Are these Nashville Predators better built for a playoff run?

In this morning's Tennessean, columnist David Climer (pick up your jaw off the floor) made a point that I've been arguing for a good two months now. He says that this edition of Nashville Predators hockey is better suited for a playoff run than any before it, and I wholeheartedly agree:

Credit Barry Trotz for keeping things together. All things considered, this is his best coaching job.

...

From there, the goal clearly is to win at least one playoff series, something that has not happened in franchise history. The deeper the Predators go in the playoffs, the more money they make via ticket sales for home games.

For a franchise that must look under the sofa cushions for loose change, the extra revenue is vital.

Judging from what's transpired the last few weeks, this may not be a one-and-done playoff team.

Before you jump all over David and me and remind us of that 2006-07 squad led by such players as Peter Forsberg, Alexander Radulov, Paul Kariya, and Kimmo Timonen, consider a few facts:

  • Nashville is second in the league in offensive balance, with nine players over 30 points. 
  • Barry Trotz coached his 900th NHL game yesterday. 
  • Pekka Rinne gives the Predators their best chance at stealing a series since vintage (05-06) Tomas Vokoun
  • Defensive stars Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, and Dan Hamhuis have matured significantly since those days.

What do you think? Is this the most playoff-ready Predators team we've ever seen? Use this post as a starting point for discussion.

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