Why the West should fear the Predators

Heading into Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators have looked dominant. Here's why that's not a surprise -- and why they could make a very deep run this spring. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

If one had only looked at the regular season standings, the Nashville Predators' 2-0 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks would be pretty surprising.

A strong second half led the Blackhawks to a Central Division title with 109 points, while the Predators managed just 94 points, which was tied for the fewest of any team to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But the standings lie to us in hockey. The last three teams to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup finals all finished third in their division during the regular season.

One thing the 2013-14 Kings, 2014-15 Blackhawks and 2015-16 Sharks all had in common: A deeper analysis of their statistics revealed they were more dangerous than the regular season standings suggested.

The same goes for the Predators this year.