The Nashville Predators had the look of a fading team following a brutal five-game road trip that saw them lose each of their last four contests. However, it seems getting back to the Bridgestone Arena has breathed new life into the team, who have ripped off two consecutive home wins including Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I think when you win a couple after the road trip, and not a very good road trip, you got some confidence,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said, via the Tennessean. “But you have to put everything in perspective. We just won two games. We’re trying to dig ourselves out of the road trip … I thought we started off really well. That was the main thing. We forechecked well. We had a lot of detail to our game. We had a lot of jump and kept them in their end pretty well.”
With the win, Nashville (13-13-6) climbed up to 32 points and a tie with Columbus for fourth in the Central Division and 10thin the Western Conference, one point behind the eight-seeded Dallas Stars. Furthermore, the two consecutive wins helped space them from quite an ugly stretch.
In a five-game road stand that started on March 12 and ended on March 19, the Predators went 0-4-1 against a group that featured three teams currently outside the playoff picture — the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Columbus — along with Dallas and a venerable Vancouver Canucks squad currently sitting at 38 points.
It seems that faring as they did in a less-than-intimidating stretch would be a tough pill to swallow, but the Predators have bounced back quite well upon their return to Nashville.