In the midst of an eight-game win streak, the Nashville Predators are making a statement as they come down the home stretch of the regular season.
With just 17 games left before the start of the playoffs, the Nashville Predators are playing some of the best hockey they’ve played all season. With five of the eight consecutive wins coming on the road, Nashville is showing that they can win wherever they are, whenever they want.
A streak like this, late in the season, is exactly what you love to see as a Predators fan. Before this streak that started on February 19th, the Predators had lost 4 of their last 6 games. However, the boys in gold turned it around the last few weeks with a win streak that is tied for the best in franchise history.
Coming from Behind
Come from behind wins have been a specialty for the Predators this season, and especially lately. In the last four games, Nashville has come from behind to pull out four wins on the road. The Predators started their road trip with a wild, 6-5 comeback win at Winnipeg, a game that game Nashville a crucial two-point boost over the Jets. The last three wins have pushed that lead over Winnipeg to 8 points, and the lead over Vegas to four points.
After that first win, the Predators pulled out three scrappy comeback wins in four days. That right there is something that a championship-caliber team does. They find a way to win on the road and don’t quit when they get down.
Especially this late in the season, that is a great thing for Nashville, and a scary thing to see as a Western Conference opponent. The Predators have proved that no lead is safe and that they will not quit on a game, even on the road.
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Pekka Rinne has won his last 5 starts, and although he hasn’t been perfect, he’s been just what the Predators have needed. He has a .947 save percentage over the win streak, and has a 2.0 GAA. When you pair his play with an offense that is averaging over 3 goals per game, you’re set up for success.
With 34 wins this season, Rinne is on pace to beat his record of 43 wins in a season, that he set back in 2011-2012. However, Rinne played 73 games that season. He’s only played 47 this season. That being said, Rinne is being as efficient as ever, as shown by his .681 quality start percentage, 15 points above the league average.
One of the things that has blessed Nashville all season is their balanced offensive attack. Paired with a solid blue line, the offense is thriving this year.
The Predators could very well finish this season with 6 players at 50+ points. P.K. Subban sits at 49 right now, Viktor Arvidsson has 48, and Filip Forsberg has 45. Roman Josi has 44, and 41 for both Ryan Johansen and Kevin Fiala. Craig Smith has 39 as well, and 5 points in his last 5 games, making 50 very doable.
The top scorers on Nashville’s roster span across multiple offensive lines, and two defensive pairs, making the Predators very dangerous at almost all times. It seems that no matter who is on the ice, the Predators can threaten, and drive possession that leads to points.
After sweeping their four-game road trip, the Predators head back Bridgestone for four games. They’ll face Dallas, Anaheim, New Jersey, and Winnipeg over the next week. The Predators have hit the gas as of late, distancing themselves from the rest of the Western Conference. However, they cannot get comfortable with a lead over Vegas. Nashville must continue to streak, and go into the playoffs as hot as possible.
They’re streaking at the right time; however, with 17 games to go, the season is far from over.
The boys in gold look to set the franchise record with 9 consecutive wins, on Tuesday night. Nashville is hot, but there is no reason to cool off anytime soon.
Go Preds Go!