Following three successful seasons that saw the Predators establish themselves as one of the top teams in the Western Conference - getting through to the second round of the playoffs two years in a row - the team took a major step back last season, finishing second-last in the West with a disappointing 16-23-9 record. So what went wrong? The Preds have always been a team that wins games primarily on top-notch goaltending and strong defense. However, even though the team was solid defensively for most of the season (27.8 shots allowed per game, eighth in the league), they were surprisingly lax in allowing goals (2.77 goals per game, 20th). Furthermore, despite already being an average offensive team at best, the Preds struggled even more to find the back of the net last season, tying the Panthers for the lowest goals-per-game in the NHL with 2.27. Looking ahead, the team will need to see a rebound from some of its better players (including Patric Hornqvist, Colin Wilson, Craig Smith and
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