that, the Predators could use this five-day break because of one reason you absolutely cannot rule for their slow start. Their schedule to start the year has been about as weird as you can imagine.
Because of their trip to Europe to start the year, their training camp was cut by a full week plus. While the Predators were jet lagged and playing regular season games overseas, other teams were taking part in normal practices and had to make zero unusual adjustments to their schedules.
In the span of just a few weeks, the Predators have had to get over jet lag twice and missed valuable time preparing for the season to start. For a team underachieving like they are right now, how could that not even be a slight factor?
Having a break like this so early into the season is huge for the Predators, as they can now cool off and give themselves more than ample time to look at the problems and make adjustments. Sometimes all a team needs is an opportunity to start fresh, and these few days off will provide them with that at a point in the season in which it is very much salvageable.