For struggling Preds, key stretch starts tonight

The Nashville Predators have lost four straight games. The last three defeats have been outright losses by a combined score of 13-5.

Tonight the Preds are in Edmonton to take on the Oilers, after which they’ll travel to Calgary for a game tomorrow. Then, on Thursday, they’ll play for the third time in four nights against the Canucks in Vancouver.

In other words, things could easily get worse for Nashville before they get better.

“We’re an easy team to play against right now,” forward Patric Hornqvist told the Tennessean today. “We know what we have to do and we have to show it — come out like a new group of guys, take the puck deep, hold onto it and hopefully create some cycles and be hard to check.”

Nobody needs to tell Preds fans how important this season is. Even with goalie Pekka Rinne signed for the long run, it’s still up in the air whether Ryan Suter or Shea Weber will be part of the team for much longer.

Obviously it’s still early in the schedule, but the next three games are key ones for the Predators. They’re already three points out of a playoff spot and they don’t want that gap to grow too wide, especially while they’re negotiating with Suter.

Just something to keep an eye on this week.

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