Predators' results against best, worst of Western Conference don't add up

It was four years ago next month that the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks battled in a highly competitive, six-game Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The teams split the first four games and the series turned when the Blackhawks won in Game 5. They closed it out two days later and since have become one the NHL’s premier teams. Not only did they win the Stanley Cup again that season they did it again last spring.

Despite all of Chicago’s success since then, the Nashville Predators always have matched up well with them.

It’s one perennially bad team that they can’t handle, a reality that was reinforced with Tuesday’s 5-1 loss at Edmonton. With that, the Oilers swept the three-game season series by a combined score of 13-2.

Just to be clear: Edmonton has the worst record in the Western Conference (25-36-9). As of right now, 13.7 percent of its regulation/overtime wins this season are against the Predators.

It might take a team of scientists years to figure out how the Predators can be so good against a team as good as Chicago and so bad against one as bad as Edmonton. There’s certainly no way to explain it here.

Simply consider the numbers since that 2010 playoff series:

Record, 2010-11 through current: 164-77-40
Playoff appearances: 3 (currently third in the Central Division)
Best Western Conference record: 2012-13

Nashville vs. Chicago: 9-8-3, including 2-1-0 this season

Record 2010-11 through current: 101-143-38
Playoff appearances: 0
Worst Western Conference record: 2010-11, 2013-14 (through 70 games)

Nashville vs. Edmonton: 5-8-1, including 0-3-0 this season

The latest loss to Edmonton kicked off a four-game road trip that continues Wednesday at Vancouver (9 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee) and ends Sunday at Chicago. Presumably, therefore, the Predators have more than just one reason to look forward to the end of it.