In their past couple of games, the Nashville Predators have found their offense. After wallowing through a four-game losing streak that saw them score a grand total of three goals, the team has exploded for six in their last two games.
Granted, those games were against the Ottawa Senators, who give up the 28th-most goals in the league, and the Buffalo Sabres, who are well, the Buffalo Sabres. Regardless, it has to be encouraging for the team to be finding the back of the net so much even though they’re still only scoring an average of 2.41 goals a game (24th).
Craig Smith has been leading the charge, having reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career last night. So far, he’s the only Predator to do so. After a horrendous season a year ago, Smith has rebounded to become Nashville’s best forward. Some of his magic is rubbing off on new linemate, Colin Wilson.
After having a few games to adjust to the spot vacated by David Legwand, Wilson has looked like a different player. They key will be for him to keep up that level of play as he has been known to disappear for long stretches of time.
The team has a tough back-to-back set coming up this weekend against the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. Both of those teams are Central division powerhouses, and both could realistically challenge for the Stanley Cup this year. There is more than a 20-point gap between them and Nashville, which says all it needs to about the disparity in rosters. Still, there’s no doubt fans would rather lose 5-4 to Stanley Cup contenders than 1-0 to bubble teams.
For the remaining games, it’s all about the Predators making it entertaining for their fans and finding the right combinations of chemistry that will benefit them next year. Being consistently inconsistent is the reason why they are going to be on the outside looking in for the second straight year. Keeping up scoring at the clip they are, even if it is too late, will at least make the end of their season a little easier to bear.