What If...

Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 7:42 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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….

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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