Sure, the Nashville Predators would prefer to not have a 1-12 record in 3-on-3 overtime this season. They would’ve rather had a line change go smoother or have a puck not hit the post. Finding themselves on the other side of some bad puck luck would be ideal.
But that 1-12 record in overtime equates to something else. There’s 14 points to be had in that record. That can be a huge swing in the right or wrong direction.
In six of those 12 overtime losses, the Preds were trailing in the third period, only to battle back and salvage a point. That includes last night in Calgary, when Nashville entered the final frame down 2-0, until Anthony Bitetto cut the deficit to one before Mike Fisher evened the score with just over one minute remaining.
Those six comebacks provided six points, which could ultimately be the difference between making and missing the playoffs. Without those six points, Nashville would have 75 points, just one ahead of Colorado and three ahead of Minnesota, the two clubs battling for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Instead, the Predators find themselves with 81 points, seven ahead of Colorado for the first Wild Card spot and a game in hand. And given the overtime results, the Predators have just 21 regulation losses, sixth fewest in the NHL.
Take a look above, and the Preds are only six points behind St. Louis and seven away from Chicago and Dallas, who sit atop the Central Division. With a current, franchise-record, 14-game point streak still intact, anything is attainable.
Especially at this juncture of the season, two points are ideal, but one point is certainly better than nothing at all.
“That’s a huge character test right there, when you’re down 2-0 early and you find a way to come back,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said after Nashville’s overtime loss to Calgary on Wednesday. “Points at this time of the season are huge.”
The Predators might not win the Central, but a division title doesn’t mean everything in the postseason. A team just has to get in. After that, anything can happen. Just ask Peter Laviolette about his 2010 Philadelphia Flyers team that got in on the last day of the regular season via a shootout win, only to advance to Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final.
So the overtime record isn’t great. It can be disheartening to think of the points left on the table and then to imagine where the Preds might sit if they had only three or four wins in the extra session.
But think of where they’d be without the resiliency to claim a point when they have. One is better than none. A postseason berth is better than an early locker clean out.
Given the option, I’d take the point. Wouldn’t you?