Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 11/5/14
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images No matter what was said in the locker room after last night’s demoralizing 4-0 loss to the struggling Phoenix Coyotes, the actuality of the situation is very straightforward. Nashville’s offense, while potent last season and not without the ability to score, has stumbled out of the starting gate to begin this condensed season. While the season hasn’t really begun the way the team probably envisioned it would, especially for Pekka Rinne and his inconceivable 0-2-3 start, Nashville’s hesitancy to put the puck on the net has been there Achilles’ Heel. In 6 games so far this season, the Predators have averaged 23.2 shots on net against their opponents, enough to put them dead last in the entire NHL and a full 2.3 shots behind the next closest team in the Dallas Stars. What’s mind-boggling about that and what makes it so interesting is how far apart teams are in the “shots forced” category going up the ladder: Nashville – 23.2 Dallas – 25.5 Anaheim – 25.5 Montreal – 27.2 Philadelphia – 27.3 Minnesota – 27.8 Los Angeles – 28.0 Florida – 28.2 New Jersey – 28.5 Tampa Bay – 28.6 Chicago –  28.7 Nashville, Dallas, and Anaheim all rank in at the bottom of the league in shots forced. However as the stats begin to even out with Montreal, teams begin to only be separated by (on average) 0.18 shots a game. Nashville is 2.3 shots a game behind Dallas and Anaheim, and 4 shots a game behind the rest of the pack. The Predators inability to force enough shots has also cost them on the scoresheet as they average the second fewest goals per game (1.67) only ahead of the Florida Panthers (1.60). Last season, Nashville averaged 2.83 goals a game and 27.6 shots on net. While there is only a 6 game sample size for the Predators to take from so far, it’s very apparent what the outcome has shown because of it. Looking directly at the player output for the Predators based on their shot totals: Patric Hornqvist* – 16 shots on net, 1 goal Shea Weber – 16 shots on net, 0 goals Martin Erat – 13 shots on net, 2 goals Mike Fisher – 13 shots on net, 1 goal Roman Josi – 12 shots on net, 0 goals Colin Wilson – 10 shots on net, 1 goal David Legwand – 9 shots on net, 2 goals Nick Spaling – 8 shots on net, 1 goal Ryan Ellis – 7 shots on net, 1 goal Brandon Yip – 7 shots on net, 1 goal (* = injured player) Smith (5 shots), Kostitsyn (3 shots), Halischuk (3 shots) have yet to register a goal either. Gabriel Bourque, who has returned for the past 4 games, has yet to even register a shot on goal in his time back. Granted, the entire issue isn’t about how many shots are forced on net, however more about the quality of the shots. Nashville did put pressure on goaltenders Chad Johnson and Viktor Fasth during their separate outings, however for one reason or another it just didn’t pay off. Take for example last night against Chad Johnson. The second period was full of Nashville’s chances at scoring an equalizer or perhaps even multiple goals and take the lead, yet not being able to corral a puck or passing with a clear chance at burying a puck cost Nashville at least 2 goals last night. One 20 minute period, however, of contained pressure on a goaltender isn’t going to ultimately produce points in the standings for a scoring-by-committee team like Nashville. The Predators only forced 3 (2 even strength and 1 powerplay) shots on Chad Johnson in the first period (only attempting 8 total) compared to the 5 shots (and 16 attempted) for the Coyotes. Nashville did, though, finish the game progressively better in each period (3 shots, 7 shots, and 11 shots in each). Ultimately, shots on net has always been at a premium for Nashville over the course of their existence (only finishing with an average over 30 shots forced on goal once in the past decade), finishing at the bottom of the league in shots forced hasn’t been promising though. Since the 1998-1999 season, no team that finishes dead last in average shots on goal has made the playoffs. Should Nashville be worried? While it’s very early in the season for anyone to jump ship, it’s a definite cause for concern. The Predators are going to have to dig deep and raise the shot count or else they may be in danger of becoming part of a disconcerting statistic.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Metta World Peace expresses interest to coach St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' to help Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.