When Predators general manager David Poile takes a look at his team, he sees a work in progress.

The progress is slow.

“Has our goaltending been where we want it to be? Has our defense played to where we want it to be? Is our forwards scoring where we want it to be? Is our power play as good as it can be? Is our penalty killing as good as we think it can be? The answer is no,” Poile said Thursday. “We need to be better in all these areas.”

In their past three games, the Predators (8-8-2) scored one goal and allowed 13. Since franchise goaltender Pekka Rinne went down with a hip infection, they have given up fewer than three goals only once. In that eight game span, they picked up points in four games.

For a team that signed four forwards over the summer in hopes of contending for the Central Division title, that’s simply not good enough.

Going into Thursday, Nashville’s offense ranked 25th in the NHL at 2.11 goals per game. Defensively, the Predators have been just as unproductive, allowing 3.16 goals per game.

Nashville started this seven-game road trip 2-0-1 but has lost its last three going into the finale today against the Penguins.

“We’ve had some good things happen on this trip. The first three games were excellent in terms of wins and a (shootout) loss, scoring lots of goals, and it seemed like a lot of things were going well for our team individually,” Poile said. “Then the last three games, you could say pretty well the opposite. Nothing has gone well virtually for any player or any position.”