Nashville Predators Get Soft Portion of Schedule With Trade Deadline Approaching

The March 8 NHL Trade Deadline is almost here, and the Preds get some non-playoff opponents beforehand to boost their position in the standings.

Feb 17, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Nashville Predators center Colton Sissons (10) is
Feb 17, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Nashville Predators center Colton Sissons (10) is / Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports
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It's an all-too-familiar spot in the standings for the Nashville Predators sitting in no man's land on the playoff bubble with the NHL Trade Deadline almost here.

The Predators have nine games before the trade deadline, and six of those nine upcoming opponents are against teams currently not in a playoff spot, including last place Ottawa in the Atlantic Division and last place San Jose in the Pacific Division.

Head Coach Andrew Brunette has been very critical of his team's lack of effort throughout the season. The Predators have proven incapable of stringing together long stretches of solid hockey since their winning ways from mid-November to mid-December.

Preds Have an "Easy" Stretch of Opponents Leading up to Trade Deadline

While you can never go off what's on paper in the NHL, and especially with this Predators team, it does offer an opportunity to take advantage of some less than stellar opponents and move back into a wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

The Predators did go out and get a gutsy win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday to two points out of the final wildcard spot. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Kings have opened up a little cushion in the top wildcard spot.

The Predators will get their third chance against the Anaheim Ducks during this nine-game stretch, a team that they've lost twice two already. Surely the third time is the charm to beat a Ducks team that is 19-33-2 and just five points better than the San Jose Sharks?

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Speaking of the Sharks, the Predators will face this last place team on February 24. They beat the Sharks 5-1 in the very early going of the season, but since then the Sharks have at least shown they're not complete pushovers.

Ottawa is also in last place, but just beat the Predators in a 4-3 overtime affair just recently. Again, surely the Predators can atone for the sins and get a win this time around?

The Predators will also face the Wild, Sabres and Canadiens as the other non-playoff teams. The Predators have already beaten the Canadiens, Sabres and Wild once this season.

The three opponents who won't be easy and are in the playoff picture currently are the Golden Knights, Avalanche and Kings. Even so, if the Predators can at least win five of nine and managed points in the games they do lose during this nine-game stretch, it's conceivable that going into trade deadline day that the Predators are back in a wildcard spot.

How much will that move Barry Trotz to act one way or the other is a mystery. Many would say his mind should already be made up regardless and he should sell heavy. Piling up some wins over mediocre teams in the next two weeks shouldn't sway Trotz to be blissfully optimistic on what this current Predators roster can accomplish beyond another first round playoff exit.

Top players on the trade block that the Predators should be looking to shop are Juuse Saros, Yakov Trenin, Alexandre Carrier, Dante Fabbro and Tyson Barrie, among others.

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