While the Nashville Predators have "only" dropped two games in a row, its safe to say that it feels like more. They've put together two horrifically lackluster efforts against Phoenix and Columbus, respectively, which closely followed an overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
All the good will from what appeared to be a statement victory over Vancouver is gone, and the powerful stench from losing the past two games by a combined 7-2 score is overtaking the atmosphere surrounding the team. Sure, the run of key injuries is bordering on the absurd (if it isn't there already), but in the past Nashville has been able to overcome extenuating circumstances by hitting their opponents square in the mouth and daring them to get off the mat.
More often than not, the strategy works, but the lack of ability to implement it night in, night out is becoming alarming.
Is it a lack of leadership? Talent? Coaching ability? I wish I knew, but as the season begins to wind down, it must be resolved, and quickly. For a team that Kevin Allen of USA Today termed a "Stanley Cup contender" on The Sports Zone (104.5 FM) yesterday, and that supposedly has lofty playoff ambitions, their current run of play is unacceptable.
The trade deadline is three games away. Between now and February 28th, Nashville can cement themselves as buyers, or they can extend their descent in the Western Conference standings. Regardless of what you believe about the team's mental fortitude or the amassed talent, we know they have the ability to make things happen on the positive side of the ledger.