After three weeks of action, the NHL season is in full swing. The Predators sit atop the Central division with twelve points and a 5-1-2 record. There is a long season ahead, but the Predators look really promising coming out of the gates. Beginning October 29th, the Preds begin a two week road trip against the Edmonton Oilers, who have stumbled coming out of the gates this season.
The Nashville Predators have been under the radar this reason lying underneath the power houses of the Western Conference. Nashville began 9th in the ESPN power rankings before the season opened and have rolled ever since. Nashville had gotten a point in every game prior to October 25th, when they got blanked 3-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, but still are at 5 in the power rankings.
The Predators had made some offseason changes, getting its first coaching change in the franchise’s history, along with some new faces on the ice. Nashville acquired Penguins forward James Neal for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in a trade as well as some free-agent signings. Nashville signed two former Dallas Stars captains, Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro; as well as top forward Olli Jokinen.
These goal scorers are what Nashville has been missing to carry them through the playoffs. It takes a bit of the pressure of Predators captain Shea Weber, who led the team in points last year. The Predators have not had a 60 plus point scorer since J-P Dumont in the 2008-’09 season. Neal had 64 points last season. Nashville has never made it to the Western Conference Final, but definitely have the tools to do so this year.
*Stats provided by NHL.com
Edited by Will Lomas