For slumping Preds, schedule not affording many breaks


There are not the best of times for Nashville.

The Preds are reeling, having gone 2-7-1 in their last nine games. They’ve also lost six straight — in regulation, no less — meaning they’ve been stuck on 89 points for more than two weeks, losing top spot in the NHL and having their Central Division lead whittled away.

Now, they’re without a home. Well, temporarily without a home.

This week, Bridgestone Arena hosts the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, meaning the Preds will spend the next four games on the road — a swing that begins tonight in Arizona and continues on through San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim.

It’s a tough stretch, to say the least.

There’s a decent chance Nashville bumps the slump tonight against a bad Arizona team — the Coyotes have just one win in their last 12 games, and have lost twice to the Preds this season — but from there, things become much more difficult. San Jose is in full-fledged desperation mode, fighting for its playoff life; same goes for the Kings, who are currently on the outside of the postseason picture and have played Nashville tight this season, losing once in a shootout and once in OT.

After the L.A. game — which goes on Saturday night — the Preds play the second of a back-to-back in Anaheim on Sunday, against a Ducks team they’ve failed to beat this season.

As such, you can expect a pretty spirited effort tonight in Glendale. The Preds know they’ve got a tough stretch following the Coyotes game, and admit this current losing streak is gnawing away at them.

“A lot of guys in here are (angry) and frustrated,” captain Shea Weber said, per the Tennessean. “We’ve got to find a way. We’re working at this.

“It’s not going to come easy, we know that.”