Everything you need to know as the Nashville Predators get set for the Stanley Cup Playoffs

There are a number of friends I haven't seen in person since we all started spending a lot of time inside last March.

Every now and then, I wonder what's changed about them in the past quarter of a year: Have they grown out their hair to shoulder length? Shaved it all off? Crafted a Ryan Ellis-like beard? Shed – or gained – a few pounds? Pierced a body part? Gone Goth?

As the Predators ready to return to playing games in August – after putting their season on pause for nearly five months – the questions in that vein can be boiled down to two: Will this look like the same Preds team we watched for most of the 69-game regular season? Or is there any reason to believe the lengthy layoff will result in a new-and-improved edition as the playoffs commence?

If the answer to the first question is yes, the Preds' stay in Edmonton – home to the Western Conference's playoff teams – may last no longer than an Alberta heat wave.

Sound pessimistic? It's easy to think that way following the abbreviated 2019-20 regular season, one that could only be described in Nashville as disappointing. The Preds took the ice last October as one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup – especially after the much-anticipated signing of Matt Duchene – but wound up finishing fifth in the seven-team Central Division and eighth . . .

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Author: John GlennonMulti-media journalist with extensive expertise covering the NFL, NHL, professional soccer and more, including the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators for The Tennessean with articles, videos and podcasts. Strengths include the ability to write quick, concise and thorough analysis, as well as the ability to uncover unique human-interest stories. In working as a reporter, John developed skills that extend beyond the sports journalism world. An efficient and effective communicator, John is confident, calm and productive under deadline pressure and knows the power of the written word. John brings to Broadway Sports a work ethic second to none, an intellectual hunger, and an ability to inform and entertain readers, viewers and listeners. Reach out directly to John at: