In the wake of a dismal three-game road trip, the Predators claimed a young forward off waivers for the second time in as many days on Tuesday.
General manager David Poile hopes adding Zach Boychuk and Bobby Butler will help boost an offense averaging just 2.04 goals per game, worst in the NHL. Nashville scored a combined three goals in losing its past three games.
Whether more significant roster changes are made before the April 3 trading deadline remains to be seen.
“These next three weeks are really critical as to where we are,” Poile said. “Between now and April 3, the players have to play a lot better to put our team in a playoff position, and put me in a position that we’re a buyer at the trading deadline.
“The flip side of that is our continued play like this — if it doesn’t change — could put us in a position where we’re a seller at the trading deadline. In either scenario, there are going to be changes made, changes to strengthen our team or changes to go in a different direction.”
Poile was especially critical of the forwards, who have been in a collective slump for most of the season.
Second-year pro Gabriel Bourque leads the team with six goals, and fourth-year pro Colin Wilson leads the team with 15 points, but veterans David Legwand, Mike Fisher, Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat and Patric Hornqvist are not producing the way they have in years past.
“Our forwards are not getting it done,” Poile said. “We can’t slice it any other way. We need to make some changes. We need to give other guys more opportunities, either (putting them) higher in the lineup or taking certain guys out of the lineup. We need to be better. It’s just not happening for our forwards this year.”
Predators hope acquisitions jolt offense
Tennessean | Mar 6