The Nashville Predators’ 14-game point streak went a bit under the radar for a few reasons, most obviously because they’re still a significant haul from the Central Division title race.
Still, it could be something we look back on if, say, the Predators make some noise as a strong wild card team in the West.
Let’s take a look at that team-record 14-game run, which ended Saturday via a 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
It’s pretty easy to see the difference between some of the Predators’ go-to forwards before vs. during this streak.
Smith is probably the most dramatic example. In his first 50 games of 2016-17, Smith scored 14 goals and 30 points. That’s perfectly reasonable, but Smith generated 14 goals and 22 assists in the 19 games since the All-Star break. Obviously, that included a healthy chunk of that point streak.
Signs of life from Pekka Rinne
As we stand, this still ranks as one of Rinne’s worst statistical seasons; his .909 save percentage is the second-lowest mark he’s experienced (his woeful 2013-14 season featured a .902 percentage).
Nashville weathered the storm of what may have been his lowest points, so seeing recent confidence-building means more than those past struggles. His save percentage is much healthier at .917 since the All-Star break, and the points are coming with that improved play.
Overtime struggles persist
Strangely, the Predators remain a team that’s struggled after regulation. They now sit at 9-1-5 if you include that Canucks loss.
It’s disturbing enough that the team website attempts to put their overtime struggles “in perspective.”
Long story short, with some rising scorers and an improving starting goalie, the Predators stand as an opponent to avoid. Their record streak put that notion under the spotlight.