It was a tough task. To improve their chances of making the playoffs, the struggling Nashville Predators had to knock off the NHL’s best team, the Chicago Blackhawks, in both games of their home-and-home series this weekend. Or, at the very least, get points in both.
Instead, they failed to get points in either.
Nashville dropped the first of two games 1-0 but they did a lot of things right, giving themselves confidence going forward. They had plenty of prime scoring chances in each period, got 29 saves from Pekka Rinne, had a tremendous hustle play in the final minute by Patric Hornqvist that made you want to personally go down to the locker room and sew Martin Erat‘s “A” on his sweater and had two near-misses in the final seconds in an attempt to force overtime.
With the first loss — and Phoenix’s win over Colorado that night — Nashville’s chances of getting in the playoffs fell to just 2.6% according to Sports Club Stats.
On Sunday night in Chicago, the two teams hooked up for a...