What If...

Wednesday, 04.4.2012 / 6:42 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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What If...
 
As the puck drops for tonight's Detroit game at St. Louis, a game with major seeding implications for the Preds, I can't help but think of 5 measly little seconds.

Yeah, at the end of the season every team looks back at a game here or there and wonders “what if…” but man those five seconds at the end of the Preds February 17 game in Detroit….

Even with an overtime loss in that game, the race for the No. 4 seed and home ice in first round of the playoffs would be radically different. And watching tonight's Wings/Blues game would be a little more relaxed.

The Preds enter tonight’s game with a one point edge over No. 5 seed Detroit. Add one point to the Preds total and Detroit’s climb would be more challenging. Nashville already appears to be in good position in a tie-breaker against Detroit – the Preds hold a +2 win advantage in ROW (regulation and overtime wins, the first tie-breaker if team’s finish the season with the same number of points) with the Red Wings only having three more games on their schedule. But the second tie-breaker, head-to-head series, is tied 3-3-0 with all six games finishing in regulation; that single point would have given the Preds the one-point win in head-to-head. The third tie-breaker is goal differential, a category where the Red Wings hold a significant edge over the Predators.

Not to discount all the great Preds comebacks this season – the wild wins over Columbus (both on the road and at home, thank you Martin Erat for your goal with 8.4 seconds left; yes I know the irony of pining over five seconds and waxing poetic over nine seconds) an unreal third period at Minnesota (yes, I know, Fisher’s game-winner was scored with mere seconds left on the clock, see the same disclaimer on the Erat goal) – but the fan in us tends to focus more on what our team could have done and less on what our team actually did.

Especially when the end of season standings are so close.

And one point here or there can make the difference between staying in Smashville for Games 1 and 2 or opening on the road.

So as we get ready for the final four nights of games, those final five seconds at Detroit will pull at our brains.

What if….

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61