Predators look to be team on the rise despite Cup Final disappointment

“We’ve got to let this sink in and embrace it,” defenseman P.K. Subban said. “For our hockey club right now the bright spot is that we’ve got a young team. There’s some guys who will never feel this feeling again and let’s hope that the next feeling that we have is raising the Cup over our head and being Stanley Cup champions.”

That always is the goal, and after having gone as far as they ever have in the Stanley Cup Playoffs — captain Mike Fisher was the only Predators player with previous experience in the Stanley Cup Final — they now have a much better idea of how hard it is to get there. Getting back to the Stanley Cup Final, and winning, will be even harder.

The Predators need only to look to the Penguins to see that. Winning the Stanley Cup last season wasn’t easy. Getting back to the Final and becoming the first repeat Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 was a far more difficult ride because of the injuries and adversity they had to overcome.

It’s impossible to predict what obstacles lie ahead for the Predators, but they should be contenders again next season mainly because of their defensemen. They have arguably the best top-four defense

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