Predators Playoff Picture: 04/07/2023
A Nashville win against the Jets Saturday could almost double the Predators' playoff odds. Here's a complete update on the playoff picture for #Smashville, who sit one point out of the playoffs.
There’s only one way to describe this Nashville Predators team, and "clutch" is the perfect descriptor for the kind of run we’re seeing to keep up in the playoff race. The Nashville Predators shut out the Carolina Hurricanes last night 3-0 in just the latest case of favorable results for the Preds' playoff chances. We saw Calgary beat Winnipeg in regulation Wednesday, putting both teams at 89 points, then Nashville won in regulation yesterday, putting them at 88.
With that in mind, it’s time for an update to the Predators' playoff chances. Like I said before, everything Nashville needed to happen actually happened. After last night, here’s where the three teams stand:
Winnipeg sits in the second wild card spot currently, with 89 points and 4 games remaining--a max total of 97 points.
The Calgary Flames also have 89 points, but only have 3 games left--a max total of 95.
The Predators sit one point behind at 88 with 4 games remaining, for a max total of 96.
As you all know, Nashville has the biggest game of the season against the Jets on Saturday. With the win tonight, Nashville jumped from a 16% chance of making the playoffs to 24%.
That number can change DRASTICALLY against Winnipeg.
If Nashville wins in regulation, they jump all the way to a 43% chance of making the postseason--they will have 90 points vs Winnipeg’s 89 and both will have 3 games left. A loss in regulation drops Nashville’s chances all the way down to 6%, with 88 points to Winnipeg’s 91.
The chances improve less dramatically with an overtime win--with both teams sitting at 90 points, Nashville has to gain more points than the Jets, because if they end the season tied in points, Winnipeg will win the tiebreaker in almost all scenarios. The first tiebreaker is regulation wins, and Nashville has 29, four less than Winnipeg’s 33, and in the second tiebreaker--regulation and overtime wins--Nashville trails by 7. That means even if Winnipeg finishes tied with the Preds in points, they’ll be in. So every point counts--especially points in the games Winnipeg loses if they lose in OT.
Don’t forget about the Flames
The Calgary Flames play Vancouver on Saturday and even if Nashville wins in regulation, if the Flames win at all, they’ll have 91 points and lead for the final wild card spot. After that, well, they play Nashville, and hopefully we’ll be having this same conversation in two days' time.
However, Calgary has only three games remaining to Nashville and Winnipeg’s 4, so they remain the only team of the three that DOESN’T control their own destiny--they could win every single game but Winnipeg could still get in by getting more points. The Flames, in a way, have put themselves in third place in this race--but not by much.
Just win, baby, win
Despite the math and thousands of 'what if?' scenarios, the Preds' magic number to make the playoffs is four--if they can miraculously pull off an undefeated final four games, the Predators are almost certainly in the playoffs. What a world we live in compared to that of the deadline, huh?
(Author's note: the above are several excerpts from my segment in the below video--you can find the transcript here)