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NHL playoff standings update: Projecting Predators’ chances

NHL playoff standings update: Projecting Predators' chances

Leading up to the trade deadline on March 3, the Nashville Predators appeared to be looking ahead to 2023-24 and beyond after trading away Nino Niederreiter, Tanner Jeannot, Mattias Ekholm and Mikael Granlund for a king’s ransom of draft picks.

But a weird thing has been happening simultaneous to all that dealing: Since Feb. 21, the Preds have earned a point in nine of their 11 games, going 8-2-1 in that stretch, including five one-goal victories, per ESPN Stats & Information. In that span, they rank in the NHL’s top 5 in points percentage, penalty kill percentage, power-play percentage and fewest goals against.

Can they actually nab one of the Western wild-card spots?

The pathway continues Thursday, as the Predators host the Chicago Blackhawks (8 ET, ESPN+/Hulu), a club they have beaten in both meetings this season.

After Thursday, the schedule gets tougher for Nashville, when 13 of its final 16 games are against teams currently in playoff position. The Predators play two games apiece against the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets, two teams currently in the wild-card positions. Those games will be as close to must-wins as any, since the Predators are four points behind the Jets (with three games in hand) and six points back of the Kraken (with two games in hand).

FiveThirtyEight gives the Preds a 39% chance of making the playoffs. That might not seem high, but given where things stood a weeks ago, it’s pretty remarkable.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2023 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via FiveThirtyEight.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Today’s games
Last night’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC2 New York Islanders
A2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. A3 Tampa Bay Lightning
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 Pittsburgh Penguins
M2 New Jersey Devils vs. M3 New York Rangers

Western Conference

C1 Dallas Stars vs. WC1 Seattle Kraken
C2 Minnesota Wild vs. C3 Colorado Avalanche
P1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. WC2 Winnipeg Jets
P2 Los Angeles Kings vs. P3 Edmonton Oilers

Thursday’s games

Note: All times Eastern. All games not on ESPN, TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).


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