With the NHL trade deadline come and gone, this lockout-shortened season is almost at a close. That means we’re past the time in the season where Nashville Predators fans are only concerned with how their favorite team is doing. With the playoffs a distant but still real possibility, the question at this time of the year is:
WHO SHOULD NASHVILLE PREDATORS FANS ROOT FOR IN THE NHL TODAY?
April 6th, 2013
As of this afternoon, sportsclubstats.com lists the Nashville Predators’ chances of making the playoffs at 5.5 percent. That’s a dip of nearly 10 percent from Thursday, when the Preds lost at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets. They can improve their chances by 4.3 percent if they can find a way to beat the Chicago Blackhawks today, but unless they win each of their remaining games they need about a hundred other things to go right.
The first of those would be for the Los Angeles Kings (21-13-3) to beat the Edmonton Oilers (16-14-7) when they face off at 3:00 p.m. CDT. The Oilers are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Predators. A Kings win plus a Preds win would move Nashville ahead of Edmonton in the standings and add an extra 0.5 percent to their playoff chances. This game is on NHL Network today so you can follow along.
The next team you’ll want to pull for is the Colorado Avalanche (12-20-5), who have a chance to play spoiler against the Phoenix Coyotes (16-15-6) at 8:00 p.m. CDT tonight. The Avs haven’t had a hope of making the playoffs for close to a month now, but the Coyotes are in 11th place and clinging to post-season dreams right now. They’re tied with Nashville in points but have games in hand. If they lose, they’ll give Nashville’s playoff chances a 0.6-percent boost.
Finally there are the Calgary Flames (13-19-4), who visit the Vancouver Canucks (20-11-6) at 9:00 p.m. CDT tonight. There’s one possible scenario which sees the Canucks, currently just two points ahead of the Minnesota Wild (21-14-2) for the Northwest Division lead, lose often enough over their last 11 games to be in danger of missing the playoffs. The 0.2-percent chance a Flames win would add to Nashville’s playoff odds reflects that scenario.
If all the right teams win and the Nashville Predators can somehow manage to knock off the Blackhawks, the Preds’ chances could improve to 11.1 percent. That’s a 1-in-9 chance – far from impossible, but definitely heading down the highway toward it and looking for the exit.