Best start in team history
The Predators have never started better than this team did in 2005-2006.
Following the terrible lockout of 2004 that witnessed the NHL lose an entire year of action, the Nashville Predators made their presence known when play finally resumed a year later.
Led by Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan’s offensive firepower, this Predators team was the best to date in franchise history; starting 8-0-0. At this point, I distinctively remember the rest of the league taking notice.
During this eight-game winning streak to commence the year, the Predators won six of those eight games by just a one-goal margin. Adding to this, three of those wins were via the shootout, which was a brand a new concept at the time as the NHL had just eradicated Ties altogether.
Across this eight-game span, the Predators also managed to tally two big wins over the San Jose Sharks, a team that proved to be our stumbling block in the playoffs for the next two years to come.
This undefeated streak eventually saw Nashville go 14-3-3 through their first 20 games and finishing with 106 points; which was a Franchise record at the time. The Predators unsurprisingly made the playoffs following this, marking the first time Nashville was also privileged with playoff hockey in back-to-back seasons.
Sadly, the pesky San Jose Sharks would be waiting for the Predators in the playoffs, beating out Nashville in the first round in a lopsided 4-1 seven game series.
Although the playoff woes were deflating, it was still exciting to see an expansion team start the season so strong and continually find regular season success.
Overall, 2005-2006 may be forgotten today, but, the success the momentum the Predators carried during this time helped spark the team for years to come.