Nashville Predators: What a win versus the Blues means for Nashville

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

A win is a win and means two more points in the standings. But, if the Nashville Predators come away with a win tonight in St. Louis, it means more.

Historically speaking, the Nashville Predators have faired well in their games against the St. Louis Blues. In 105 games, the Predators are winning the all-time series 49-41-5. Last season, the Predators not only won three of five regular season battles, they ended the Blues playoffs.

But that was last season, and these are not the same teams. Not even close.

You can argue for both teams to be among the NHL’s top teams right now. But, one can also say the St. Louis Blues are THE best in the league and win that argument. They lead the Western Conference in scoring and points. They are second in the NHL in even-strength scoring. The Blues average eight penalty minutes per game. They plays clean, fundamental hockey. Comparing them to the San Antonio Spurs would not be far-fetched.

The Nashville Predators have an up-hill battle, but…

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…what if they win?

A win is more than just two points for the Predators. And, while it would not mean taking over first or second in the tough Central Division, a major statement would be made.

So far this season, Nashville done what it needs to in order to be considered a top team.

They beat the Chicago Blackhawks on the road. Should be two wins, but allowing only three goals is a progress.

The Predators battled – literally – the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. Sure, it was a 4-0 shutout, but the shows Sidney Crosby and friends a willingness to get physical and not be pushed around.

Then, they beat the Penguins at Bridgestone.

Their first West Coast road trip? Successful. Wins against Anaheim and Los Angeles piloted the Predators to their current success.

Wins against the Eastern Conference? Sure! Count the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets among those victories.

Beat competition playing above .500? Every game they have played except against Montreal has been against winning teams.

But, beat the Blues in St. Louis? This year, it means something more. I undervalued the Blues coming into this season. Their front line may well be the best in all of hockey, as the trio of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko already account for 86 points. Thirty-three of those points are goals. Their duo of goalies both allow 2.74 goals or less per game.

Add to this a top-five defense, and you have a complete team. The most complete the Predators have faced.

The best team the Predators have faced.

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And, to quote Ric Flair, “To be the best, you have to beat the best.” A win for the Nashville Predators would mean talk of being the best can truly start.