Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Nashville Predators Predictions

By Sean Fitzgerald

Dec 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) skates with the puck against Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the second period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

With the Blackhawks and Predators set to drop the puck on 4/15/2015 at 7:30pm central time, We decided to give our predictions on the series. The Blackhawks enter the series as the three seed with a record of 48-28-6. The Blackhawks will be getting back their leading point getter in Patrick Kane for injury. Kane has been on LITR since February 24th. He suffered a broken clavicle seven weeks ago. Kane had 27 goals and 37 assists in 61 games this season.

The Predators enter the series as the two seed with a record of 47-25-10. This is the first trip since 2011-12. If people have not been watching the Predators this is not the same team form in years past. Head Coach Peter Laviolette plays a more offense oriented style than former head coach Barry Trotz did. The one thing that remains constant about the Predators is goalie Pekka Rinne. Rinne was 41-17 with a 2.18 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

It should be a good first round series between two very tough teams.

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Here are our predictions:

Skylar Peters: 

Hawks in 7 Everyone expects the Blackhawks to go deep, but Nashville led the NHL for quite some time, these guys will definitely put up a fight. I can see the ‘Hawks dropping Game One, with Kane playing his first game back, but as the series goes on, Chicago’s playoff experience will be the series-breaker. A good offence against a good goaltender – this will be a great series to watch.

Prediction: Hawks in Seven.

Brian Kasnicka: 

The Hawks have the playoff pedigree unlike Nashville. Nashville may have the defensive edge, but the Chicago’s ability to roll four forward lines effectively will prove too much for Nashville. It’ll be a close series, but Chicago is just too much for Nashville. I’ve got the Hawks in six.

Prediction: Hawks in Six.

Tim Lively: 

On paper, the Hawks and Preds are pretty equal, but the Hawks have the edge in so many intangible areas. The Predators haven’t been in the playoffs for two years and also have a head coach in his first year, whereas the Hawks have been a playoff fixture for seven years (sorry, but playoff experience goes a long way) and a HUGE potential offensive spark (morally if nothing else) with the return of Kane. Furthermore this match-up has to be echoing in Rinne’s mind what the Hawks did to him in the 2010 post-season. If the Hawks can steal just one game away, the momentum they’ll carry back to Chicago will probably be enough to seal the deal. Hawks Win Series 4-1.

Prediction: Hawks In Five.

Gail Kauchak:

Hawks in 6. I think they’ll split in Nashville. Then they’ll get in their groove and win 2 at home. Preds won’t be done and they’ll win one back in Nashville.   But the Hawks will prevail to take the series in their house, and move on to play the St.  Louis Blues in Round 2.

Prediction: Hawks in Six 

Sean Fitzgerald:

The Hawks have lost four in a row entering the playoffs. Their offense is in terrible slump and Patrick Kane has not played in 50 days. The Hawks offensive struggles combined with Pekka Rinne’s play will spell doom for the Blackhawks. This series will be a great one but I have the Predators in Six.

Prediction: Predators in Six. 

Zach Charles: 

With the slump and diminished play of Pekke Rinne since his injury, it’s hard to believe, that even in a bit of a scoring drought, the Hawks will have a hard time solving his 6’7 Finnish frame. However, after the injury to Patrick Kane on Feb. 24th the line consistency and implementation of the new acquisition Antoinne Vermette have noticeably taken a toll in bringing the forward corps up to speed. Now that he’s medically cleared, it’s going to take a game to get moving as a group again.

I expect the Hawks to take game 1 in a close 3-2, maybe 5-3 victory that’s gritty and filled with goals at the front of the net. With that said, im hard pressed to believe the Preds won’t come out hard in game 2, and im hard pressed to believe that eventually being down 3-1 heading to game 5 that they won’t have a chance to force a sixth game. But by next Saturday, the Hawks will be on cruise control similar to the circus trip and it will take an act of God moving forward for the Hawks to lose at the uc. Let alone in their home away from home Nashville.

Prediction: Hawks in Six 

Keith Schultz:

Hawks in Six

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