When the Nashville Predators resume their season tonight in Minnesota following the NHL All-Star Break, they do so with the knowledge that the sky is the limit for their season.
They also do so with a bit of a cloud hovering overhead.
With 64 points, the Predators are just three points out of the top spot in the Western Conference. Only three teams in the entire league have more points than they do. The Preds own the leagues second-ranked power play and are ninth in goals-against per game.
At the seasons outset, general manager David Poile said he thought the Predators, one of the youngest teams in the NHL, would be better in the second half than in the first. Thus far, that is how it has played out.
Nashville went 12-2 in its last 14 games before the break and goalie Pekka Rinne, a finalist last season for the Vezina Trophy (best goalie), is rounding into form. He has won nine straight, 18 of his last 20 decisions and ranks second in the NHL with 28 wins.
Amidst that seemingly...