As the 2022-23 NHL season rolls on, the Nashville Predators find themselves in a bit of trouble to start the season. This has raised questions about the true nature of how good the Preds really are, and if they have a realistic shot at making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
While the Preds were able to dig deep and get a gutsy win over the New York Rangers 2-1 just 2 nights ago, there were still areas where the team could use improvement. Their playoff chances are slipping by the day, and the Preds will need to turn it around to have a better shot at participating in the postseason. Let’s take a look at the Predators’ current playoff odds, and what they mean as of now.
Nashville Predators Playoff Odds On the Lower End to Start Season
According to MoneyPuck, the Nashville Predators Playoff Chances sit at just 34.4%. That’s a pretty low number especially for a team that has made the postseason 8 consecutive times.
While 34.4% is a low number, it is still a higher number than plenty of other teams in the NHL. However, the Preds’ still trail behind the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, and Minnesota Wild, all Central Division opponents.
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While the odds could be worse, the Predators have a lot of ground to make up to catch their rivals in the Central Division. Keep in mind this team was predicted to be a top 3 team in the Central before the season got underway.
Preds Can Still Salvage Season To Push For Playoffs
While the playoff picture may look bleak, we are still in the first half of the season. The Preds can absolutely change the course of this season and make a push for the postseason. The team, however, will need to fix a few key issues plaguing them this year.
The Preds have got to get their offense going, especially with their top players. Aside from Filip Forsberg, most of the teams leading offensive drivers have been invisible to start the season. The offense, when it does get started, is typically a one and done, with little to no sustained pressure. The Preds will need their top players producing, as well as having the entire team get their offensive drive back.
The Preds also need to clean up defensively. Saros has had a slow start to the season, but rebounded on Saturday with an impressive performance against the Rangers. Even with Saros performing recently, the defense in front of him must be cleaned up. Saros has the ability to steal games, but he can’t do everything himself. The Predators need to have better execution on defense, and protect the house better than they have. Saturday was a step in the right direction, but it overall must be better if the Preds have any aspirations to make the playoffs.
If the Preds can start to fix these issues, then their odds of making the Playoffs should start to improve if they start winning more games. The team will need to steal points from divisional rivals in order to make up ground from starting the season near the bottom of the Central Division. Any matches against Central Division opponents, especially Dallas, Colorado, and Winnipeg, will be crucial matches for the Preds to steal some points and start to climb back up the standings.
The Playoff Picture may look bleak, but the Predators have shown improvement recently. There is much work to be done, but the door is still open for the team to make the postseason for the 9th consecutive season. Its going to take a lot of soul searching, grit, and determination, but the Nashville Predators still have a chance at turning their season around.