Can Nashville win the Stanley Cup?

A case for and against the Predators winning the NHL's coveted prize

Updated: April 26, 2012, 11:49 PM ET
By Jonathan Willis and Rob Vollman | Hockey Prospectus
Pekka RinneAP Photo/Rick OsentoskiPekka Rinne was great against Detroit. Can he keep it up throughout the playoffs?

Interesting cases can be made for and against the Nashville Predators winning the Stanley Cup this season. Hockey Prospectus take a look at both sides of the coin to determine whether this is the year the Preds hoist the hardware.

Why the Predators can't win the Stanley Cup

Nashville's first-round win over Detroit was truly spectacular, but there's one key reason why we shouldn't expect the Predators' run to continue much longer: possession.

Puck possession is critical in the postseason, and a key reason why the No. 8-seeded Los Angeles Kings were the statistical favorite against the now-defeated, top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, and why the No. 8-seeded Ottawa Senators match up evenly with the top-seeded New York Rangers. It's also why everything has to break in Nashville's favor for the Preds to advance. The second-worst possession team in the regular season, Nashville required a lot of good fortune to beat a good possession team like the Detroit Red Wings (third-best possession team during regular season).

But the good bounces won't last forever.