Predators look to go in a different direction now that they're home

Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 12:01am

The Nashville Predators don’t have far to go to reach the bottom of the Western Conference standings. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that they don’t have to go far from very often between now and the end of the season.

Thursday’s game against Calgary (7 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee) is the start of a closing stretch in which the Predators will play 12 of their final 18 games at Bridgestone Arena.

Twice between now and the April 27 season finale they will play four straight at home and one other time they will have three in a row at home. No remaining road trips will last longer than two games.

The differences between the Predators’ play at home and on the road are pretty clear:

• They average 2.5 goals per game at home and 2.1 goals per game on the road.

• The difference in goals against is particularly significant — 1.6 at home, 3.2 on the road.

• Nashville has scored twice as many power play goals at home (10) as it has allowed (five) but has given up more than twice as many (17) as it has scored (seven) on the road.

• Most important, they have earned 16 points in 12 home games, an average of 1.33 per contest. On the road they have earned 12 in 18 games, an average of 0.67 per outing.

Part of the difference can be explained by the fact that injury issues have mounted lately, when they played eight of their last 10 away from home.

Still, the hope is that a lot of time in familiar surroundings, combined with contests against some of the conference’s lower lights will make a difference that allows them to get back into the thick of the playoff picture. The next four home games, all within eight days, are against teams that as of the start of play Wednesday were, like Nashville, outside of the Western Conference’s top eight.

“Obviously, everybody is playing each other so [the pack] is going to move somewhere,” coach Barry Trotz said recently. “… The rest of our games are pretty well at home. We have a lot of home games. With no travel and home-ice advantage — you have the crowd, you have everything — we should be able to make up some points.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 3/21/13 at 12:08

I have no doubt that the Predators are a legitimate Stanley Cup "contenda".

The remaining home games are a sell out. The hot dogs and the hamburgers are great. Ice hockey and croquet are the new sports rage in the south. The scalpers cannot find enough tickets. The Predators are on the verge of being the number one sports story of 2013.

Go Preds!

By: courier37027 on 3/21/13 at 5:58

TITAN1, quit posing as Rasputin.

By: BigPapa on 3/21/13 at 7:18

Ive been to about 10 hockey games and I have paid a grand total of $10. Out of 10 trips I bought one $10 ticket, the others were all free, compted, given away, or given away for the third time.

Ive sat in ever section, club, in a box, down low and way up high. The only ticket I bought was the $10 one.

Hockey has been here long enough to settle in and it just "is what it is". They will always have a small very dedicated base, but the city will never buzz about the play of the hockey team.

By: fan13 on 3/21/13 at 8:24

As the Preds continue to give away more tix to fill seats one can only question the profitability of the club. They've been at this for 16yr, almost the same time it takes for a newborn to get thru H.S.
David Poille and Barry Trotz continue to have job security. Taxpayers continue to pay and their fan base continues to hear the very same excuses for lack of improvement year after year. Nothing changes....on to Lacrosse.

By: 4gold on 3/22/13 at 4:23

Duuuhhh, fan13. The Preds did improve every year until this year. Only thng that puzzles me is the total dedication to defense and then act surprized when they have a team that can't score . Boring.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!