The Nashville Predators have almost always made the postseason but have never made it past the second round.
There have been eight seasons were the Nashville Predators have made the postseason. Out of the eight trips, Nashville has only won two series and have never advanced past the second round.
No matter what it may be, injuries, unfortunate bounces or just lack of consistency Nashville has yet to really click come April. This year may be a completely different story, though. Nashville has probably the best blue-line duo in Shea Weber and Roman Josi while they also finally have their first line center in Ryan Johansen. Let’s take a look back on the former playoff series to see what went wrong and how this team can change the typical Nashville postseason.
2004 Nashville vs Detroit
Even though they were the 8th seed, the Nashville Predators had finally made the playoffs. Detroit ended up winning the series in six games but that was after they had faced a scare from Nashville. After the Red Wings won Game 1 and 2 at home, the 1st seed Wings came to Smashville and lost Games 3 and 4 to a determined Nashville team. The young Predators team was not completely ready for the playoffs but showed the rest of the NHL that they will be there one day.
2006 Nashville vs San Jose
In just their second playoff appearance, the Predators earned home-ice advantage as a 4th seed versus the San Jose Sharks. Nashville also opened the series by winning Game 1 (4-3) behind Paul Kariya four assists. That was the only highlight of the entire series. Nashville lost netminder Tomas Vokoun due to blood clots and would lose the next four games to lose the series in five games to the Sharks.
2007 Nashville vs San Jose II
Like a nightmare to Nashville fans, the Preds once again were awarded the pleasure of playing the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs. The highly talented Predators, that featured Jason Arnott, Peter Forsberg, Paul Kariya, and Alexander Radulov, was no match for the Sharks once again. Nashville spent almost the entire series in the penalty box and lost the series in five games just like 2006.
2008 Nashville vs Detroit II
More from Predlines
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Kiefer Sherwood
- Captain Candidates if Nashville Predators Didn’t Have Roman Josi
- The All-Time 25 Games or Less Nashville Predators Lineup
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Cody Glass
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
If 2007 didn’t have enough déjà vu, 2008 surely did. The 8th seeded Predators lost to the top-seeded Red Wings, sound familiar? The Preds lost Game 1 and 2 and made some Smashville magic in Game 3 as
and Jason Arnott had a very memorable moment in a nine-second span scoring two goals. Nashville also won game four but lost the next two and the series in Game 6.
2010 Nashville vs Chicago
The 7th seeded Nashville Predators looked like they were on pace to win their first playoff series as the Predators not only won their first road playoff game but they also won two out of the first three games. In his first playoff series, Pekka Rinne stopped 84 of 86 shots in the first three games. After Nashville lost a heartbreaking Game 5 in OT, they never fully recovered and lost the series in Game 6 on home ice.
2011 Nashville vs Anaheim; Nashville vs Vancouver
It took the 6th attempt but the Nashville Predators finally won their first playoff series ever against the Anaheim Ducks. The series started off with physical back-in-forth tussle that started a mini rivalry. In Game 5, Captain Shea Weber pulled some late game heroics tying the game with under a minute left forcing OT. Former Predator Jerred Smithson scored the game-winning goal to send Nashville back home in the drivers seat which ultimately saw the Preds win their first playoff series.
The Nashville Predators were then faced with the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the 2nd round. Nashville lost the series in six games and only won both of their games on the road. Even though that is not how the fans nor management had pictured the season ending, it gave everyone hope because the playoff jinx was over.
2012 Nashville vs Detroit III; Nashville vs Phoenix
It took three tries but the Nashville Predators finally beat the Divisional rival Detroit Red Wings. The Predators also advanced to the second round for back-to-back seasons for the first time ever. Nashville’s high-powered offense and stingy defense helped Nashville beat the Wings in just five games.
The fourth-seeded Predators then faced the task of playing the third seed Phoenix Coyotes. Nashville lost the series in five games and could not get any offense going nor could win any faceoffs. It also did not help the quest for victory when former Predators Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn came back to the team hotel after curfew causing a one-game suspension for both players.
2015 Nashville vs Chicago II
Nashville had a lot of struggles in the 2015 NHL Playoffs. After losing Game 1 in OT, Nashville won Game 2 (5-2) but lost Shea Weber for the rest of the series with a lower-body injury. The series was never the same again and just seemed out of Nashville’s reach the whole time. The Predators looked like all of their life had been drained as the returned home down 1-3 in the series after they lost Game 4 in triple overtime. Once the Predators made it home you could see the intensity in the air. Rookie Filip Forsberg was left off of the Calder Trophy list about an hour before puck drop and returned the favor by scoring the first-ever Postseason hat-trick for the Nashville Predators. Nashville ended losing in Game 6 while Chicago went on to win the Cup.
This year should and will be different. Nashville plays Anaheim for the first time in the playoffs since beating them in 2011. The same story lines apply in this year’s series like the previous series. Anaheim has goaltending issues and lack of scoring identity after Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Nashville finally has their first line center in Ryan Johansen. Behind Johansen, Nashville is still stacked with scoring. Forsberg, Neal, Fisher, “Playoff Version” Colin Wilson, Smith, Ribeiro, and Jarnkrok can all carry the load for scoring.
Nashville might also have the best blue-line group in the league with Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. Not to mention Anthony Bitetto and the savvy veteran Barrett Jackman. Anaheim does have the top PP and PK units in the league but that should not scare the Predators.
The National Media does not seem to care about the Nashville Predators. No one is picking the Preds to win the series. No one is even giving Nashville a chance. If the Nashville Predators play their brand of hockey that got them to where they are now, they will be in the second round. It will not be an easy task but Nashville can and should win this series.