Is the Central Division really what it used to be?
The Central Division just doesn’t strike fear into me like it did a few years ago. If anything, it’s kind of watered down and the Predators contribute to that notion.
Sure, the Dallas Stars are a legitimate force to be reckoned with for the entire NHL. They will be a tough team to beat in a seven-game series assuming they don’t completely fall apart and plummet in the playoff race.
The Avalanche will eventually get it together once the injury gods give them a break. In a seven-game series with a full healthy Avalanche team, the Predators would still be lucky push it to five games.
I’m still not sure what to think about the Winnipeg Jets, but I don’t entirely trust them just yet.
After those three teams which sit in the top-three currently on the first day of December, it’s a very average division. Nothing to write home about for any of these teams as the Predators join the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues as teams who have performed under their expectations.
This all to say that I have some hope that the Predators can hang around in this cluster of teams and, if nothing else, claw their way to another wild card berth. Now, that’s not good enough for this Predators team and the talent that’s on it, but once again we find ourselves right in the hunt like they are every season since 2014.
For the fans sick of being just another playoff team that gets ousted in the first round, this season has been a complete and abject failure so far. You have over 60 games left to change that narrative in a division that doesn’t impress me anymore as a whole.