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It’s Now Or Never For Preds To Make Playoff Push
Posted By Nicholas Starcevich On Feb 14 2011 @ 10:59 am In Nashville Predators | No Comments
Saturday night has sparked some interest for Nashville fans as their Predators overcame a 3-2 deficit going into the 3rd period scoring 3 unanswered goals to post a 5-3 win Saturday night against the lowly Colorado Ave’s at the Bridge’. It was just a few days earlier on Wednesday night that the Predators faced off against their division foe, pulling off another much needed victory in Detroit. With these last few performances looking promising one can only hope it will provide the momentum needed to continue solid play as wemove in to the last portion of the season. As of today, the Preds sit tied for the fifth seed in the Western Conference with 67 points, one point behind Dallas and Anaheim for the third spot in the West and sevenpoints back of the Red Wings for the number two seed and a division lead. The Preds have 19 points in their last 16 games and will have five of the next seven games on their home ice, including the next three straight in this current four game home-stand. However, like many teams in the NHL, the Predators lack consistency. So the question is with just 26 games left and the schedule playing in their favor, is the time to make that playoff push now?
Over the past few months the inconsistent play has been pretty apparent. December included a five game win streak followed by a five game losing streak. This was followed by another win streak in which they tallied off six straight, followed by another show of inconsistency as they dropped 10 of 15. Regardless of what has happened over these past months the Predators have put themselves in a position to make some noise going into the playoffs. Let us not forget that this was a team that was less than 14 seconds away from going up 3-2 on the future Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks in the opening round of the last year’s playoffs. Although this team may lack big name star power, it has the pieces in place to make a run. But do they have what it takes? It’s generally about this time of the year when the good teams separate themselves from the not so good. Now more than ever seems to be the perfect time to make a run and gain that much needed momentum heading in to the playoffs.
With the majority of what remains of their February schedule on home ice and the recent trade for Mike Fisher, these next few weeks are crucial for the Preds and their front office. The next 7 games will be against teams considered Western Conference playoff contenders. These teams include the red hot San Jose Sharks (who are 9-2-1 in their last 12games), the Phoenix Coyotes (who currently sit tied with the Preds at 67points a piece) and the conference leading Vancouver Canucks. It will be interesting to see how the Preds match up against some of these teams at this point in the season. Who knows, maybe before the end of this 7game stretch GM David Poile will decide if the Mike Fisher trade was enough or if any other last minute moves are needed before the February 28 deadline. Regardless of what happens, with just a month and a half left to go in the season, the time to get consistent and the time to make a push is NOW.
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