Keys to Watch
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks will be without their leading goal-scorer, Marian Hossa. In 34 games this season, Hossa has 16 goals, seven assist, and a total of 23 points. His play is significant on the special teams, specifically the power play. So far this season on the power-play, he has three goals and six power-play points. Hossa also has four game-winning goals with three overtime goals. Chicago will be desperate tonight and will look for third and fourth lines to produce without Hossa. He has been known to be especially effective against the Predators and tonight will give Nashville the opportunity to overcome their recent losing streak.
After a review of the Nashville Predators, and their ability to score, it does not take a statistical analysis expert to see one of the main problems with this team. James Neal has six assists on the season, Ryan Johansen has seven goals, Filip Forsberg has six goals, Craig Smith only has 12 total points, and Colin Wilson only has five goals. The offensive ability of this team has been underwhelming to say the least. The Preds need to build an offensive powerhouse. Peter Laviolette has been known for his ability to produce great offensive teams, but this year, this team is not meeting expectations. The main problem with this team right now is their inability to score on a consistent basis. They need to step up, and quick!
When evaluating special teams, the Nashville Predators have one large advantage against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are ranked 29th in the NHL on the penalty kill. With a kill percentage of 74.7%, the Nashville predators power-play should be able to make some headway. The Predators power-play is currently ranked 13th in the NHL at 19.5% and, at one point this season, or in the top two best power plays in a league. The Predators need to take advantage of every opportunity they have against a very strong and determined Chicago squad.
The Predators will begin the first of a back-to-back tonight as they welcome in their most intense rival, the Chicago Blackhawks. 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 7:00 pm!