It was a dark and stormy night…
Sounds like a good way to start this article, right? So, let’s try this again:
It was a dark and stormy night in the Country Music capitol. A swirling vortex of doom loomed above the city…however it was no tornado, it was the energy and passion of about 16,000 Predators fans being sucked from their spirits as they left the arena after the Predators dropped their third game in a row in what can be only noted as the worst streak at the wrong time of the season.
As the straggling crowd that stayed behind to either cheer on the Blackhawks or sit in befuddlement of what they just witnessed, the remainder were left to ask themselves a myriad of questions:
“How come they can’t win the big games?”
“Are they going to make the playoffs?”
“How come no one on this team can score?”
“Don’t they realize that Pekka can’t win every game for them?”
“Why is it that they never win when I come…”
That last one is a big one, folks. The Predators may have a decent home record (14-7-7), but they’re failing in one aspect of that: Games won when they sell out. When the Predators sell out their building, they are 5-4-2. Sub .500 hockey in front of a sell out barn is not the way to keep the casual fan coming back in.
However, as the fans look for answers, frustration sets in amongst the team. The immediate concern? Offense
THIS TEAM CANNOT WIN GAMES WHERE THEY DON’T SCORE AT LEAST 3 GOALS
I made that bold for a reason, because it’s the truth. This team is 3-18-7 when not scoring 3 goals. Yeah, this team has INCREDIBLE goaltending…but it’s not going to when you games when you can’t find the back of the net.
The Predators also have another bit of a problem. Getting consistency from our top players. Of the 6 players who actively play for the Predators (not counting Lombardi) who make over $3mil a season, here are their cumulative stats and how they are doing in the past 10 games:
Legwand - 9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points for the season – on pace for 12 goals, 19 assists, 31 points this season
Legwand’s last 10 - 2 goals, 4 assists, +1
Erat – 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points for the season – on pace for 13 goals, 30 assists, 43 points this season
Erat’s last 10 – 3 goals, 7 assists, +1
Dumont – 9 goals, 8 assists, 17 points for the season, on pace for 12 goals, 11 assists, 23 points this season
Dumont’s last 10 – 0 goals, 0 assists, -1
Sullivan – 10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points for the season, on pace for 13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points this season
Sullivan’s last 10 – 0 goals, 2 assist, E
Fisher – 15 goals, 12 assists, 27 points for the season, on pace for 20 goals, 16 assists, 36 points this season
Fisher’s 6 games with the Predators – 1 goal, 2 assists, -3 (…yikes on the -3…)
Hornqvist – 17 goals, 16 assists, 33 points for the season, on pace for 23 goals, 22 assists, 55 points this season
Hornqvists’s last 10 - 1 goal, 4 assists, +1
Things aren’t looking very well right now from our top money men. For us to win, THESE individuals need to find their game, and find it soon. The Predators have 21 GAMES left this season, that’s not a whole lot of time to find what you are made of, but as Shea Weber said after last night’s shut out loss, “There are no more excuses”.
Here’s a bit of hope, though, Preds fans. March is good. Just keep saying this to yourself and reminding yourself that March…is a gooooood month…..March is good…March is good…March is good.
But will it be enough?