Looking Back at the Five Best Regular Seasons in Nashville Predators History

The Predators just set a franchise record for point streak at 16 games after beating another one of the NHL's heavyweights, the Florida Panthers.
San Jose Sharks v Nashville Predators
San Jose Sharks v Nashville Predators / Frederick Breedon/GettyImages
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Scott Hartnel, Kimmo Timonen, Paul Kariya, David Legwand
Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages

2005-06 Nashville Predators: 106 PTS, 2nd in Central Division

Leader in PTS: Paul Kariya- 84
Leader in Goals: Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan- 31

Starting Goalie: Tomas Vokoun- 36 Wins, .919 SV%, 2.67 GAA, 4 Shutouts
Backup Goalie: Chris Mason- 12 Wins, .913 SV%, 2.54 GAA, 2 Shutouts

The year that Paul Kariya arrived to Smashville and the Nashville Predators arrived on the NHL scene as a team to be taken seriously after some difficult years building from an expansion franchise.

Kariya showed the Predators fans some elite offensive skill that they had never seen. In fact, the Predators were still gradually growing hockey in the South and many fans were still learning the ins and outs of the beautiful game.

The Predators had a blend of veterans and young talent to lean on this year. Kariya of course led the way, but Sullivan made for an awesome one-two veteran punch to be the leaders.

Scott Hartnell broke into the NHL at a very young age of 18, and was already in his fifth NHL season at this point and set a career high in 2005-06 with 25 goals and 48 points as an important complementary scorer to Kariya and Sullivan.

You also had Martin Erat as a vital depth piece and still very early in his NHL career at age 24. He had 49 points in 80 games.

The defensive corps was also impressive, although very young and unproven. Shea Weber was new to the scene, as was Ryan Suter. Marek Zidlicky was only 28-years-old, but posted a 49-point season as a defenseman.

In what is a common theme in Predators history, the goaltending was rock solid. The days before Pekka Rinne, there was Tomas Vokoun. He finished fourth in the Vezina Trophy voting during this year, and Chris Mason was a quality backup to Vokoun.

The Predators were top-10 in penalty kill, power play and goals against per game. They made a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second consecutive year but lost in five games to the San Jose Sharks in the first round. But we knew at that point they were building something sustainable.