Following a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on May 7, the Nashville Predators officially entered uncharted territory: the NHL Conference Finals. It seems as though the gutsy moves that General Manager David Poile made over the past two seasons, namely trading away prized young defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Center Ryan Johansen and trading team captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for offensively-gifted PK Subban, are bearing fruit. Despite qualifying for the 2016-17 Playoffs as the final wildcard team in the West, the Preds lost just one game through the first two series.
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To understand Nashville’s playoff success, look no further than their blueline. Through the first nine games of the playoffs, their defensive corps has amassed a staggering nine goals and 16 assists. Defenseman Ryan Ellis leads the team with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists), while both Roman Josi and PK Subban have contributed eight points apiece. While their offensive numbers are off the charts, their defensive stats are equally impressive. They’ve given up three goals in a game only once this post season and have held their opponents to one goal or less in six of nine playoff games. Although it’ll be hard to maintain this pace going forward, don’t be surprised if you see the yellow and blue come June.
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