The rivalry between the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks has become one of epic proportions.
Every year, these two teams are towards the top of the Central Division and for the first time this season, the two will be facing off at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday. This will be two times they will face off this week.
Last season, Chicago and Nashville faced off four separate times. The goal advantage was 12-9 in favor of Chicago. Two of the four games went to extra time. This has been a heated and very close rivalry between both squads.
With both teams in play for another run towards the top of the division, the stakes are high for this week’s match-up as MVP favorite Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Keys to Watch
Kane’s on Fire
The Nashville Predators will have to contend with the offensive firepower of Patrick Kane. Kane has been the best offensive player in the NHL this season with 16 goals, 26 assists, and 42 points in 27 games this season. Kane is currently ranked 2nd in the NHL with four game-winning goals. Patrick Kane has also scored in a franchise record of 22 games straight. The Nashville defense will have to contend with the Kane and keep tabs on him continually through the match. If gets open, or keeps the puck for an extended period of time, it could spell danger for Nashville.
Struggles Away from Home
Both of these teams have seen struggles when they are not at home. Both the United Center and Bridgestone Arena are raucous venues that give the home team a distinct advantage. Chicago has a home record of 9-3-1, but an away record of 5-6-3. On the other hand, the Nashville Predators are 8-3-2 at home and 5-5-3 away from Nashville. The Predators have to stay out of the box and they can’t get behind. Chicago, like usual, is a very talented, offensive-minded team that can put goals up in droves.
The Nashville Predators have been getting scoring from their top players (Shea Weber, James Neal, Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg). The big issue is getting secondary scoring from contributors in previous years. Colin Wilson only has one goal this season. Gabriel Bourque on has one goal this season. Two goals between 47 games this season is not acceptable. Nashville needs some of their secondary players to start making contributions to scoring.
These two heavyweights of the Central division will look to get a lead against each other early on in this match-up. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.
Puck drops at 7:30 pm!