Seasoned Predators look like the upstarts in Game 1 loss to Coyotes

By John Glennon

A mere four points separated the Predators and Arizona Coyotes in the standings when the NHL's regular season came to an unexpected end last March.

But one of the glaring differences between these teams as they readied for their first-round playoff series was postseason experience.

The Predators, simply put, had a ton of it. The Coyotes? Not so much.

Hard as it may be to believe, the Preds still have 13 players on their roster that reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, including the likes of Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm among others. Nashville has reached the postseason six straight seasons, and has played in a combined 11 playoff series – including the current one – over that stretch.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, hadn't participated in a single playoff game since 2012 before Sunday's contest against the Preds. Arizona did bolster its playoff experience in a big way by acquiring Phil Kessel – a two-time Stanley Cup winner in Pittsburgh – before the 2019-20 season. But the bottom line is that the Coyotes, even with Kessel, would have missed the playoffs again this season if the NHL had stuck with its traditional 16-team format, as opposed to expanding it temporarily to 24 teams.

So given the background of the two teams, which looked more like a seasoned playoff squad on Sunday, when the . . .

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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: