Following their best-ever regular-season finish (48-26-8, 104 pts, 4th overall in the West) and establishing themselves as a possible Stanley Cup contender, the Preds proceeded to bow out of the playoffs during the second round for the second consecutive year. When all was said and done, were the Preds satisfied with being the only Western conference team to make the semifinals in each of the past two seasons? Not on your life. After all, this was a team that went to great lengths to prove to everyone in the hockey world -- particularly their fan base as well as their core players -- that they were a force to be reckoned with. In February, the team went out and acquired reinforcements like Andrei Kostitsyn, Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill, then in March lured Alexander Radulov back to Nashville after a four-year hiatus playing in the KHL. It was not enough, however, as the team fell to the Phoenix Coyotes in five games, seemingly losing their focus after Kostitsyn and Radulov were suspe
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