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04-30-2013, 12:23 PM
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Expectations for the franchise?

There seems to be a lot of discussion about the expectations for the franchise, and I have debated some who have called the Predators results over the past several years “mediocre”.

So I thought since the season is over we could have a discussion about it. I went back and looked at the past 7 years- since the 04-05 lockout . (And yes, I am excluding this weird strike shortened season- if we have another year like this next year, I retract everything I am saying here)

Here are the results:
2012 48-26-8 104 SECOND ROUND
2011 44-27-11 99 SECOND ROUND
2010 47-29-6 100 FIRST ROUND
2009 40-34-8 88 NONE
2008 41-32-9 91 FIRST ROUND
2007 51-23-8 110 FIRST ROUND
2006 49-25-8 106 FIRST ROUND

That means over a 7 year span, we averaged 45 wins and 100 points per season, and made the playoffs 6 out of 7 years (and we also made it the year before the strike). I am pretty sure that would be in the top 10 of the entire NHL if you did the research. There are at least 20 franchises that would absolutely kill for those kinds of results. There is no way that is mediocre in any way shape or form in my book. Mediocre to me would be hovering around .500 most years with an occasional good season thrown in. In that 7 year span we had 5 great seasons, and 2 average- again, not mediocre.

Now, I will agree that the playoff performance has been disappointing- the 2006 and 2007 seasons really hurt. But making the second round the past 2 years is a pretty good result and nothing to sneeze at.

My question is this- what are your expectations for this franchise?? For me, I want us to have a team that consistently makes the playoffs, has an occasional great year in which we have a real shot at the Cup (like last year).

It is my contention that many people have unrealistic expectations- if your definition of success is “win the cup or bust” then I think you are never going to be satisfied. It hurts to say, but it is entirely possible that we will never win the Cup. Look at other famous franchises that went decades and decades without winning the Cup. And I also think people forget just how young we are as a franchise- 14 years is nothing, and the first few of those are expansion-type years that can be written off.

If you look at last year as a disappointing season, and I know many who do, then to me, that is being unrealistic. We won 48 games, had 104 points, and knocked Detroit out of the playoffs. Even though we missed out on a great chance of at least making the Conference finals, I still look at that as a great season. I really thought that this horrible, horrible year would make people better appreciate the really good years we have had, but I guess it hasn’t for some.

For me, I want us to have a team that consistently makes the playoffs, and has an occasional great year in which we have a real shot at the Cup (like last year). I just want a team that in most years is good enough to be a contender to at least win a round in the playoffs. If you look at history, the playoffs are such a crapshoot- anything can happen- just look at the number of 1 and 2 seeds who have gone down in the first round. Just get to the playoffs and see what happens.

I will close with this- if I told you right now, that starting next year, our next 7 years will be exactly like the previous 7 we have that I detailed above- averaging 45 wins and 100 points and making the playoffs 6 of the next 7 years- would you take that right now and be happy with it?? I absolutely would- even if we don’t win a Cup. If that is mediocre then I will take it all day long.

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