Breaking Down Latest Playoff Odds for Nashville Predators with Clash vs. Sharks

We're getting down to the nitty gritty of the season where every game seriously matters, and the Predators in the midst of another clogged up race for a wildcard spot.
Oct 21, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Nashville Predators center Tommy Novak (82) takes a shot
Oct 21, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Tommy Novak (82) takes a shot / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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Far too many times this season, the Nashville Predators have slept walk into matchups against opponents they're simply better than only to leave without a single point to show for it in the standings.

Look, we all know hockey is a wildly unpredictable sport and you can't ever go off of just what's on paper. Far superior teams lose to bad teams regularly, but far too many times, the Predators have slept walk into matchups against opponents they're simply better than. It can happen occasionally, but can't be a common theme.

Even with a three-game win streak on the road against teams currently in a playoff spot, trust hasn't come close to being fully regained for the majority of Predators fans. And it's matchups like tonight's tilt with the San Jose Sharks that scares fans at the thought that the Predators are going to show up with a lack of effort and take a loss.

The Predators are in a dog fight for the final wildcard spot. They helped matters for themselves in a major way by reeling off wins against the Blues, Golden Knights and Kings over the past week. Now they get some matchups against some really bad teams including the Sharks, Senators and Ducks.

I probably don't have to remind you that the Predators have already lost twice to the Ducks this season and once to the Senators, but they did beat the Sharks convincingly in the early goings of the season.

According to MoneyPuck's daily playoff odds, the Predators have the most favorable odds to get that final wildcard spot if you go ahead and assume the Kings will get the top wildcard spot.

Playoff Odds Among Wildcard Contenders as of 2/24 (Per MoneyPuck)

Team

Points (Games Played)

Playoff Probability

Kings

66 PTS, 55 GP

94.2 %

Predators

62 PTS, 57 GP

47.9 %

Kraken

59 PTS, 56 GP

29 %

Wild

60 PTS, 57 GP

18.9 %

Blues

62 PTS, 56 GP

14.7 %

Flames

59 PTS, 57 GP

12.9 %

What sticks out from the latest playoff probabilities from MoneyPuck is the lack of faith they have in the Blues, who have an extra game in hand over the Predators and currently hold the second wildcard spot.

The Predators likely have some pretty favorable odds, the highest among teams vying for that final wildcard spot, partially because they have some favorable matchups coming up. Two games remaining against the Sharks, two games remaining against last-place Columbus Blue Jackets, a game against last place Senators, and also one game left against last place Chicago Blackhawks.

Of course a lot of this hinges on what the Predators end up doing in two weeks at the trade deadline, which remains a complete mystery. If Barry Trotz waves the white flag and sells heavy, including trading away Juuse Saros, then I'm sure the Predators' playoff odds will go out the door along with Saros' exodus out of Nashville.

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Have the Preds Learned from Past Mistakes of Taking Games Off?

Losing despite having a strong effort and just not having the puck bounce your way is one thing, but unfortunately the Predators have taken a lot of losses this year due to their own misguided errors and lack of focus. That can't happen against San Jose, or they'll suffer another disappointing setback.

Again, the fanbase has trust issues with this Predators franchise and has had dating back to 2019. Although a win over the last place Sharks won't change that in the slightest, at least it will tell us the Predators have learned from past mistakes of taking their opponents too lightly. And that will mean a four-game winning streak as well, which would be their longest since mid-November.

Among the other wildcard hopeful teams previously mentioned, the Flames take on the Oilers, the Wild meet the Kraken, and the Blues clash with the Red Wings on this loaded slate of Saturday hockey.

The Sharks are fully capable of rising up to the occasion and beating teams that are much better than them on paper. Despite losing four of their last five, the Sharks have wins over the Rangers, Kraken, Kings and Flames dating back to January 22.

It's confirmed by Daily Faceoff that the Predators will face Kaapo Kahkonen in net for the Sharks who has a 3.46 GAA and .905 save percentage on the season. Juuse Saros isn't confirmed as of this writing, but is expected to start his 46th game of 2023-24.

Next. Trade Deadline. Best Pre Trade Deadline Additions in Predators History. dark