Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- It wasn’t a win, but the Nashville Predators were able to secure a point in their overtime loss against the Chicago Blackhawks, and now they return home for five straight, starting Saturday with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There was an obvious lack of offense on Friday, and goaltender Pekke Rinne is to thank for standing on his head all night and giving his team the chance to get that point. This was a beatable Blackhawks team had won just one of their last six games. And there is no sugarcoating it, the Preds should’ve left the Windy City with a victory.
The expectations for Saturday are no different, as the Preds take on an injury riddled Blue Jackets team. The CBJ are without a chunk of their star players, including former Preds defenseman Seth Jones.
They are also without Cam Atkinson, Joonas Korpisalo, Josh Anderson, Ryan Murray, Alexandre Texier, Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Dean Kukan and Oliver Bjorkstrand. If the Predators can’t get the two points in front of a home crowd, that is an issue.
With defenseman Ryan Ellis back in the lineup, we should continue to see him get more comfortable in head coach John Hynes’ new system, but that is far from the major concern. In the month of February the teams’ highest paid forwards; Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg have combined for just 11 points and three goals. That is an issue.
Finding consistency overall is going to be key to making the playoffs. Right now the Preds are still three points back of being tied for the first Wild Card spot, but every night the teams in front of them; Winnipeg, Calgary, and Arizona continue to play ‘keep away.’ At this point, that song “All I do is Win,” needs to be playing a lot a Bridgestone Arena during this stretch of five games at home.