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Red Hot Predators Join the Playoff Party

The Nashville Predators bounce back from a slow start to reach the playoffs for the ninth time in the last decade

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 3 min read

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us, and the pieces of the playoff puzzle are filling up. Entering this insane day of NHL action, five playoff spots remained overall, with three of the open spots being in the Western Conference. Two of the spots could have been filled on this night, as the Nashville Predators and the Los Angeles Kings could have locked in spots. All the Preds needed was one point, that's all. Just get to overtime. It didn't look like it would happen, as the Preds were down 3-1 against the Winnipeg Jets. Nashville did manage to tie it up, and the third period managed to end with the score tied at three. The Preds did lose in OT, but the one point they got ended up placing them in the playoffs.

The Predators are coming off a disappointing year that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in nine years. They've only won one playoff series since their magical run to the Cup Final in 2017, and their last appearance saw them swept in a series where they didn't have an in-game lead until the third period of Game Four. This season, the Preds were actually behind the playoff line entering American Thanksgiving, and even as the season progressed, it looked like playoffs was unlikely. It took an 18-game points streak (16-0-2) to right the ship, and now, the Predators will be part of the Sweet 16 this season.

Per usual, Filip Forsberg is leading the way for the Predators, as his 43 goals and 89 points are tops on the team. However, he has to be looking to avenge his last playoff appearance, which saw him with only one point total. At least it was a goal. Forsberg continues to be a force for the forwards, along with Ryan O'Reilly and Gustav Nyquist, the latter known for clutch goals.

Regarding the blueliners, only one name tops that bill.

Entering the 2021-22 season, it seemed like Roman Josi was losing his luster. His career high for goals was 16, and his career high for points was 65. The 2021-22 season changed things. 96 points (23 G/73 A). The luster was back. Then, the following season was a disappointment for Josi, as well as the whole team, but this year sees Josi leading all defensemen in goals with 21--ahead of Cale Makar and Rasmus Dahlin (20 each). Josi's 80 points only trail the aforementioned Forsberg on the team, so it seems like that luster is back in some ways.

In addition, this season is the Predators' first under new coach Andrew Brunette. Brunette (who was part of the Predators' inaugural season as a player) is coming off replacing Joel Quenneville as Panthers head coach during that 2021-22 season, and with the Preds being playoff bound in his first year as HC, one has to figure that Brunette is Adams-worthy this season.

As a result of the Predators losing a point in the standings, the Central Division's top three is all locked in, and the Preds are not part of it, unfortunately. The Preds are officially a Wild Card in the Western Conference, and as of now, they sit in the #1 Wild Card position (they were the #2 Wild Card in the 2022 playoffs). Are the Predators capable of pulling off a first-round upset? I say they are; after all, their 2017 run started with a huge first-round upset win.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    You've done amazing on writing about the Nashville Predators.

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