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Are the Nashville Predators Capable of Winning the Stanley Cup?

The Nashville Predators have been dominant in a 14-game stretch. This raises the question: can the Predators win the Cup this season?

With an 8-0-2 record in their past ten games, the Nashville Predators are on a tear. Currently, on a 14-game point streak, the Predators look dangerous as the postseason approaches. Being seven points ahead of the highest non-playoff spot team, they’re silently becoming a threat to playoff contenders in the Western Conference. But, just how good are they? Are they good enough to win the Stanley Cup?

Are the Predators a Dark Horse for the Cup?

When looking at the team on paper, it would have seemed going into the season the team was destined to obtain a top-ten pick in the draft. However, this group has exceeded expectations and is playing better than the former Stanley Cup Champion the Vegas Golden Knights.

This is a well-rounded team. It’s fair to argue there’s no megastar steering the ship but forward corps is well positioned from top to bottom. Consisting of star forwards such as Filip Forsberg and Ryan O’Reilly, the Predators’ offense has been dominant, averaging 3.22 GF.

Filip Forsberg Ryan O’Reilly Predators

With an average of 2.94 GA, the defense is no different. Franchise defenseman Roman Josi has once again proven that he is a top three defenseman in the entire league. He has tallied a +13 +/- record playing alongside Ryan McDonagh. Josi, being the offensive stud he is, is the second leading point scorer for the Predators with 67 points in 68 games (17 goals and 50 assists).

While having a rough start to the season, goaltender Juuse Saros has proven all the doubters wrong. In his last eleven starts, he has averaged a .935 save percentage with 1.91 goals against on average.

With solid depth in Tommy Novak and Cody Glass on offense, Luke Schenn on defense, and Kevin Lankinen in backup goal, this team is strong. In other words, they’re destined to potentially compete for their first Stanley Cup.

Trotz Shining a New Light on the Mustard Jersey

Barry Trotz made it clear at this year’s deadline that this team was going all in. The new GM acquired Arizona Coyotes’ winger Jason Zucker for a sixth-rounder, solidifying his top-six. He’s scored once already since being added to the roster.

Trotz also picked up Chicago Blackhawks winger Anthony Beauvillier. With the addition of Beauvillier, the Predators locked up their bottom-six.

The team also consists of many former cup winners. McDonagh won two cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and 2021 and O’Reilly won his first with the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

Predators are Comparable to a Former Cup Champ

Rob Couch of suggested that this year’s Predators have a large resemblance to the 2019 St. Louis Blues. The Blues, who were competing for the first-overall pick at the time, jumped in standings and made a run in the playoffs which resulted in a Stanley Cup victory.

The Predators were in the same position as the Blues at one point during their respective seasons. Sitting at the bottom of the league standings, the Predators then brought themselves to a wildcard spot in the second half of the season.

Like he is in Nashville, O’Reilly was a game-changer for the Blues and one of the main reasons the Blues even touched the Cup.

Ryan O’Reilly Blues Predators

Both teams also had solid wingers with the Blues having Vladimir Tarasenko and the Predators having Forsberg. They also had elite defensemen, Alex Pietrangelo and Josi respectively.

The Predators fired John Hynes during the offseason and brought in a new voice behind the bench in Andrew Brunette. The Blues also acquired a new voice with the addition of Craig Berube.

When looking at what happened to the Blues, they went on to win their franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Could the Predators do the same; could they do it even better?

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