The holiday break could not have come at a better time for the Nashville Predators.
Following Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Predators could use a few days off to clear their heads, regroup, and find some consistency for the remainder of the season.
“I definitely think that from a consistency standpoint it needs to be better,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Win two, lose two, win two, lose one, win one, lose three – you’re going nowhere in mud real quick. We’ve got to string something together.
“We’re inconsistent. From night to night, its inconsistent. It has to be more consistent with that we’re doing.”
Inconsistency has been the Predators’ Achilles heel for much of 2016. The longest winning streak Nashville has been able to muster this season is three games. In fact, Nashville has won consecutive games just three times this season.
“There are some things we can do better defensively,” defenseman Roman Josi said. “Like tonight in the third period we definitely left Peks hanging back there. But I think it’s a big thing from the start; we’ve got to go and try to get the first goal and win the game. The game is so much easier when you have that lead, you’re playing with the momentum and everything. We’ve got to make sure we do that.”
Added captain Mike Fisher: “It was back-and-forth and we just gave up a couple of chances that cost us the game there in the third. We just couldn’t find a way to win and its disappointing - it was a big game for us.”
Nashville’s 10-3-3 home record was one of the best in the NHL entering Thursday’s game against the Kings. Fresh off two back-to-back road wins against the Flyers and Devils, the Predators laid an egg in their final game before the holiday break.
“I think we are not where we want to be,” Josi said. “We’ve had some good moments and we’ve had some bad moments so far. There’s definitely room for improvement.”
The good news for the Predators is they have two home games coming out of the break, against two division rivals. This provides Nashville with a chance to get right at home and pick up four big points before heading on the road for nine of their next 12 games.
“We’ll get our rest here and come back fired up after Christmas,” Fisher said. “We’ve had some good games against good opponents. Tonight was a huge one, we’re right there with L.A. and we just needed a better effort, a better game.
“But we’ll regroup and take our rest; we need it. Just come back and get ready to get better.”