Nashville Predators: 3 Reasons They’re Stanley Cup Contenders

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Filip Forsberg
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Filip Forsberg /

Last season, the Nashville Predators made the Stanley Cup Finals, making them the Western Conference Champions of this season. They continue to prove they are still a threat. Here’s three reasons why.

The Nashville Predators were not expected to go far last season. However, they defied expectations by a large margin, making the Cup Final. Although they ultimately lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they played a hard-fought series.

After beating the Chicago Blackhawks in a surprising four-nothing sweep in the first round, they had a lot of energy to them. This carried them despite some injuries throughout the rest of that postseason.

Now, with the bar raised, the Predators have a lot more to live up to. To this point in the season, they seem to have no problem doing just that. Here are three reasons they remain true Cup contenders.

1. Power Upfront

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Any team used to playing the Predators is more than aware of their lethal offense. Their 3.2 goals per game average is currently 10th in the NHL. They’re also generating chances in every situation, including five on five and the power play.

In addition, key players such as Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, and Craig Smith are producing as much as they should be. This makes up for the slow starts of players such as Ryan Johansen. The addition of Kyle Turris has helped as well.

On top of these great things for the Preds, the Turris trade seems to have done nothing but wonders for them. Even Kevin Fiala seems to have picked up his play.

2. Solid on the Back-end

Though there have been times that the Predators have given up one too many goals in games they could have won, they have remained (for the most part) good enough defensively.

The Predators give up an average of fewer than three goals per game (2.95), which currently stands at 17th in the league. However, what they lack in “defense” they make up for in goaltending.

Pekka Rinne’s 11-3-2 record is outstanding, and it makes up for the fact that Juuse Saros hasn’t been at his best. Against the Kings, he began to look better, though, and that is promising. Getting Ryan Ellis back should help them defensively. Roman Josi has been outstanding so far, cementing himself as a Norris Trophy candidate.

3. Excellent Front Office Decisions

Over the offseason, the front office did two great things. The first was locking up Ryan Johansen and the second was doing the same with Viktor Arvidsson. As previously mentioned, those two are some of the most important players on their roster.

Perhaps most importantly, though, they got Turris recently. Besides the fact that he’s on a solid scoring pace, he’s also helping other players meet their potential.

Next: 3 Bold Predictions For The Predators

All these things culminate in an incredible Predators’ roster. If they keep this up and remain injury-free, they should have a great season ahead of them.