Predators' struggles at home have come against worst possible opponents

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 11:19pm

It is not simply that the Nashville Predators have not won as much as they would like at home.

What makes matters worse is which games they have lost at Bridgestone Arena.

Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes left the Predators with the NHL’s worst home record at 4-5-3. Most of what success they have had in their own building has been against Eastern Conference opponents, victories for which the payoff is not as great.

If they are going to change that, this is the time.

Following a road game Thursday at Columbus (6 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee) Nashville plays 11 of its next 15 at home, a stretch that extends into mid-January. Nine of those home games, including the first eight, are against Western Conference opponents.

“This has to be a place that’s hard to come into and play,” captain Shea Weber said. “Right now it’s not. We’re not very good at home.”

That’s not exactly true. They are terrible against the teams that know them the best.

Through the first two months of the season the Predators are 1-4-1 at home against Western Conference opposition. Their lone victory was Oct. 29 against Anaheim, which comes to town Saturday to kick off this season’s greatest concentration of home games.

Two of the franchises that have come in and won — San Jose and Edmonton — currently are one point up on Nashville in the conference standings.

Now if the Predators played in the East, it would be a different story.

They are 3-1-2 at home against Eastern Conference clubs. The only regulation loss there is against Buffalo last Saturday.

Now, though, there won’t be another Eastern Conference team that comes through until Carolina on Jan. 7.

“We have a huge chance right here,” forward Patric Hornqvist said. “If we can get going here it means we’re right back in the mix. … This is going to be a big week for us.

“We get to play on [Thursday] again, and we have to get back on track.”

1 Comment on this post:

By: sharko20 on 12/8/11 at 1:57

The BJ's must be excited to have the Preds coming into their barn tonight. Hope the guys don't embarrass themselves.