NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville Predators split their recent road trip down the middle at 2-2 and while they collected four points, they are still on the outside looking in when it comes to controlling a playoff spot.
On Thursday night the Predators return to Music City, hosting former head coach Barry Trotz and his New York Islanders. And while playing at home used to be an advantage for this team, that is no longer the case.
The Predators are currently 11-11-4 at Bridgestone Arena this season, which is one of the worst home records in the league this year. If they want a chance at making the playoffs for the sixth straight season in a row, they will have to turn up the heat because 8 of their next 10 games are right here in Nashville.
Since the hiring of head coach John Hynes, there has been positive change. He’s installed a level of discipline, holding players accountable and defensively, the team’s play has tightened up.
“I think most of the games we know how to play back there and we are a lot more compact. Now with that progressing, we are working on the offensive side of it. We’re getting a lot more chances and looks and if we keep doing that we’ll be in a lot of good games,” added defenseman Mattias Ekholm.
Nashville is Top 10 in the league, averaging 3.2 goals per game, but there are still elements on the ice that need to be much better.
“We have to play fast, we have to support each other and play an entire game. We can’t have let downs because it’s a very important stretch,” said centerman Kyle Turris.
When it comes to getting into the playoff mix, a win streak would be the way to go, but the Predators haven’t won three straight since late October.