With only five regular season games left, the Nashville Predators are poised to make another deep run into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I realize many of you may have slept through the season but you are ready to dust off your Preds gear and get jacked for the playoffs.
What a fan you are. A true die hard.
Never the less, Nashville needs every ounce of gold we can get, so welcome back kiddo. There are a few things that happened this season, and still a few things yet to happen, that you need to know about. Let me fill you in so that you can sound like you were all in during the season as these next five games unfold and into the playoffs we go.
The Predators are currently first in the NHL with 111 points. That’s a 5 point lead over Boston and a 6 point lead over Tampa Bay. This is important because the Predators are trying to win this little thing called the Presidents’ Trophy. They hand that trophy out to the team that finishes the season with the most points. It guarantees home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, which is kinda handy seeing as how Nashville is 26-8-4 inside Bridgestone. They do kinda well there. Not sure why. Probably has something to do with the 20,000 lunatic fans.
Nashville leads their division by 7 points over Winnipeg and they lead the Western Conference by 6 over Las Vegas. These numbers are important because, along with the Presidents Trophy, the Preds have never won their division or conference. It’s been a good year, you should’ve paid attention.
The team is going to look a little different than you remember. In the off-season we lost James Neal in the entry draft to Las Vegas. But, we acquired Scott Hartnell, Alexi Emelin, and Nick Bonino. Yes, the same Bonino that banged two goals against us in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. We forgave him. You should too.
During the season we waived enforcer Cody McCloud and made trades for Kyle Turris and Ryan Hartman. Also, Mike Fisher got tired of being at home with Carrie (what an idiot, am I right?) and decided to come out of retirement to help with our playoff push. Meanwhile, I have been making sure Carrie is taken care of. (Let me have my dreams.)
I know, that’s quite a few changes. May wanna study that part pretty hard, eh? But, there’s one more that you need to know about! The Predators drafted Eeli Tolvanen with the 30th overall pick in last years draft. Since then, Eeli has been burning it up in the KHL. He scored 36 points which is a record for an 18 year old in the KHL. Also, he played in the Olympics for Finland where he had 9 points in 5 games. As of Wednesday he has joined the Predators and should make his debut within these final 5 games. He is kind of a big deal. Maybe remember him too, okay?
You have missed a remarkable season by our goalies. Pekka Rinne is 3rd in Goals Against Average with 2.25, 3rd in Save Percentage with .929, 2nd in Wins with 41, and 1st in Shutouts with 8. He is a very strong, if not the favorite for the Vezina Trophy. That’s the trophy they give to the best goalie in the NHL. You knew that. Of course you did. Pekka has never won the trophy and if he doesn’t this year the system is rigged.
Juuse Saros, Pekka’s backup, has also had a remarkable year. With 9 wins and a .925 save percentage, Juuse is showing that he will be ready when Pekka passes the reigns down. Also, we won’t have to close our eyes this year if they play him in the playoffs. What a blessing.
Victor Arvidsson leads the team in points and goals with 60 and 29, respectively. PK Subban leads the team in assists with 40.
It’s still unclear who the Predators will play in the first round. Right now it would be Anaheim, but Colorado is only a point behind them. It’s a mess for the Western Conference Wild Card so you may want to look that over yourself. I can’t do everything for you.
There’s some basics to get you by. Maybe study up on the whole offsides and icing thing too. You struggled with that last year. Welcome back on the bandwagon. We are glad to have you.