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NHL

Chicago vs. Nashville

Game Date Matchup/Result Breakdown
1 Fri, April 16, 8:30pm et on TSN2 Predators 4 at Blackhawks 1 Recap/Highlights | Box
2 Sun, April 18, 8:30pm et on TSN Predators 0 at Blackhawks 2 Recap/Highlights | Box
3 Tues, April 20, 9pm et on TSN Blackhawks 1 at Predators 4 Recap/Highlights | Box
4 Thurs, April 22, 9:30pm et on TSN Blackhawks 3 at Predators 0 Recap/Highlights | Box
5 Sat, April 24, 2:30pm et on TSN Predators 4 at Blackhawks 5 (OT) Recap/Highlights | Box
6 Mon, April 26, 9pm et on TSN2 Blackhawks 5 at Predators 3 Recap/Highlights | Box
Blackhawks win series 4-2


CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 52-22-8, 112 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 4-2
Last Stanley Cup Win: 1961
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: 1992
Last Postseason Appearance: 2009
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Andrew Ladd, John Madden (2), Tomas Kopecky

A reason to cheer for the Blackhawks: The Hawks are one of the youngest and most likeable teams in the League with a re-invigorated fan base thanks to their recent success. It has been a long time since the ‘Windy City’ had a team they can be excited about and after a Western Conference final run last season, there is plenty of reasons for optimism. If history repeats itself then Marian Hossa’s presence on the roster ensures Chicago of at least a berth in the Stanley Cup finals, however is this the year that the Slovak sniper finally gets to hold hockey’s holy grail? Time will tell.

What They Bring To The Table: The Hawks have made the United Center an absolute fortress this season with 29 home wins. They also feature a balanced scoring attack and perhaps the top defensive unit in the league. Their blueline was so deep that they were able to send former first round draft pick Cam Barker to the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline. The Hawks also feature one of the league’s top penalty killing units and are among the NHL’s best in the faceoff dot thanks to the likes of Jonathan Toews and John Madden. Where it may all go sideways for the Hawks is between the pipes. While rookie Antti Niemi was spectacular for Chicago this season, he has never played a single second of NHL playoff hockey in his life. While veteran Cristobal Huet has 16 post-season contests under his belt, he has never led his team to a series victory. That’s not a very good sign for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. While they might not need their goaltenders to steal victories for them, they must be able to trust them not to lose games, otherwise a successful season may be all for naught.


NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Team Page | Roster | Stats

Regular Season Record: 47-29-6, 100 pts
Head-to-Head Record: 2-4
Last Stanley Cup Win: Never
Last Stanley Cup Final Appearance: Never
Last Postseason Appearance: 2008
Players with Stanley Cup Rings: Jason Arnott

A reason to cheer for the Predators: How do the Preds do it every year? Despite one of the lowest payrolls in the league and a roster devoid of superstars, Nashville competes for a playoff position every single season. A lot of the credit should go to general manager David Poile and head coach Barry Trotz, but the players themselves deserve some recognition as well, assuming of course you can remember any of their names. What the Preds lack in star power, they make up for in grit and competitiveness. While they don’t get the headlines, the defensive corps is very solid with Shea Weber leading the way.

What They Bring To The Table: While the Preds do a great job at reaching the post-season, they must now take the next step and prove that they are not simply content earning a ticket to the dance. In their relatively short history, Nashville has yet to win a playoff series. Working in their favour this season is how effective they have been on the road. Remarkably only the Sharks, Capitlas and Kings have more wins away from home then Nashville. As well it is a very good thing that the Predators are the least penalized team in the League because they are horrible on the PK. Nashville kills off only 77% of their penalties, the worst of any team that qualified for the post-season. Their power play is equally anemic, making good at only a 16.6% clip. To make the situation even worse they enter the post-season with a goaltender who has never seen a minute of playoff hockey. While Pekka Rinne has been solid during the regular season, you never know what you will get from a goaltender until he is tested under the glare of the playoffs. The odds are certainly stacked against Nashville from advancing.


Skaters


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Western Conference

(1) COL v (WC) MIN (1) ANA 1, (WC) DAL 0
(2) STL v (3) CHI (2) SJ v (3) LA


Eastern Conference

(1) BOS v (WC) DET (1) PIT 1, (WC) CLB 0
(2) TAM 0, (3) MON 1 (2) NYR v (3) PHI


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