The Nashville Predators have never been bad enough to become elite-level competitors in the NHL.
The Nashville Predators find themselves nearing the midpoint of what has been a wildly confusing mash of a season. Sitting two points outside of the playoff picture, Smashville is littered with question marks about the team’s performance and fans are loudly rummaging for answers.
A quick recap- the Predators offseason was widely praised by pundits across the league, and the team entered the 2016-17 season with the highest expectations in franchise history. Then hockey started, and with it an abysmal October, seeing Nashville’s campaign begin 2-5-1.
November came as redemption. Superb goaltending, good front end play, and a 9-3-2 record. It looked like October was only an adjustment period and the chemistry had arrived as the Nashville Predators ripped through the month as one of the hottest teams in the league. And then, December came. And with it, a subpar 4-6-3 record.
So what’s the deal? Is this team good? Bad? What’s holding the Nashville Predators back from being the Stanley Cup contender they are supposed to be? Is the issue just consistency? Or is it rooted in the coaching? What about issues of effort, system, leadership, gypsy curses, and spoiled chicken soup?
The truth: the Nashville Predators are the product of league parity. The franchise has very simply never been bad enough to turn into a consistently threatening Stanley Cup contender.
How and why does league parity have such an effect on the Predators? Let’s take a deeper look: