2009 preview: Nashville Predators

It’s not often that a team with only 32 losses will finish out of the playoffs, but that’s what happened to the Nashville Predators last season.

Playing in probably the toughest division in the league (with the Blackhawks, Red Wings, Bluejackets and Blues), the Preds are in tough again this year.

Other teams seem to have gotten better this year, but the Preds have stayed the same. That will lead to them further in the standings this season.

Story of the season: Can the young goalies get it done? Following a trend of having two young goalies, the Predators starting two goalies have 121 starts between the two of them. That could come back to haunt them, as they have no mentor to turn to when things get tough.

Former Habs: Francis Bouillon

Blog to follow: On the Forecheck

TV commercial break

Pool Picks: Steve Sullivan. Despite missing a couple of years because of a bad back, he still had 32 points in 41 games last year. Before that, he was a point per game player for three straight years, and had at least 60 points for seven straight seasons. Look for him to get about 60 points this year.¬†Stay away from: Martin Erat. He point total was down to 50 points last year, and he’ll struggle this season, probably finishing with 40 points.

Award nominees:Pekka Rinne for the Vezina

Expected Finish: Fifth in the Central, 14th in the West

Cheerleader:This is Kacey, of the Preds Ice Girls

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