The Nashville Predators racked up 104 points over the course of the 2014 season and earned the number three seed in the western conference. Unfortunately the Predators drew the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs and were bounced in six games. They look to rebound in 2015 and make a further run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. After two home games to open the season, the Nashville Predators schedule turns to a three game road trip, including two tough games against the Islanders and Senators. The Predators were the only playoff team in the west to win fewer than 20 road games over the course of the regular season. They still managed a top three seed in the west but winning more road games in 2015 could earn them a top two seed. It is one of the few areas Nashville could use some improvement.
Graphic via foxsports
Following the three game road trip, the Predators schedule turns to a tough three game home stand. During the home stand they will be able to measure themselves with some of the top teams in the NHL like Tampa Bay and Anaheim. Overall, The Predators schedule bounces back and forth between 3-4 game road trips and home stands for the entire season. It is the type of schedule that could show some serious swings in the win/loss column. It is a rarity for Nashville to have a home game and a road game back to back in 2015. The most challenging four game home stand for Nashville comes against the likes of Minnesota, Montreal, Detroit, and New York (Rangers) in the month of December. December is also the month when they face Chicago for the first time since the playoffs. The two teams play two games back to back with one on each home ice. The Predators had their moments during the series, scoring 5 and 6 goals in their two wins, but they struggled to consistently slow down the eventual champions. They will need to improve on the defensive side of the puck to have a chance this time around. The Nashville Predators schedule is difficult throughout but finishes nicely. In their last 12-15 games, the Predators will have a great opportunity to pick up some late season victories. It will be a nice finish to ease them into the playoffs after a stressful year of traveling back and forth across the country. Overall, the Predators schedule is one of the most difficult to navigate in the whole NHL. They will have a difficult time gaining the same status in the western conference as 2014 and may finish with a lesser playoff seed. Never the less, the Predators will be a playoff team and the real question is whether they can become a true Stanley Cup contender.
Graphic via rantsports