Goal differential differentiates Predators from Western Conference's other winning teams

Say this about the Nashville Predators: When they lose, they really lose.

As they prepare for Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders (6 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee), the sixth of their current seven-game road trip, they are one of 11 Western Conference teams that has earned better than a point per game. In their case, they have 18 points in 17 contests.

Among that group, though, they have – by far – the worst goal differential. They are minus-17, to be exact, having scored 37 goals and having allowed 54. Dallas, at minus-6, is the only other one on the negative side.

WESTERN CONFERENCE GOAL DIFFERENTIAL
Teams .500 or better

(Through Monday)

Colorado (14-2-0) plus-26
San Jose (10-2-5) plus-22
Anaheim (15-3-1) plus-21
St. Louis (11-2-2) plus-18
Chicago (12-2-4) plus-17
Los Angeles (11-6-0) plus-9
Minnesota (10-4-4) plus-8
Phoenix (12-4-2) plus-4
Vancouver (11-7-2) even
Dallas (8-7-2) minus-6
Nashville (8-7-2) minus-17

Consider that Nashville’s worst goal differential in a winning season was minus-20 in 2008-09 (213 goals scored, 233 goals allowed). That, of course, was over an 82-game schedule.

It’s not difficult to determine the cause of all this.

Of the Predators’ seven regulation defeats, four have been shutouts – three of them 4-0 or worse. The goal differential in those contests alone is minus-16. In the other 13 games, therefore, that figure is minus-1.

It is worth noting, though, that Nashville only has made the playoffs with a negative goal differential once. That was the first time, 2003-04, when it minus-1 (216 scored, 217 against).

And even with a winning record, the Predators currently are 10th in the conference standings, fifth in the Central Division.