There are several serious contenders for a Stanley Cup this year. New York is having one of their best seasons in years, Pittsburgh has Hart Trophy candidate Evgeni Malkin and a returning Sidney Crosby, and St. Louis has a two goalie tandem that is leading the West.
One more team you should add to your pre-playoff favorites is the Nashville Predators.
Not only do they have the 10th-least goals allowed in the league (Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne are two scary names for offenses), they also balance out their squad with the eighth-most goals scored.
The Predators have formed a top six highlighted by the Kostitsyn brothers, gritty forward Mike Fisher, and diehard Predator, David Legwand.
Imagine that offense injected with Russian sensation, Alexander Radulov. Today it's been reported that Radulov is eyeing a return to the surging Predators before the playoffs.
Don't remember Radulov? That's because he only played 145 NHL games with the Predators and abandoned ship to the KHL in 2008.
However, Radulov scored 95 points in those 145 games and has only improved his game since leaving. Each of his first three seasons in the KHL saw him raise his point production year after year. In 2010-2011, Radulov recorded 80 points in 54 games, leading the KHL in scoring.
His latest season, Radulov had 63 points in only 50 games, again leading the entire KHL.
Will Radulov make Nashville playoff contenders?
If Radulov can return to the Predators soon, he should be able to acclimate to their system in time for a deep playoff run.
This would make Nashville the most balanced squad on offense, defense and in the cage in the league.
After years and years of playoff disappointment, could this be the year that an actual offensive threat comes out of Nashville?
It certainly looks like it.
Don't be surprised if Nashville turns a lot of heads come April and if Radulov has made a surging return back to the states.