The way to the NHL Playoffs may just be the first and last months of the NHL Regular Season. Last year during the lock out shortened season the Nashville Predators went 2-2-3 in January and 2-9-2 in April. leaving twenty-seven points on the table.
If Nashville was able to earn eighteen of their final twenty-seven points, they would have made the playoffs. You can’t start slow and finish slow and expect to make a run. This coming year Nashville will need to put up around 16 points in October to get a jump on their Western Conference foes. Nashville will play 9 games vs. the West in October. To put it in prospective the Chicago Blackhawks went a combined 16-2-3 in January and April last year.
Number of games Central Division teams will play vs. Western Conference teams October 2013-2014
Chicago Blackhawks 4
Dallas Stars 8
Colorado Avalanche 4
Winnipeg Jets 10
St. Louis Blues 8
Minnesota Wild 8
If further evidence is needed the Western Conference playoff teams had an over all January record of 31-9-7. These are must wins.
Getting off to a fast start can build the momentum needed to succeed. If Nashville is able to get a jump on the West they will be able to take some pressure off of Pekka Rinne, and Shea Weber. It would not shock me if the Predators playoff hopes come down to the last few weeks of the season.
Topics: Barry Trotz, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Lindy Ruff, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, NHL Central Division, Nhl Playoffs, NHL Regular Season, Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber, St. Louis Blues, Western Conference, Winnipeg Jets