The Nashville Predators’ season restarted less than a week ago, and just like that, it has already come to an end. Following their heartbreaking overtime defeat to the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-3, the Predators will no longer compete in the Edmonton bubble.
The NHL was forced to revamp their playoff format due to COVID-19. Thus, for the first time since the 1980’s, the playoff teams have played in a best-of-five series, rather than the traditional seven games. Arizona won the first game, and Nashville responded by taking game two. Nevertheless, games three and four went the way of the Coyotes, ultimately winning them the series.
During game four, the Coyotes went up by two early in the 2nd period. The Predators did manage to rally back to tie, but this didn’t last long. Arizona capitalized off a Predators miscue and put themselves back up by one. Then when all seemed lost, Filip Forsberg was able to rip a goal with just under 30 seconds left in the game, sending the match to overtime. In the end, it was the Coyotes who still came out ahead as they scored the game-winner just five minutes into the OT period.
The Predators might be headed home, but it is not for lack of effort. They competed well in the last two games, and even dominated long stretches of play. It just so happened that the majority of the bounces went the other way. It is unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
There is still a little bit of hope left, though.
There is a nice consolation prize waiting for one of the eight teams who get knocked out first. The NHL Draft lottery was held on June 26. It was determined the first overall pick will be awarded to one of the eight teams who are eliminated from the playoffs. This means the Predators will have a 12.5 perent chance of getting the top pick. This will be decided on August 10.
So far, the other teams to be eliminated include the Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, and the New York Rangers. The Predators will now join this group and await four more participants to accompany them to the second part of the draft lottery. If you want more information on this lottery system you can follow this link here.