After the disastrous loss in San Jose, the Preds have reeled off 4 wins in a row and sit in 7th place in the western conference, only 1 point from 5th place Colorado(they have played 1 less game though). With 11 games to go (7 are at home) the Preds have managed to build a nice 6 point cushion over 8th place Calgary. The trick now is to somehow finish 5th or 6th to avoid the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs. Heard that one before?
My thoughts on the team with 4 weeks to go:
* Pekka Rinne has led the team on the 4 game hot streak with 4 wins and only 5 goals allowed in that time frame. When Pekka plays to his potential he is an elite goalie and the Preds can play with anyone.
* Colin Wilson in the bomb! You can see why he was rated such an elite player and looks to be the best young player in recent Preds history since Weber/Suter showed up together a few years ago. He has a knack for making the big play, something the Preds really need.
* Cody Franson may not play much this year once Denis Grebeshkov returns from his injury, but his play has been solid and gives the Preds a good security blanket if Dan Hamhuis doesn't sign another contract after the season. The game has slowed down for him and he is really using his long, Pronger-like reach on defense to his advantage.
* Dustin Boyd has settled in nicely and playing solid 2 way hockey. He has been snake-bit on offense, receiving several bad breaks on good scoring chances but you can see he was a good pickup that adds quality depth.
* Marcel Goc looks quicker and better each time out. David Poiled deserves credit for seeing his ability and making a great pickup. Goc has proven to be a solid and productive center for the Preds. You are starting to see more and more defensemen on their heels when Goc has the puck.
* Watching Scott Hartnell play for the Flyers Tuesday night made me salivate at the thought of him still with the Preds. Can you imagine our offensive productivity with him and Patrick Hornqvist both going to the front of the net every night?
Preds looking good but some big games still lie ahead. Next 3 against teams below us in the standings. Win the ones we should on the schedule and we will be in the playoffs. Lets go Preds!