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Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Nashville’s Push And IndyCar Driving

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May 29, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Nashville Predators center Frederick Gaudreau (32) celebrates his goal with the Predators bench against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game one of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Nashville Predators center Frederick Gaudreau (32) celebrates his goal with the Predators bench against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in game one of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Colin Likas

Question 1: The Blackhawks losing to a team that’s four wins from the Stanley Cup doesn’t do a whole lot for me, emotions-wise. The West was pretty weak this year, so any team that got hot at the right time could’ve done exactly what the Predators are doing.

In hindsight, though, I think the Preds were unintentionally playing possum heading into the postseason. They had such a bad regular season after so many expected them to contend for a conference title. And they they just pushed through to the championship series.

I’m certainly not rooting against the Preds in this series against Pittsburgh. Nor am I rooting against the Pens, necessarily. I just want to see some good hockey. But as far as if the Preds making the Final makes me feel better about them beating the Blackhawks … a little, I guess. But it doesn’t move the needle much.

Question 2: I’m sure Niklas Hjalmarsson would make a fine IndyCar driver. The guy is absolutely fearless on the ice and is generally comfortable making split-second decisions. And he’s not afraid to handle or dish out a little punishment, a good trait to have as a race car driver.

Next: Ranking Non-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final Series

Hjalmarsson would probably ask if he could go without a helmet during one of the races, just to see how he fares. I’m sure if NHL rules wouldn’t prohibit it, he probably would’ve played a hockey game without a helmet by now.

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