Do you want reason to think Nashville can still make the playoffs? I'll lay it out here by doing a very basic analysis of the games leading up to the break. I have projected wins and losses based on current points earned. Loser points based on a rough estimate based on how many they have earned in their losses this season.
The Situation: Currently Nashville sits in 11th place in the West after 52 Games Played with 53 points earned. Teams that they need to pass are 3 of these 4, 7th Vancouver, Minnesota, Phoenix, and 10th Dallas. 8 pts behind Vancouver and Minnesota and Nashville has a game in hand on Minnesota. 2 Behind Phoenix, 1 Dallas. Phoenix has 2 games in hand and Dallas has 1.
Nashville's Game before OB (Olympic Break): Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, New Jersey, St. Louis, Minnesota, Anaheim. (Remember Based on Standings) 4 W, 3 L. 1 Loss is a tie..so 4-2-1. 9 points earned. Current (53) + 9 = 62pts at the Olympic Break with 59 games played.
Vancouver: Phoenix, Edmonton, Chicago, Winnipeg, Detroit, Boston, Montreal, Toronto. 6-1-1. 13 Pts earned. 74 at OB after 60 games.
Minnesota: San Jose, Anaheim, Colorado, Calgary, Tampa Bay, Nashville. 2-3-1. 5 pts earned. 66 at OB after 59 games.
Phoenix: Edmonton, Vancouver, L.A. Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Chicago, Dallas. 4-3-1. 9 pts earned. 64 points at OB after 58 games.
Dallas: Pittsburgh, Colorado, New Jersey, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Phoenix. 1-4-2. 4 pts earned. 58 pts after 58 games.
This results in the following standings for these teams:
7th: Vancouver 74 pts..60 games
8th: Minnesota 66 pts..59 games
9th: Phoenix 64 pts..58 games
10th: Nashville 62 pts..59 games
What do I take away from this? Nashville has a reasonable shot at being within striking distance at the Olympic Break if the team continues to play at their current level. This means if they can just improve a little more they could be tied for a 8th or better at the Olympic Break.
There are 2 Points I Find Very Interesting in Looking at This:
1) Vancouver has been in a bit of a skid lately so could easily be more even with the others in this list.
2) Nashville's last game before the OB is against Minnesota. If the above happened with the only difference being the Predators win that game, then you are looking at a 3 way tie for 8th between Phoenix, Minnesota, and Nashville at 64 pts with Phoenix having a game in hand on both Minnesota and Nashville.
Let me just add, I still would be very surprised to see Nashville make the playoffs. I'm just trying to point out that at the Olympic Break it could look very possible.