Thanks to the play of Pekka Rinne, Colin Wilson, and Patric Hornqvist, its going to take a monumental collapse for the Nashville Predators to miss the playoffs. They sit tied with the Kings for fifth place in the West with a 42-26-5 record and 89 points. If the playoffs started today, they would take on the Vancouver Canucks. According to Sports Club Stats, the Preds can go 3-2-4 and still be guaranteed a postseason spot. According to James Mirtle's playoff push, Nashville needs a mere five points in nine games to get to the 94 point plateau. The Predators have passed the number of points necessary in the second 7 game stretch I laid out with two games remaining, and as you can see, things look pretty rosy at the moment.
Below is your power rankings fix for the week...
Ryan Dixon places the Predators in 4th, up seven. [THN]
Pekka Rinne grabs goalie reins with three shutouts on Preds' current six-game winning streak.
Craig Custance has Nashville in 6th, up eight. [Sporting News]
A six-game win streak all but assures a return trip to the postseason for Barry Trotz and the Predators.
Scott Burnside also puts the Preds in 6th, up four. [ESPN]
The Predators have won six in a row and seven of eight to move into fifth place in the Western Conference and separate themselves from the logjam at the bottom end of the playoff bracket. They've also allowed just seven goals during their current winning streak.
Canadian outlets continue to lag behind the pack, as Scott Cullen checks Nashville in at 14th, up two. [TSN]
Pekka Rinne has backstopped the Predators to six straight wins, including three shutouts. With five of the next six at home, the Preds have an opportunity to entrench their playoff position.
Wes Goldstein place the Predators in 7th, up two. [CBS]
Pekka Rinne has been nearly unbeatable since the Olympic break, going 8-1 with three shutouts for the surging Preds.
Robert Picarello (using a math formula) has Nashville in 10th, up one. [Fox Sports]
The Preds won all four of their games in Week 23, giving the team six wins in a row for only the second time this season. Martin Erat recorded five points in the four wins off one goal and four assists.
Aaron Portzline puts the Preds in 5th, up four. [Dispatch]