With the winning streak sitting at five games for the Nashville Predators, let’s dive into how impressive this feat is and how long it lasts.
Reeling off five wins in a row like the Nashville Predators have done may not seem like much to the average fan, but it’s quite the accomplishment. Casual fans may not realize the parity that exists in the NHL, and how tough it is to stay on a hot streak. The Predators still have plenty of things to work on, but they’re riding a wave that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
The Predators have taken down some very formidable opponent during this winning streak that dates back to November 3rd. Three of the five wins end in regulation, and those winning margins are by multiple goals. They’re outscoring their opponents 22-14 during this streak, not counting the shootout goal against Pittsburgh. To put a little perspective on this, check out this nugget from Adam Vingan of the Tennessean:
Their victims during the streak
What makes this winning streak really impressive is the opponents. You can make a solid argument that every team that they’ve beaten over this win streak ends up in the playoffs. They’re not beating up on bottom feeders or teams that lack elite talent.
Coming off of two embarrassing losses, this winning streak started with a gutsy win over Anaheim. That matchup is always a wildcard, and the western road trip left little room for optimism. However, we may end up circling this game down the road as a turning point in the season.
The win over the Kings is still surprising, even against a backup goaltender. The Kings are one of the top teams in the West, and playing the back end of a back-to-back is always challenging. Resiliency was the reason for this win as the Predators had to fight off three goals in the third period by the Kings to narrowly steal the game. Viktor Arvidsson secured the win with a thrilling breakaway goal in overtime.
After a seemingly comfortable win in Columbus, the Predators had to control their emotions with Pittsburgh coming to town. No one would’ve beaten up the Predators for losing the win streak at this point, but they exorcised some demons and take advantage of another backup goaltender.
The latest victim of the Nashville Predators is Washington. Another game full of offense has them where they are now. They’re getting two points per game during a difficult part of their schedule.
How long can it last?
Sadly enough, all winning streaks eventually come to an end. This streak probably won’t survive the past the weekend, unfortunately. Two tricky divisional opponents await with Minnesota and Colorado. The Nashville Predators haven’t seen Minnesota yet this season, and Minnesota is in the midst of a winning streak of their own.
Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk has three consecutive shutouts, and he’ll do his best to keep his streak alive. The Predators are running into a solid goaltender that is the perfect remedy to shut down a hot team. If the Predators have another offensive outburst against Dubnyk, then we really have something special unfolding. Even snagging a point in overtime will be an accomplishment.
If they get through Minnesota somehow, then Colorado might be trap game as the Predators come back home. Either way, I believe the winning streak ends before the weekend is over. One of the two division foes will temporarily cool off the Predators. However, the Predators are clearly ready to make another deep run into the playoffs. They just have to avoid the pesky losing streaks to keep pace with a tough division.