The Nashville Predators continue to face the very real chance they will miss the playoffs this season, and if they do it will be easy to figure out why. On Monday the Predators saw a game head past regulation for the second straight time, but were unable to capitalize and get the extra point. The Predators’ eight losses in overtime or shootouts is the most of any team in the Western Conference, and second only to the New Jersey Devils in the entire league. The Predators currently sit 11th in the standings, just two points away from eighth. Had they gotten an extra point in four of their games that went into an extra frame, they would be in the mix for sixth place.
The Western Conference race continues to tighten as the final month of the season begins, and points are at an incredibly high premium. The Predators need to look at what they can do to fix their scoring issues soon, so they aren’t left with regrets at the end of the month when they miss the playoffs by one or two points. A 1-0 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday and Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks both showcased the goaltending skill of Pekka Rinne but highlight the lack of offensive support he has had for most of the season. David Legwand and Taylor Beck scored on Monday, but the absence of center Mike Fisher (who had been on an eight-game point streak before suffering an upper-body injury) was noticeable.
It would be a shame to waste the great efforts of Rinne this season, and if the Predators figure out to score more goals they should be able to reach the playoffs, in part thanks to the fact that they have at least taken a point from 22 of their 36 games.