Preds' Prepare for Another Dance with The Stars

2022-06-21

For the 4th straight year, the Nashville Predators have made it to the show. And for the 4th straight year, they’ll yet again meet their rivals, the Dallas Stars, in the playoffs again. “You couldn’t have drawn it up any other way.” Wolf said. Death, taxes, and the Predators playing the Stars.

 

With the final week of the 2021-2022 regular season being this week, no playoff matchup is determined yet other than Nashville vs Dallas, which was already set about 4 weeks ago, oddly enough. There’s no doubt that the hockey gods want these two clubs to play each other.

 

At the mid-way mark of the season, the Predators were struggling to find playoff positioning with a 18-15-7 record in 40 games. “I may have been a bit critical of our record at the time, calling it ‘embarrassing.’ But once the landscape of the EHE standings began to take shape, I realized we were playing well enough to be alongside the upper echelon of teams. Still, we expected better of ourselves at the time with the roster and personnel we had.” The Predators slightly improved in their next 40 games going 24-13-3 to nestle their way to top of the central division behind the Arizona Coyotes.

 

But as the story goes, yes the Predators have been successful, in fact they have made the final 4 by reaching the conference finals twice in the last 3 years, the other time making the conference semi-finals. All 3 times being bounced by… you guessed it, the Dallas Stars. “You know, I think a lot of people don’t realize, we’ve played the most playoff games out of any team in the EHE other than the Stars in the last 3 years. We get counted out a lot from what I hear with league chatter due to our underacheiving regular seasons, and never appear to be in the conversation as a contender, but we’ve been performing as one of the best teams in the league when it matters most.” Not well enough though, the Predators have the ultimate test ahead of them, can they get past Dallas?

 

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which team it is, whether it’s Dallas, or Arizona or whoever. We need to take it one game at a time and one series (hopefully) at a time, doesn’t matter what emblem is on the other side of the ice, I think our biggest testament and battle is against ourselves. Can we push through and earn a Stanley Cup final berth for the first time in our history?.” Assistant GM, Peter Brand quipped.

 

The Predators got to make most of it this post-season, a lot of questions surround the team this off-season which should be Wolf’s busiest in recent years. With some big ticket UFAs on the roster having expiring deals and not many reinforcements in terms of prospects graduating onto the main club next season, Wolf is yet again going to have to work some wizardry to keep the Predators competitive and provide McDavid and Crosby help. Slated to lose their #1 right winger, #1 defenseman, and #1 goaltender this off-season to free agency, the Predators may just be one of the more active teams this summer in an attempt to stay competitive. “Oh, we made some ballsy trades this past season in hopes to improve our chances this post-season, but we are fully aware that the pendulum is going to swing the other way and we’re going to have our work cut out from us this off-season to stay competitive.” GM Eric Wolf admitted.

 

For a team that has kept its core in tact over the years and has not had much player movement within its ranks…. something is going to give this summer and some big changes may be forced to happen in Nashville, but what?




Kyle Phillips

Great article. But why are you already looking ahead to the off-season? ;)

Preds' Prepare for Another Dance with The Stars
The Nashville brass prepares for another tilt with their arch-rivals

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Martins Auzins Imagine the players reading that?
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