Keys to Watch
If you read social media regarding the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the sky is falling and the Nashville Predators will not make the playoffs because the season is won and lost in the first seven games of the season. Hopefully, as you read this, you catch the sarcasm. The Predators will be alright. When you have changes from season to season, undoubtedly there are problems with the chemistry, injuries, and some new additions will not pan out. Let us see where this season goes from this point forward. The fan base needs to just calm down, chill out, and enjoy the hockey.
Lack of Goal Scoring
In seven games this season, the Nashville Predators have eighteen goals. Yes, the Preds have eighteen. With these pedestrian numbers on offense, Nashville is ranked 12th out of the fourteen teams in the Western Conference and 23rd overall in the NHL. No offense to Viktor Arvidsson, but when he is the leader in goals at four, there is a problem. Filip Forsberg, James Neal, and Ryan Ellis do not have a goal on the season. Last year, these three offensive leaders had 74 goals between each other. The Predators offense needs to pick up the pace.
The Nashville Predators have the best power-play (37.0) in the NHL, yet their penalty kill is awful. The penalty kill is 29th in the NHL at 68%. The Predators will be going against the San Jose Sharks tonight, a team that is the epitome of consistency on special teams (PP-22.2, PK-84.0). Nashville needs to focus on their defensive and physical styles in every facet of their game. Are there issues? Yes. Can it be fixed? Absolutely.
The Nashville Predators will look to get their first road win of the 2016-17 season as they continue their extended road trip in California. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:30 pm!