The mathematical answer is yes, of course. The realistic answer is who knows. In this, my first blog, I will examine what it will take. Coach Trotz said during the All Star break we need 4 points in every 3 games. I agree. In other words win 2 of every 3, or at least the equivalent. The Preds had 36 games remaining after the break so that would equal 48 points to be added to their 43 going in for a total of 91. That should put them right on the edge of the playoff picture. This is where the who knows portion of the answer begins. Can we really expect a sub .500 team to basically play .667 hockey the rest of the year? Since Prednation would answer that with a yes lets discuss how we accomplish that lofty goal. For the sake of arguement I will work on the assumption that we don't add any significant new player(s). The math is fairly easy. Win 80% of our home games and go .500 on the road and we have 48 more points. Easier said than done. Now to the ice. Our power(less) play ranks 28th in the league at 14.3%. I'm not asking us to become the Wings, but if we could play at a rate of around 18%(middle of the league) the rest of the year it would help our scoring considerably. While I don't have a lot of confidence in that transformation, with the addition of Sully I do feel like we can improve. We need more shots( on net hopefully) and Ryan Jones in front of the net. Bonk will do fine as well. They are our only consistent net presence IMO. After a terrrible start on the PK we are up to 6th in the league at 84.1%. We have been over 90% as of late. The real key here is to get our penalties down. When a team struggles to score as we do, we need all our threats on the ice with a realistic chance to score as much as possible. The penalty kill isn't the way to go. We are dead last in the league in scoring at 2.39 goals per game. Again, I'm not wishing for a major miracle, but if we can be middle of the league the rest of the way it would play a huge role in our sucess. Thats only about a half a goal a game, or 1 goal every other game the rest of the way. With the addition of Sully and the current line combos I actually believe we could do this. Why did it take so long to put Sully back with Arnott and Dumont. I also think Jones needs to be here to stay and keep him with Legwand and Erat. Thats our best talent. Keep them together. I would rather have my best players together than spread the talent thinner over a third line.We have lost 6 games so far this year that the opponent scored 2 goals or less, including an overtime shutout loss to Chris Mason. How much difference would that 1 goal every other game made then? Lastly, like last year, we need a hot goalie. We all remember the famous Milwaukee snowstorm that started the Ellis era. It looks more and more like Rinne has the best chance to be " the man" this year. The Preds began the post All Star break exactly as coach Trotz hoped by winning 2 of 3 in Western Canada. It aslo helped that the wins were not 3 point games and came against the 2 teams we have some hope of catching. The way the Flames are playing I'm not holding out hope we will catch them. Lets see if we can make up significant ground during February. We have 10 home games in the month with few road trips. No time like the present.