Nashville Predators: Recapping the Probable Final Standings

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 7: Roman Josi #59 and Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators prepare for a face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Bridgestone Arena on December 7, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 7: Roman Josi #59 and Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators prepare for a face-off against the New Jersey Devils at Bridgestone Arena on December 7, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

There’s a grim hope that the 2019-20 NHL regular season will ever be completed in its entirety. The Nashville Predators narrowly finished in a playoff spot.

The Nashville Predators were riding a three-game winning streak and securing a wildcard spot when the sports world, and life as we know it, came to a grinding halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s still very unclear how this will all play out. It’s a waiting game to see how late in the summer it’s going to take to get this season finished with a Stanley Cup champion.

It seems pretty clear that the NHL doesn’t want to affect the entirety of next season in any way, which means that they’re running out of time to complete this season and still start on time in October.

That leaves us with what is likely the final standings to comb through. There are some surprises and also some predictable finishes as well.

Predators were starting to surge

The biggest thing when regarding the Predators is they were finally starting to hit their stride. They were getting more consistent goaltending from Juuse Saros and chemistry was being built under Head Coach John Hynes.

The Predators won the last game to be played over the Montreal Canadiens 4-2, and here’s a look at that last goal from

Filip Forsberg


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You ask me back in January if the Predators had a chance at surging into the top-three of the division, I would’ve said that I’m more worried about even making the playoffs.

But after sweeping a two-game set against the Dallas Stars right before the shutdown, the Predators are suddenly just four points behind Dallas.

We might never know if the Predators would’ve caught the Stars in the standings. You had two teams going in opposite directions, and still 13 games remaining for each team.

That simple switch in the standings would’ve had the Predators draw the Colorado Avalanche in the first round, assuming the St.Louis Blues held steady in the top spot.

Furthermore, we might never get closure on if the Predators were going to repeat 2017 by sneaking through the back door and into the playoff field, only to go on a wild ride to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Avalanche and Blues were clearly the two best teams in the division from start to finish. But I will say that the Blues haven’t looked unstoppable in the second half of the season, and I have the Avalanche as the best team in the Central Division despite the Blues being slightly ahead of them in points.

The Predators won all four games in the season series with the Blues, and that’s a shock considering how inconsistent the Predators have been. The Predators lost both matchups with Colorado, with two more remaining.

Other surprises

How about the Minnesota Wild? They’re my biggest surprise of the season by far in terms of outperforming expectations. It will be a shame if they don’t get a chance to play the season out as they’re just one point behind Nashville for a wildcard spot.

The Wild had just defeated the Predators in pretty convincing fashion on March 3rd, and the two teams still had to play each other two more times, including the season finale.

That last game of the regular season could’ve been for the final playoff spot between the Predators and Wild. A do-or-die game between two division foes would’ve been must-watch hockey. Essentially a play-in game for the playoffs.

The Canucks are also at 78 points and were struggling down the stretch with five losses in their last seven games. They had complete control over the Predators this season winning all three meetings and connect ten times on 13 power play attempts.

That’s a team the Predators should want no part of if the regular season plays out and the Canucks get in.

The Arizona Coyotes are really the only other Western Conference team that had a sliver of hope at making the playoffs. They’re at 74 points and just couldn’t find enough consistency towards the end.

What happens if there’s no playoffs?

I’m not sure how they would crown a champion with no playoffs. The Boston Bruins have most points in the NHL with 100 points, while the St.Louis Blues have the most in the Western Conference with 94 points.

Maybe you can have a condensed playoff format with shorter series to the tune of five games instead of seven games. These games might have to be played at neutral sites and without fans in the arena.

Anything they can do to safely get some sort of closure from this season is hoped for. But as we all know, this is bigger than sports.

There might just be no Stanley Cup champion rewarded for 2019-20. When you look back years from now on this season, you’ll see a blank spot and just the standings as they sit now.

One of the reasons why the NHL playoffs are some of the most intense in all of sports is because it really doesn’t matter where you finished in the standings. Upsets happen regularly and aren’t all that shocking like in the NBA, who has a similar playoff format of seven-game series.

If we do end up getting some sort of playoffs, then it will really be anyone’s guess on who comes out on top. We’ve never seen anything like this before where a season is suddenly stopped with just a handful of games remaining.

How will the teams respond to this? Some teams will have trouble finding that spark that was working for them previously, while others might come out blazing right away and take everyone by surprise.

The regular season standings usually don’t mean much during a normal season, but multiple that by a thousand if the teams return later this summer to empty arenas to conclude 2019-20 and at least award a Stanley Cup to someone.

Related Story. The Ideal Game 1 Predators Playoff Lineup. light

At this point, I don’t care who wins. I just want to eventually see that Stanley Cup hoisted in the air later this summer as we get back to normalcy and beat the pandemic.

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