With the 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night, the Nashville Predators were officially eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not since 2003 has that happened this early in a season and, on the heels of two consecutive Western Conference Semifinal appearances, that’s immensely disappointing.
What’s worse? Since last summer, they’ve dealt with an overwhelming number of frustrations. The lockout delayed their season by four months, they saw a laundry list of players go on the injured reserve during the year, they had a veteran leader who requested a trade and they had an All-Star defenseman go elsewhere and immediately make an argument for the Norris Trophy.
Not exactly a stellar 10 months at 501 Broadway.
There is reason to be excited, however. The Predators have a rare chance to do something they’ve never done (sans 1998, before the franchise ever took the ice): pick in the top five of the NHL Draft.
Unlike previous years, any non-playoff team can win the lottery and...