Nashville Predators Details
For much of the 2016-17 season, the Central Division’s Nashville Predators looked like the odd man out in one of the strongest division in the Western Conference. The team’s inconsistencies led some to wonder if another West squad would leap over it into a Wild Card spot. Head coach Peter Laviolette was able to get enough out of his Predators to sneak into the playoffs with 94 points and a 41-29-12 record. Once Nashville hit postseason hockey, it looked like a completely different team. In the first round, the Preds completely shut down the hot Chicago Blackhawks, sweeping the series and holding a team that skated out Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Marian Hossa, and Jonathan Toews to just three goals in four games. The team kept rolling through the second and third rounds, winning six-game series against the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks respectively. In the team’s first ever Stanley Cup Finals, the Predators had the tough task of trying to knock off a Pittsburgh Penguins squad that was looking to repeat as champions. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and the Sidney Crosby-led Pens took out Nashville in a hard-fought, six-game series.
2017-18 will see the return of the majority of the team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals. Star defenseman P.K. Subban, a pivotal leader on the club, will look to build on the success of his first season in Nashville. Subban was an important piece on the blue line as well as being crucial on the offensive end. He finished the year with 10 goals and 30 assists. Leading scorer Viktor Arvidsson will surely be back with a new deal after he finished 2016-17 with 61 points and 31 goals. The team also returns center Ryan Johansen (61 points) and winger Filip Forsberg (31 goals) and will look to make its Bridgestone Arena fans even happier than they were a season ago.