Predators grinding through a brutal March


Preds.jpgThe most notable effect the Olympic break has on the NHL season is
how the league is ‘forced’ to pack the games into a much more condensed
schedule. Of course the NHL could alter the season a bit to ensure that
teams don’t get burned out at all, but that would just be giving into
the ‘evil’ IOC and their dastardly Olympic Games.

In any case, the Nashville Predators are finishing up a month in
which they played 17 games in 31 days; a brutal schedule for anyone, but
especially for a team that is hoping to ramp it up for the playoffs.
The Predators have been one of the more underrated teams this season
while they just continue to win and win, but lately it seems like the
brutal schedule may be getting to them. From
John Glennon of the Tennessean:

“You go through some stretches where it comes easy and
then you just get away from some slight fundamentals,” Predators
forward Steve Sullivan said. “If you’re just going to shoot from 60 feet
out, goaltenders in the NHL are going to make those saves. We have to
find ways to create some traffic in front of the net, take (the
goalie’s) eyes away from him and just take better shots.”

Predators have been shut out twice in three games, and looked a bit
lethargic in a loss to the Dallas Stars last week.

Just another
notch on the argument against the NHL taking part in the Olympics, as
it’s painfully easy to see how the break has affected some teams. Some
went into the break looking great and ready to make a run then come back
from two weeks off and fell flat on their faces. Not every team has had
the same problem, so it’s just a matter of adjusting it seems and some
do it better than others.

But a tough schedule like what the
Predators went through? They’ll make it to the playoffs just fine, but
they’ll have no gas left when they get there.