The Nashville Predators are looking to get back to the Stanley Cup Final after losing in the first round to the Dallas Stars last season.
The Nashville Predators were a 100 point team last year and had what it took to get the Stanley Cup Final but failed in the first round to the Dallas Stars.
This was mostly due to the Predators power play being the worst in the NHL last year. They addressed that need in the offseason and hired Dan Lambert to help fix that.
If the Predators look to sustain success throughout the 2019-20 season, then they need to be much better at the power play. You can get away with the poor power play in the regular season, but once the postseason comes around, you can’t afford to be bad at anything.
They should know that better than anyone as one of the better teams in the regular season they couldn’t sustain success in the playoffs because they were too inconsistent.
Another thing to watch for is Matt Duchene as he makes his Predators debut. After losing a defenseman and two forwards this offseason to trade or free agency the Predators went out and got a big name, and he needs to capitalize if the Preds plan to be successful this year.
With that being said, the Predators front office addressed their offensive needs, but what about their defense? With P.K. Subban now in New Jersey the defense will be something many fans look at.
The fanbase seemed to be split with the Subban trade. I think we are all thankful for what he did here, and we can agree he is a good player, but he was injury prone and seemed to be more worried about how he was perceived and his character off the ice than what he did on the ice.
Roman Josi will, of course, be the leader of the defense and he still has Ekholm and Ellis there with him to help lead the defense they will need some of the other second and third line players to step up now.
The last thing I’ll be looking at is the goaltender position. Yes, Pekka Rinne is the starter there’s no doubt about that. But he’s not getting any younger he will turn 37 this season, and the Predators have Juuse Saros playing backup.
I don’t think it’s time to let Saros take over full-time, but with Rinne getting up there in age I don’t see a problem with letting them rotate in and out to allow both goalies to stay fresh and I think that would help the Predators out defensively.
Rinne will be a free agent in two years, and when that time comes, he’ll be 39. I don’t think it’s time to kick him out, but we should enjoy these last couple of years with him while also preparing for the future.
The 2019-20 season is going to be a test for the Predators with multiple new pieces on the ice and the bench. We will find out if their power play is better and if they’re good enough to get out of the first round of the playoffs.
It’s not quite a rebuild year, but it’s one that Preds fans haven’t seen in a while. There are new additions while the team is also trying to continue to prepare for the future. It’s going to be a test, and if the Predators answer, then it could be a very fun season.