The Nashville Predators are going into their 25th anniversary season which is sure to be filled with plenty of fanfare. The Winnipeg Jets are just one year shy of that, entering their 24th season. At one point they were both shiny new Southern Belle teams but now they are Central Division rivals battling for playoff position year in and year out.
Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets Overall Records and Playoff Appearances
So far as a franchise the Predators have amassed a record of 939-718-60-178 for 2116 points. The Jets have been able to muster a record of 809-794-45-167 for 1830 points. No matter how well the Jets’ 24th season goes, the Predators have been outright better since the start versus the start of the Thrashers/Jets. More wins, fewer losses, more ties, and more overtime losses all for a surplus of 286 total points.
Now the Jets have improved since they retreated north to Winnipeg, with six of their seven playoff appearances coming as the most recent Canadian squad. The lone Thrashers’ appearance came in 2006-2007.
The Predators have managed to make the playoffs 15 times, and boast a Stanley Cup Final appearance and a Presidents Trophy win for most points in a season. The Jets also didn’t make the playoffs until they reached their seventh year, with the Predators managing the feat in their sixth season.
Best Statistical Seasons Predators vs. Jets
Let’s be clear here. Roman Josi putting up 96 points as a defenseman in 2021-22 is an incredibly impressive feat. Say scoring is up, pads are smaller all you want, but defensemen don’t put up those numbers unless they are incredibly special.
The Jets technically take this one with Marian Hossa’s 100-point campaign in 2006-07 as a Thrasher, but Josi’s performance remains more impressive in my eyes.
Goals in a season is a double win for the Jets, again from the Thrashers days. Ilya Kovalchuk has matching 52-goal seasons in 2005-06 and 2007-08. Matt Duchene got close in 2021-22 with 43 but this isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades.
For the Jets goalies, Connor Hellebuyck sets the mark with his 44-win season from 2017-18. He bests Pekka Rinne’s greatest win total by one. His 43-win performance across the 2011-2012 season was impressive by all accounts, but not enough in this comparison.
All-Time Leaders Predators vs. Jets
We’re very well acquainted with the Predators pair for this section. First, you have Filip Forsberg with 239 career goals. Then next up is Roman Josi, your all-time points leader with 601.
Unfortunately, it is again an advantage for the Jets here. The all-time goal leader is of course Thrashers’ great Ilya Kovalchuk with 328, a reachable amount. Then you’ve got points, which goes to Blake Wheeler with 812 points. Again a reachable amount. Josi is only 211 points away, and Blake Wheeler’s point total now applies to the New York Rangers.
In net, Connor Hellebuyck owns the win total record with 238 for the Jets, against Pekka Rinne’s 369 for the Predators. Pekka gets the longevity award for now, but Hellebuyck will be good for years to come.
Head to Head Predators vs. Jets
Sure, every win is important but games between these two have been important for different reasons. First, it was a battle between the two new Southern teams, fighting to be better than just the league newbie. Then when they moved and divisions reshuffled, they became rivals.
As of right now, it’s coming up Predators. with a 28-19-1-6 record. They’ll play each other another four times this season, with the odds favoring the Predators.
Thanks to consistent playoff appearances, the Predators have had a better start in their franchise life than the Thrashers/Jets have. The whole having to relocate things notwithstanding, the Jets haven’t been as productive and consistent.
The Predators and Nashville itself have become a hub for free agents, long-term extensions, and if the NHL wants to hold a party. They’ve also made the playoffs more often than not, and that consistency has been huge for helping the Predators gain a foothold and move out of non-traditional hockey market status, and officially into hotbed territory.
How do the Predators and Jets Look This Year?
The Jets have to replace a lot of players. Blake Wheeler, Pierre-Luc Dubois, David Rittich, Sam Gagner, Kevin Stenlund, Saku Maenalanen, and Karson Kuhlman all departed in the offseason.
Sure they’ll have a full season of Nino Niederreiter and Vladislav Namestnikov and brought in Gabriel Vilardi, Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari, Laurent Brossoit. That probably doesn’t equal enough team chemistry to keep the Jets engines humming at full force.
The kicker is also that the contracts of Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele are both expiring. If the Jets can’t pull themselves together, both of these guys would be candidates to move for hefty returns.
The Predators and Jets are in similar situations with respect to their elite goaltending. Juuse Saros and Hellebuyck are both good enough to propel a team to playoff contention.
With the Predators having more of a distinct vision for their team and the future to come they are in a better position to succeed this year.