June 23, 2024

As the 2023-24 NHL season began, there was uncertainty surrounding the Nashville Predators. General Manager Barry Trotz had made significant offseason moves, including parting ways with veteran centers Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen, while Andrew Brunette stepped in as the new head coach.

Initially, the team found itself in the middle of the pack, until a humbling 9-2 defeat against the Dallas Stars on Feb. 15 prompted a change. Following the cancellation of a planned trip to see U2 in Las Vegas, the Predators embarked on an impressive 18-game point streak. However, recent heavy losses to the Arizona Coyotes (8-4) and the Colorado Avalanche (7-4) put a halt to their momentum. Now, their upcoming match against the Boston Bruins presents an opportunity to regain their footing.

Looking ahead, the question arises: how high can the Predators climb in the standings?

A perfect run in their remaining games would see them finish with 106 points. While surpassing teams like the Dallas Stars (currently at 103 points) and the Avalanche (100 points) might prove challenging given their recent form, the Winnipeg Jets, with 96 points compared to the Predators’ 90, appear more vulnerable, having stumbled with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10 games.

With seven games left in their schedule after facing the Bruins, six of which are against non-playoff teams, the Predators have an advantageous path. Their lone challenging fixture is against the Jets. Meanwhile, the Jets face tough matchups against the Stars, Avalanche, and Vancouver Canucks in their final seven games.

Despite the favorable schedule, statistical projections from Stathletes’ model still favor the Jets to secure the No. 3 seed, with a 69.2% chance compared to Nashville’s 26.7%.

As the regular season enters its closing stages, attention turns to the intense playoff races and the intriguing dynamics of the NHL draft lottery for the 2024 season.

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