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303 QUICK POLL: Can the Preds catch the Red Wings?

Five points back. Seven games to go. Can it be done?

In the past three weeks, the Nashville Predators have gone from “not making the playoffs” to having a legitimate chance at home ice advantage. The loss in Calgary and the overtime loss in San Jose on March 6 and 8, respectively were the lowest points as far as fan confidence goes. After all, they had only scored 13 goals in their last eight games and had lost six of those eight.

But that was then. Now, Nashville is on a five-game win streak and beating the teams they need to beat in order to get into the post season. The Boston Bruins (currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference), the Detroit Red Wings (2nd, West), the Buffalo Sabres (8th, East), the Edmonton Oilers (15th, West) and the Anaheim Ducks (8th, West) have all fallen victim to the Nashville surge into 5th place in the conference and 2nd in the Central Division.

So now that they are, in fact, 2nd in the division and only five points back of arch-rival Detroit, doesn’t it beg the question: Can the Predators hang a Central Division banner from the rafters of Bridgestone Arena for the first time?

* The Red Wings have one game in-hand on Nashville.
* If Detroit runs the table, they’ll have 111 points.
* If Nashville runs the table, they’ll have 104.
* The two teams will meet one more time in the regular season, in Nashville, on April 2.
* Four of Nashville’s last five games are against non-playoff teams.
* Three of Detroit’s remaining games are against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks (who, by the way, need every point they can get to stay in the Western Conference pack).
* Detroit’s injury list includes Pavel Datsyuk, Chris Osgood, Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi. All but Bertuzzi won’t see action until the end of the season.

So weigh in in the comments section below! Can the Predators overtake the Red Wings to win their first Central Division title? Let the discussion begin!