Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How has Nashville Faired Against Central Division Foes?

The Nashville Predators have been around since the 1998-99 season, and have played 280 games in the Central Division since that time. Since day one, familiar division foes like Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis have always been a part of the puzzle. In the 2000-2001 season, Columbus was added to the Central Division picture. So in the 280 games that the Preds have played against these 4 teams, how many have they won?

The Predators have won 139 games against Central Division foes in their history. This puts the winning percentage against the division at roughly 49.6%. This doesn't include ties or overtime losses. This is just strictly based on wins. All things considered, that's really not a bad winning percentage. Here is how the Preds have faired against each team in the division.(NONE OF THESE STATS INCLUDE POSTSEASON PLAY).

We'll start with the Detroit Red Wings. Going into tonight's game, the Predators have played 72 games against Detroit in the history of the franchise. They have come out on the winning side of those games 26 times. This puts the all-time winning percentage against Detroit at 36.1%.

Next up are the Chicago Blackhawks. The Preds have squared off against the Blackhawks 74 times. They have beaten Chicago in 34 of those games, which puts the winning percentage against the Blackhawks at 45.9%.

St. Louis and Nashville have also met 74 times in history. The Preds have won 37 of those games, which puts the winning percentage at exactly 50% against the Blues.

Finally, the Preds have battled the Columbus Blue Jackets a total of 60 times. Nashville has won 42 of those games, which puts the winning percentage at exactly 70%.

At the end of this year, Nashville will have played Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis a total of 75 times apiece. They will have played Columbus a total of 63 times(Columbus was not a franchise for the first two years of the Predator's franchise. The Preds played divisional opponents 6 times each of those two years, resulting in Columbus being 12 games behind DET, CHI, STL).

The two that stick out the most are Detroit and Columbus. Obviously, the Preds haven't had very much success against Detroit in their history. They've got 26 wins accounted for in a 72 game span. That's got to improve if the Preds want to knock them off in the near future. Columbus sticks out because the Preds have been particularly dominant against them. Nashville has beaten them 70% of the time out of 60 games.

Nashville goes into tonight's game vs. Detroit looking for win number 27 against the Wings, and win number 140 against Central Division opponents. It's going to be tougher than Saturday because it's in Detroit, and the Wings have Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup. The Preds are currently 2-1 against Detroit this year, but need to win each game remaining against them if they want a legitimate shot at winning the division this year. These are 4 point games. The puck will drop at 6:30 P.M. central tonight.

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