Nashville Predators: Looking at the Scenarios to Finish the Season

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 16: Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators jumps in front of Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 16: Kyle Turris #8 of the Nashville Predators jumps in front of Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on November 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

With the NHL on pause, you can’t help but overthink about where we left off and where the Nashville Predators find themselves in the current season.

As great as it would be to see the Nashville Predators get into the playoffs thanks to point percentage, I really want to see them get in the old fashioned way. Call me crazy.

I’m not going to dive deep into the coronavirus and the complex issues it’s raising. All I will say regarding this is that all human life is precious, and if it takes putting a hold on sports to save human lives, we all need to unite behind that.

We could be in store for watching the Predators push for a playoff spot during a time when normally the playoffs would already be underway in late April or even May.

At least that’s my ultimate hope out of all this as my hockey withdrawals are already hitting me hard.

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Hockey perspective

The Predators were appearing to peak at the right time going into Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was no surprise that the game didn’t end up happening, and the NHL definitely made the right decision to put things on hold.

As for the Predators, they were riding a three-game winning streak, showing defensive improvements and getting rock solid goaltending from Juuse Saros.

Then the unprecedented happened as  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the league would go on “pause”, following the lead of virtually every other major sports league due to growing coronavirus concerns and outbreaks.

But, there is an important difference. This isn’t a cancellation and the 2019-20 season isn’t lost just yet. Here’s a more recent elaboration on the subject from Bettman, per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet and NHL Network:

This leaves me hopeful that the season will resume, even if it means shaking things up and no fans being allowed to attend in person.

There’s a lot to figure out on this hypothetical, and for obvious reasons. We have no idea, including the biggest experts in the medical field, exactly how the next weeks and even days will play out.

Laying out the options

My most desirable outcome is that the regular season resumes, and we get to witness the Nashville Predators continue to surge at the right time to get into the playoffs after playing all 82 regular season games.

How you coordinate all of these games that are still remaining for every NHL team will be a very big challenge that I’m not sure will be able to get sorted out. I feel like I’m probably just wishfully thinking at this point.

But that will make things tough on players to pick up where they left off after not playing a game or having regular practices for possibly over a month. The NHL is already urging players to self-quarantine, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic:

This is called doing your due diligence. You certainly don’t want any players, coaches or staff members contracting the virus as that will almost certainly complicate things to a matter that would likely cancel the season altogether.

But this means players are definitely not regularly practicing, so making an abrupt return and suddenly being in the middle of a playoff race in the case of the Predators would be intriguing to see play out.

My best case scenario in this, just in the scope of hockey, is that they find a way to resume the season where it left off once everything is deemed safe by medical professionals.

If they do decide to start in the playoffs, the Predators will be in the field and we can say Saros carried them down the critical stretch.

However, it won’t feel the same as seeing them earn it like I feel like they have a solid chance of doing if the season resumes. Plus, I want to see the rightful Stanley Cup champion crowned if at all possible.

A big factor into my hope coming true is if teams and arenas can coordinate times to schedule games as the season will go well into a time period that normally wouldn’t have hockey games.

Ideally the NHL higher-ups are trying to figure out a solution to that now, if they do indeed choose to go this route.

As much as I want this scenario to play out, I think the more realistic outcome is the NHL suspending the season and going right into the playoffs to at least have a Stanley Cup champion crowned.

If that’s the case, the Predators have a chance to make noise in the playoffs in what has been a rollercoaster of a season for so many different reasons.

Next. Wildest Games of the 2019-20 Predators Season. dark

Stay safe everyone, and we can’t wait to be covering games against and see all of the great fans back in Bridgestone Arena again.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.