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Change of Seasons Doesn’t Necessarily Equal a Successful Formula for Nashville


Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.”

~Hal Borland

Every October brings a new season of NHL hockey, however that doesn’t always necessarily spell success for the now-golden clad Nashville Predators. Some teams live for early season success while others may be slow starters who get better as the season goes along, much like a fine aged wine.

Throughout the Predators short-lived existence, they’ve had what can only be explained as a lackluster performance in the month of October and the numbers back that up:

98/99: 1-5-1-0
99/00: 4-6-1-0
00/01: 4-3-3-1
01/02: 4-7-2-0
02/03: 1-5-1-2
03/04: 4-5-1-0 *
05/06: 8-1-0-1 *
06/07: 7-3-0-1 *
07/08: 4-7-0-0 *
08/09: 5-4-0-1
09/10: 6-6-0-1 *
10/11: 5-2-0-3 *
11/12: 2-1-0-1 +

* = Made the playoffs
+ = Still in progress

An overall record of 55-55-9-11 and a win percentage of 42.3% isn’t really something to be too proud of. Only winning more than 6 games twice in their history (during the two “All-Star” seasons for the Predators), Nashville seems to try and find their cohesion during the first month of each new season.

The beauty is that while the Predators average 11 games a year in the month of October and nearly won just as many as they’ve lost, they always use the month as an indicator for what they need to work on as a team and recover from any early injuries that they sustain (which they normally get bitten by the injury bug early in the season).

Just ONE month down the road, things historically get MUCH better for the Predators:

98/99: 6-7-0-0
99/00: 3-7-0-2
00/01: 6-6-2-0
01/02: 5-6-1-0
02/03: 3-6-3-2
03/04: 8-5-1-0 *
05/06: 7-3-0-2 *
06/07: 10-2-0-1 *
07/08: 8-2-0-2 *
08/09: 6-6-0-1
09/10: 9-4-0-0 *
10/11: 5-6-0-2 *
11/12: 0-0-0-0 +

That’s a 76-60-7-10 record with a 49.7% win percentage for Nashville. However, what may be the most telling is the comparison of records between October and November for the seasons that the Nashville Predators made the playoffs. For the seasons of 03/04 through 10/11 (excluding 08/09), here is how it looks:

October: 34-24-1-6 (52.3 Win%)

November: 47-22-1-7 (61 Win%)

Although numbers realistically only talk about what has happened in the past, you can use them as a clear indicator for the potential of the future as well. That being said, October isn’t the best month for the Nashville Predators, never really has been, however things only get brighter for Nashville as they head into the holiday season.