Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Resting up never hurts. Some might subscribe to the idea that the ’Hawks sitting and waiting for their next opponent to be determined can kill any momentum they might have and leave them a little stiff for the second round. But rest is something the ’Hawks can use to their advantage, should they receive some by defeating the Preds tonight. Though Nashville has been more physical than expected, the ’Hawks can expect much of the same from Minnesota or even more physicality from St. Louis. Plus, the ’Hawks have played a pair of lengthy overtime games already. Even if the ’Hawks close out the Preds tonight, it will feel like the series went longer than five games (no matter what Duncan Keith says). Having some extra days away from the stress playoff games put on hockey players, physically and mentally, can have the ’Hawks feeling fresh for their second-round foe. Additionally, the Blues or Wild will be coming off at least a six-game series, so they would not be nearly as well-rested as a ’Hawks team that closed out the Preds in five games.