2022-23 Nashville Predators… Playoff Streak Ended
During the 2022-23 season, many Predators fans, myself included, had high expectations. We had everyone healthy, got to start the season off with the NHL Global Series, and added some players to the lineup that should help down the stretch, like Nino Niederreiter and Ryan McDonagh.
That turned out to be, however, far from the case. Now granted the Preds started off good with back-to-back wins overseas but they couldn’t seem to put wins together after that, losing their next five contests.
Putting together win streaks of three or more games only six times over the course of the season and only three of those streaks with all games being won in regulation, the Predators gave up a lot of points to their opponents even when they did win.
Combine that with a five-game and six-game losing streak, it was an abysmal season for the Predators. One that culminated in Head Coach John Hynes being let go eventually at the offseason, and a major sell-off at the trade deadline.
Steller goaltending performances by Saros and Kevin Lankinen are the only thing that kept them in contention for a playoff spot late in the season. The lights out goaltending tandem posted a remarkable combined .918 save percentage and 2.72 goals against average.
On the other end of the ice though, the Predators ranked 27th in goals for with only 229 in 82 games. One season removed from an astounding five players scoring over 20 goals, Matt Duchene was the lone Predator to score more than 20 in this season.
Late in the season, the Predators were faced with multiple injuries to their lineup and relied heavily on AHL regulars in their final push to the playoffs.
Valiantly, the young guns came up short in their rally and ended up missing the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
The silver lining to all of this is an emerging prospect pool that didn’t back down to NHL pressure, most notably Luke Evangelista and Thomas Novak.