What Needs to Change as Nashville Predators Return to Action against Ducks

Nashville Predators center Juuso Parssinen (75) looks on prior to a face off during the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Juuso Parssinen (75) looks on prior to a face off during the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Sevald-USA TODAY Sports /

An unexpected six-day break for the Nashville Predators could end up being a blessing in disguise or end up further keeping this team stuck in the mud.

The Predators had two games postponed due to a water main break at Bridgestone Arena which flooded the main concourse area and event levels. It happened on Friday morning as the Predators were set for a back-to-back hosting the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Thanks to a lot of hard work from the arena staff and outside agencies to get the facility back in a functioning order to host a hockey game, Tuesday looks like it has the green light as the Anaheim Ducks come to town.

The last time out the Nashville Predators were victims of a dominant performance in net from Red Wings netminder Ville Husso who made 26 saves and Filip Hronek connected on a key power play goal while the Predators once again got a goose egg on their three power play attempts.

Hopefully the Nashville Predators Mashed the Reset Button

It’s anyone’s guess how this will impact the team. One thing is for certain; they have to leave with two points against arguably the NHL’s worst team and is the worst team if you just go off of the standings.

I’ve repeated this statement constantly over the course of the last month; the Predators are not a good enough hockey team to take any opponent for granted. They are capable of getting beat if they don’t bring their best game, and far too many times this team takes periods off and commits critical errors.

Mash the reset button and let’s see if Filip Forsberg can turn it up a gear to wake this offense up.

With having six days off, the Predators have hopefully worked on the fundamentals. The offense is a mess. It shouldn’t be this unreliable when you look at the talent on paper. Forsberg has just one power play goal through 20 games, and the unit has taken a nosedive to being ranked 27th in the NHL after being sixth last season.

The Predators have to start making teams pay when they’re on the power play. If this doesn’t change, I don’t see a path forward that ends in the Predators heading to the postseason. They haven’t missed the postseason since Barry Trotz’s final season in 2013-14 and finished with 88 points.

For the sake of comparison, this current Nashville Predators team is on pace for 82 points. So obviously this team needs a major jolt of energy, and it has to start against the lowly Ducks on Tuesday.

Both Teams Struggle Badly to Score 

With the exception of a surprisingly reliable penalty kill, the Predators are average at best in pretty much every key category. Your core players, while still putting up some points, on too many occasions are coming up invisible in critical moments of games.

The Predators and Ducks are equally horrendous offensively, both averaging just 2.55 goals per game which is only better than two other teams. The Ducks also have the league’s worst power play, so there’s that for the Predators to feast on if they do find themselves in penalty trouble.

To pile onto just how bad the Ducks are, they are an NHL worst minus-36 in goal differential, while the Predators are just at minus-12.

What scares me is the Ducks have a few young, dynamic offensive playmakers in Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Mason McTavish that will burn a Predators defense if it comes in sleep walking.

I’m cautiously leaning towards this extended break being a good thing for the Nashville Predators. We’ll see if that’s the case on Tuesday.

This needs to be a game where everything starts to click, and the team looks like it’s having fun again. Who cares who it comes up against? Exorcise some demons and get above .500.

The outside noise will explode into anarchy if the Nashville Predators lose to the Ducks on Tuesday. This needs to be a decisive and meticulous win for the guys in Gold. Treat the fans to a 60-minute locked in performance and start the long road of climbing back into contention.