Found April 18, 2013 on
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Chicago Blackhawks are in a word: complete. Claiming the division and conference by a staggering 10 point lead over the Anaheim Ducks, riding a six-game win streak all on the way to a possible President’s Trophy puts Chicago in the driver’s seat to what many experts feel is a lock for the Stanley Cup Final.
Nashville, as pointed out in James’ article, are relegated to moving on to next season’s hopes and the likelihood of Nashville sinking further down the standings to get an elite pick at this year’s NHL entry draft. Names like Jones, Mackinnon and Drouin are salivating the tongues of Predators fans and the anticipating of watching Filip Forsberg’s glimpses of future greatness is maybe enough for fans to accept the loss of the season. Kubler-Ross would characterize this as the final stage of death…but just for the sickeningly short and soul-searching 2013 season.
With Sharp and Emery out, the Blackhawks will be defending the honor of the United Center with Toews, Kane, Saad, Hossa, Crawford, Keith, Seabrook, Bickell, Stalberg…you get the idea, the Blackhawks have an answer for every team they face regardless of lineup or IR reports. Crawford is the story going into this game and the post-season. He has owned the Predators to the tune of only two goals allowed and a 2-0-0 record.
Even though Sharp is considered to be one of the Blackhawks “Pred-killers”, even without him on the ice the Blackhawks can still pound the puck down Nashville’s throat. Both Kane and Toews have four points each against Nashville, and rookie Brandon Saad has three points. The Blackhawks have so many weapons it may prove to be an insurmountable task for the Predators and more over since Nashville won’t play spoiler to anything Chicago holds dear except for losing only their 6th game in regulation (yes…you read that right).
The Nashville Predators have been officially eliminated from the playoffs and while playing the most games of any team in the West, the rest of the bottom teams have had a chance to catch up in points and games played. While playing spoiler to Detroit’s chances, the Calgary Flames jumped the Predators in position so that Nashville may get a higher pick come draft time at season’s end. The possibilities are endless with a top five pick netting that team a solid player that is probably NHL-ready and one that a franchise can start building a winning tradition with en route to the coveted Stanley Cup Finals.
After a three-day break and some on-ice practice to build some semblance of team chemistry with the merry-go-round of forwards running through the line-up with injury call-ups and such, Nashville may finally be getting something going. The rest was much needed after playing nine games in fifteen days. Rinne deserves the rest most of all after trying his damnedest to keep the Predators in the game with one of the more impressive GAA and SV% in the league with not much run support or wins to show for it. The games may not be important anymore save the outcome of finishing further down in the standings to get the upper-tier of the draft, but the fans still would like to see the Predators play spoiler to soon-to-be-leaving division rivals Detroit and Columbus by busting their playoff chances.
…On a side note speaking of busting chances…can someone explain why the two options for the NHL14 cover from the Predators are Mike Fisher and Brandon Yip??? Mike Fisher is a great player and deserves the acclaim for his consistent play but against heavyweights in the league he doesn’t stand a chance in voting. And as for Brandon Yip? The good people at EA Sports could just have easily put Scott Hannan up for the vote. Both have about as much chance of advancing in the bracket-style voting poll as Rhode Island School of Design has of football aspirations. Personally, I think a grass-roots campaign to put Rich Clune on the cover, black eye, facial lacerations and all, would have been an awesome viral promotion for the Nashville Predators (and he has the same number of points as Yip).
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The race for the Central Division is long over, and the West has been won. The Presidents' Trophy is still out there, and the Chicago Blackhawks look ready to grab that one as well.
If they can pick up a few more timely goals on the power play, this could be only the beginning.
Marian Hossa scored just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Blackhawks swept the season series...
CHICAGO (AP) Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time with a 5-4 victory Friday night.
With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a four-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past...
Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time with a 5-4 victory Friday night.
With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a four-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past Pekka Rinne for...
With only eight days remaining in the Nashville Predators' 2012-13 season, they head to Chi-town to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville is 15-21-8 with 38 points and 14th in the Western Conference. Western Conference champions Blackhawks are 33-5-4 with 70 points and 1st in the Western Conference. Puck drops at 7:39pm CT.
The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched the top spot in the Western Conference. Next up is the league's best overall record.
Chicago will try to extend its winning streak to seven and point streak to 10 on Friday night when the visiting Nashville Predators take the ice for the first time since their franchise record-tying seventh straight loss eliminated them from playoff...
Already headed to the playoffs with the best record in the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to continue producing on the power play while closing in on the Presidents' Trophy.
The Blackhawks go for an eight-game winning streak Saturday night when they attempt to sweep the season series from the Phoenix Coyotes, whose playoff chances are dimming.
The Nashville Predators collected their first point since April 2 on Friday night against the high-powered Chicago Blackhawks. Nashville lost in overtime to the ‘Hawks by a 5-4 score on(More here)…