The Nashville Predators are desperately looking to scrape together some wins. One month into the NHL season, things aren’t going as planned for the Preds.
From the very first game, the team’s Western Canadian road trip began with disappointment. The Edmonton Oilers slaughtered the boys from Smashville 7-4, moving the Predators’ season record down to 3-6-1.
The Predators season so far has not been very stellar. A struggling offense, leaky defense and a weak power play, are just some of the issues the team has been facing lately. On paper, the Predators have a highly skilled team capable of being at the top of the central division.
How do the Predators stack up compared to the rest of the league?
The Predators are currently 3-6-1 with 7 points. That record ranks them at 12th in the west and 7th in the central. They have a G/GP(Goals/Games Played) of 2.60, which ranks 27th in the league, and a power play percentage of 13.2, which ranks 28th in the league.
There is, however, an abundance of hope for the rebuilding Predators. The offseason brought a lot of experienced and knowledgeable players to the game. Ryan McDonagh and Nino Niederreiter are just a couple worth mentioning.
Ryan has been in the league for 13 seasons with the Rangers, Lightning, and now the Predators. He has 71 career goals, 269 assists, and a plus-minus of +217 in 793 games. As a result of his many years, he has won 2 Stanley Cup championships.
Nino Niederreiter, on the other hand, was a top-ten draft pick in 2010 by the New York Islanders. From there, he would bounce around the league for 12 seasons among 4 different teams. He has 186 goals, 1878 assists and a plus-minus of 60+ in 742 games. As of right now, Nino leads the team in shooting percentage alongside Ryan Johansen.
For the Predators to make a run into the playoffs, they must find ways to beat top teams like the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and the Colorado Avalanche. The Dallas Stars find themselves in 1st at the top of the central and 3rd in the western. They are 6-3-1 with a total of 13 points. The Stars are going to be the top team to beat in the central.
A majority of fans on campus are optimistic regarding the Predators season.
“We are slowly getting over the hump. I don’t expect a championship this year, but I am excited about what is to come,” Ben Williams, a freshman at Lipscomb, said.
A west coast road trip is on the docket, with the next three games on the schedule being Saturday at Vancouver and Tuesday at Seattle, both with a 9 p.m. Central start time, and November 10 at Colorado at 8 p.m. Central.