Tonight, the Blackhawks come in to Nashville, TN and play against the Predators in game 61 for the Predators.
Looking at the Blackhawks: They’re coming in on a 2 game win streak, have only lost one game in regulation in the past 7, and are playing what could only be considered playoff hockey at this point. The Blackhawks also are 4th overall in goals scored and 2nd on the powerplay. They are right on the cusp of the top 8 coming into tonights game. Past that, they’re coming in with a 2-1-2 record against the Predators this year with both of their wins coming at home while going 0-1-1 in Nashville this year.
Looking at the Predators: Home sweet home for the Predators…right? Well, that’s kind of up in the air right now. Sure they are 14-6-7 at home this year, but in the past 6 they’re playing .500 hockey at home going 3-2-1 (a loss counts as a loss at home, it feels like a loss when you are walking back to your car). However, right now the Predators are mired in a losing streak at the wrong time in the season. They’ve lost 2 in a row and have gone 1-2-1 in th past 4 and have fallen from 4th to a 4 way tie for 5th-8th in the Western Conference.
For the Blackhawks to win: Even though the Preds have been trying to do what it takes to prevent such an influx of Hawks fans like the last home game against Chicago, the Hawks need to feed off of the MASSIVE majority of Hawks fans that will be in attendance. Yes, there WILL be that many in the Bridge tonight. It’s not going to be anything but help that Coach Q will be back in the “lineup” tonight for the Hawks as well. This team has done well in his absence, but The ‘Stache leads this team. Chicago will have to play an entire 60 minutes if they’re going to want this game from the Preds, as they’re going to be playing against a very angry Preds club that was spanked by Columbus on Tuesday night.
For the Predators to win: Injuries have caught up to this team, there is no question about it. The Predators look like a team that is looking for their identity, and rightfully so, as nearly every player has played on some type of different line over the past 4 or 5 games and can’t build any chemistry with the players around them. Nashville is going to have a little stability, though, as they expect Kostitsyn and Suter both back in tonights game, which should bring the lines back to normal even if for just tonight. However, the Predators have to learn to do the most important thing you can do in a hockey game – SHOOT THE PUCK. When you shoot the puck, it’ll eventually find the back of the net. When the Predators DO find the back of the net, they win games. Yes, it’s THAT easy boys and girls.
Prediction: *sigh*, I’m 1-4 in predictions since starting this blog with 4 straight in the wrong column, maybe I can pick it up tonight. Everything about this game, to me, spells a Hawks win. I don’t know why, I just feel it. I really hope not, though, as this IS a MAKE OR BREAK game for both teams. If the Preds lose this one, they’re out of the top 8. If the Hawks win this one, they’re IN the top 8. FULL SWAP is on the line for tonight. That’s why I posted the picture I used for this article. It’s a message to the Predators. Remember Game 5. If that is the ONLY reason you come out and win tonight, remember Game 5…
Angry Shea leads this team to a win, Predators win it 2-1
Thanks for reading!