Afternoon At The Grand Ole Opry- Blackhawks Visit Nashville

By Keith Schultz

Apr 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) scores a goal against Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) in the shootout at the United Center. Chicago defeats Nashville 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Game #37– Chicago Blackhawks (27-5-4) at Nashville Predators (15-15-8)

Game Time-2pm Central



Season Series– The Hawks have won both appearances, The Hawks shut out the Predators in Nashville 3-0 and they won this week on Michal Rozsival‘s shootout winner 3-2.

Preview- The Predators lost 3-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night and coach Barry Trotz biggest nightmare keeps reoccurring which is his teams inability to get pucks in the net.  In 6 periods against the Hawks the Predators have only scored 2 goals in one period and have nothing but goose eggs in the other 5 periods.  The Predators actually played aggressive hockey in the third period Monday night and it paid dividends for them getting them a road point.  They still play a boring style of hockey almost trying to lull you to sleep just long enough to sneak a goal by you for the win. Pekka Rinne has been average by his standards this season, but he played a very strong game Monday against the Hawks.  Not only are the Predators missing Martin Erat who was traded at the deadline but they also will be missing injured Gabriel Borque so someone in the lineup will have to step up for them to score goals.

The Hawks for the second straight game played 2 good periods and then really tanked the third period.  They need to break this habit by the time the playoffs roll around.  Michal Handzus though unable to score on a great chance but was excellent at the faceoff circle.  Dave Bolland took a puck off the foot and will miss Saturday’s game along with Patrick Sharp.  Thankfully the Hawks have the cushion for Sharp to come back when healthy unlike the past two seasons when every game in the last 20 games felt like a playoff game. Marian Hossa returned Thursday night and it brought out the best in Captain Jonathan Toews(1 goal 1 assist)! Brandon Saad has now scored in three straight games heading into Saturday’s contest.

Prediction– The Hawks will win this Saturday afternoon snoozer against the Predators 4-0.

What is your prediction for the game?

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