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Examining the Nashville Predators

by Evan Grossman / NHL.com

 
 
Complete Predators Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Return to the playoffs more challenging to Preds in '07-08

The Predators have been nipping at Detroit’s heels for the last two seasons, but they have yet to topple the NHL’s Big Red Machine and finally snatch a Central Division crown. The Preds have gone from an expansion team to a playoff regular — and for parts of last season, they held the top position in the Western Conference. But as competitive as they’ve become, they have yet to win a playoff series.

Getting that first postseason victory will be more challenging this season after losing key players like Paul Kariya, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell via trade and free agency. Unrestricted free agent Peter Forsberg was still not signed by the end of the summer. But with a solid group of hungry, young players, the openings on the top lines might give guys like Alexander Radulov and Vernon Fiddler opportunities they might not have normally had. The Preds also will have a new No. 1 goalie this season in Chris Mason, who takes over the job previously held by Tomas Vokoun, who was traded to Florida.

Yes, there was a lot of turnover this summer, and with the uncertain future of the team in the Music City, there was no telling what direction the franchise would take. But it looks like the team isn’t going anywhere after those issues were resolved with a change in ownership committed to keeping the team in town.

There are plenty of holes to fill this fall in Nashville, but the Predators are confident they have the right people to plug them. The Preds are poised to be as competitive as ever under head coach Barry Trotz.
 
2006-07 Record:
51-23-8, 2nd Central

Who's In:
F Radek Bonk, D Greg de Vries, F Matt Ellison, G Dan Ellis, F Martin Gelinas, G Dov Grumet-Morris, F Jed Ortmeyer, F Antti Pihlstrom, F Shane Willis
 
Who's Out:

F Ramzi Abid, D Sheldon Brookbank, F Peter Forsberg, F Scott Hartnell, F Paul Kariya, F Brandon Segal, F Kim Staal, D Kimmo Timonen, D Vitaly Vishnevski, G Tomas Vokoun

2006-07 Leading Scorers:
Leading Scorers: Paul Kariya (24-52-76), Jean-Pierre Dumont (21-45-66), David Legwand (27-36-63), Steve Sullivan (22-38-60), Martin Erat (16-41-57)

2006-07 Goaltending Leaders:
Tomas Vokoun 27-12-4, 2.40 GAA, 44 appearances, .920 save percentage, 5 shutouts; Chris Mason 24-11-4, 2.38 GAA, 40 appearances, .925 save percentage, 5 shutouts


NHL.com's 2007-08 Predators Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster
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