The Nashville Predators are off to one of their worst starts through twelve games this season. What is the cause for this start? Let’s look at some things that look as though they have changed from last season to this season.
Where’s The Sense Of Urgency?
In the 2021 – 2022 season the Nashville Predators led the NHL in fighting majors with 60 during the regular season. So far through 12 games they have recorded 8 fights. They are currently on pace for 54 fights this season, which is down from last season. While fights do not win hockey games, they do set the tone and make other teams on edge more which leads to mishandling pucks and turnovers.
This season the Nashville Predators have not seemed like they want to be on the ice. They are being lazy with the puck, which is leading to more turnovers, and they are not getting in deep on the forecheck. Last season opposing teams heard footsteps every time the Nashville Predators dumped the puck in because they knew they were about to get checked. This season when the Predators dump the puck in, they put it up on the board to where the opposing goalie plays the puck to the defensemen and back down the ice they go.
Too Indecisive With The Puck
When the Nashville Predators do actually gain possession of the puck in the offensive zone, they seem more worried making passes than getting the puck to the net. There has not been much of a net front presence this season leading to easy saves by the goaltender. Last season there was always someone in front of the net taking the goalies eyes away and in the right position for a tip or deflection.
Then there is the Power Play. The Nashville Predators had a 24.4% success rate on the Power Play during the 2021-2022 season according to Statmuse. So far during the course of the 2022-2023 season the Nashville Predators are at 14.9% on the Power Play according to Statmuse. With pieces like Josi, Duchene, Forsberg, and Johansen on the top Power Play unit those numbers are unacceptable seeing as how those four players account for 40.7% of the salary cap for the Nashville Predators according to CapFriendly.
Overall, the play so far this season has been terrible. The Nashville Predators have all the right pieces to be a contender for the Stanley Cup this year they just are not playing like they want it.
If they want to make it to the Playoffs and be a real contender, things need to change, and they need to change soon.