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Some readers might be surprised to see the Blackhawks getting past the Coyotes.
However, with Raffi Torres' hit on Marian Hossa in game three, the Hawks now have a rallying point. They also have Jonathan Toews who might be the best captain in the NHL. The Coyotes will now have to deal with an impassioned Chicago team.
Goaltending: Pekka Rinne vs. Corey Crawford
Rinne has been the backbone of every Predators win this season. He's incredibly consistent and his postseason numbers are excellent. Crawford, while effective, is in a different class to Rinne. He gives his team a chance to win, while Rinne can often steal games.
Defense: Nashville's big two of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter have been overshadowed in some ways by 27-year-old defenseman Kevin Kline. Kline has two goals and three points in four games in the playoffs and provides Nashville with solid depth. The Blackhawks have similar complimentary players like Nick Leddy and Johnny Oduya, but are a bit more mistake-prone than the Nashville D-corps.
Forwards: The Hawks have the clear advantage on paper, with players like Toews, Patrick Kane, and Patty Sharp, but the Preds have solid depth up front. It's undeniable that the Chicago attack is much more dangerous and dynamic, but the Hawks scored only nine more goals than Nashville during the regular season.
Bottom Line: The Predators play an effective defensive game, and have built a very deep lineup that can wear down volatile opponents like the Blackhawks.
Predators in six.