Predators still trying to find balance, steady mindset in February

Sports

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen (92) celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- Will they OR Won’t they (make the playoffs)? That is the question everybody wants to know right now when it comes to the Nashville Predators. After winning 3-straight for the first time since late October, the Preds went back in the loss column on Thursday, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Now you have to give the Canes some credit. They’re also battling for a spot in the postseason and are playing well in the month of February, having picked up points in all but two games so far.

As for the Predators, they are still trying struggling with one thing, consistency. Winning three in a row is a step in the right direction, but according to head coach John Hynes, maintaining that mindset is still something he’s still trying to figure out.

“You’re worried about where’s the mindset of your team. A lot of times you can get lost. You can get lost in a big win, and you can get lost in success, and the second that happens you get complacent,” said Hynes.

After scoring four games at St. Louis, the Predators have only combined for three goals in the last two games. The Preds started the season in the Top 3 when it comes to average goals per game, but since then have dropped to 10th in the league, (3.19) in a four way tie with Vancouver, Edmonton and Carolina. Captain Roman Josi said this is something that needs to change.

“I don’t think we had enough offense the whole game, and we couldn’t get anything going in the offensive zone. They had a lot more zone time than we did. We’ve got to be a lot more dangerous offensively.”

While we saw minimal scoring against Carolina, Ryan Johansen did get the lone goal for Nashville and that was important because it was his first goal since January 29th at Washington. Johansen has been criticized this season for his lack of production, he’s currently tied for 5th on the team with 12 goals and in that same position with 33 points.

“We know how crucial every point is, so we can’t use [last weekend] as an excuse for not being ready tonight. “It’s too bad we weren’t able to come out and get a win here again tonight to keep going in the right direction. We’ll take a day; we’ll look at everything and go from there,” added Johansen.

The Predators won’t have much time to think about their recent loss as they are back on the road Friday, taking on the Chicago Blackhawks, before coming back to Nashville on Saturday to host the Columbus Blue Jackets. The race for the playoffs continue.

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