When they are healthy the Nashville Predators have one of the most complete rosters in the NHL. The problem for them over the past month is that they haven’t really been very healthy, and it has taken a huge toll on them.
A quick recap on the injury situation they have been dealing with…
- P.K. Subban missed more than a month-and-a-half and just returned two games ago.
- Filip Forsberg has been sidelined for more than a month and is probably a couple of weeks away from returning.
- Viktor Arvidsson missed 24 games (returning two games ago along with Subban), while Kyle Turris has missed 10 over the course of the season.
That is a lot of firepower out of the lineup, and in many of those cases, at the same time.
The result was a six-game losing streak heading into Monday’s game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
After facing a pair of two-goal deficits in that game (2-0 and 3-1), they were able to storm back with five consecutive goals to pick up a much-needed 6-3 win.
Ryan Johansen had a huge afternoon with three points, and their bottom-six had some big contributions as well.
What’s incredible about their recent slide is that even with it they are still in second place in the Central Division and, after their win in Washington, just two points back of the Winnipeg Jets for the top spot.
That is after losing six games in a row and going just 8-10-1 since the middle of November when this run of injuries started. It is a statement on good this team is when it is at full strength and how much of a cushion they built earlier in the season.
Now they are starting to get healthy again.
With Subban and Arvidsson back in the lineup and Forsberg getting closer they are inching their way back to full-strength, and it’s coming at just the right time for them.
After hosting the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night (a very winnable game, even if it is part of a back-to-back), they set out on a six-game road trip which isn’t exactly full of the NHL’s powerhouses. It should be a great opportunity to make up for the recent slump and get back on track, stacking some wins together.
We know what this team is capable of when it’s healthy. Two years ago it was in the Stanley Cup Final and was winning the Presidents’ Trophy a year ago. We just haven’t had an opportunity to see them at full health very often this season. When we have, we’ve seen a championship contender that has looked just as good, if not even better, than the past two Predators teams.
Perhaps Monday’s game is the spark they need to get back to that level.