To advance in this year's playoffs, the Predators must exorcise home-ice demons from their past.The Nashville Predators have been the dictating team in both of their playoff games against the Anaheim Ducks. Their play dictated their win in Game 1, and dictated their loss in Game 2. Down three goals they did not quit, but a loss is still a loss. Now the series shifts to Nashville, where the Predators have won 10 of their last 13. History, however, is not with them. Home playoff losses have contributed mightily to the Predators' inability to win a playoff series.
Just as they did last year, the Predators opened the playoffs with a road win, thereby wresting the so-called home ice advantage from their opponent. Last year the Preds parlayed their opening game win in Chicago into a 2-1 series lead, only to drop the next three, two of which were at home, and lose the series. Home ice just has not been much of an advantage over the years. The Predators have managed to win but seven out of fifteen home playoff games. Higher seed or lower seed, it hasn't mattered. They've lost at least one home game in each series played, and on all five occasions were knocked out of the playoffs in their own building. All the road losses notwithstanding, the Preds haven't given themselves much of a chance by losing so many at home.
In a playoff series a team is not in trouble until it loses a home game. Despite their Game 2 win, the Ducks are still the team in trouble. The Predators control the series, but having control and maintaining control are two different things. For the fourth time in their six playoff appearances the Predators find themselves in the enviable position of merely having to win their home games to advance past the first round. Anything, of course, can happen, and that's why they play the games. But with a so-so road record this past season, having won only eight of their last eighteen road games, and a terrible road playoff history, a home loss in these playoffs would likely mean another one and done.