The Nashville Predators play 12 of their last 18 games at home. Theoretically, they have a chance to claw back into the playoff hunt.
But they need to reverse their form quickly. The Predators struggled through a 1-4 road trip while allowing 20 goals.
Injuries wiped out forwards Patric Hornqvist, Paul Gaustad, Colin Wilson as well as defensemen Hal Gill and Scott Hannan. Some youthful fill-ins have appeared a bit overwhelmed at times.
That was evident during a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
“We lost, and some of the mistakes we made is sort of say a broken record,” coach Barry Trotz told reporters afterward. “Some guys are making some blunders. We didn’t quit at the end, that was a positive, but positive doesn’t get you points. Close but no cigar. You need 20 guys. Right now we’re a little shorthanded, guys are trying to stay in the league, some guys are trying to make the team, some guys are trying to make a difference."
Trotz is also miffed at some of his veteran players, most notably Sergei Kostitsyn.
"Some guys, I’m not happy with their game," he said. "They have to give us more. And I can go top to bottom. There’s some guys in that locker room who can give us a lot more, and that’s the part that bothers me.”