Chicago Blackhawks-Nashville Predators Preview:
With the Blackhawks opening the season 0-2-0 they look to get into the win column in their home opener. The Blackhawks had a tough first two games versus playoff teams from last season, the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals.
The major problems for the Blackhawks in their first two games have been a lack-luster power play and poor decisions on the defensive end. In their last game versus the Capitals, the Blackhawks took an early 2-0 lead but surrendered 4 unanswered goals.
Poor decisions have really hurt the Blackhawks, Matt Walker, Jordan Hendry and Niklas Hjalmarsson (in the 1 period he played) the Blackhawks 5,6 and 7th defensemen have not played well at all and the top 4 have not played exceptionally on the defensive end either.
Brent Sopel, the Blackhawks "solid veteran defenseman" has played terribly in the first two games of the season, posting a -4 and zero points.
The major surprise has been the ineffectiveness of the Blackhawks power play, Brian Campbell was brought in to turn around the awful Blackhawks power play but in the first two games the 'Hawks have not been able to score with an extra skater.
The Nashville Predators are 1-1 this season with a surprising win versus (Ken Armer's) Dallas Stars and loss to the St. Louis Blue on the season opener. The Predators have a 26-24-7 all time record versus the Chicago Blackhawks but were only 3-4-1 versus the 'Hawks last season.
If the Blackhawks want to get their first win of the season tonight versus the Nashville Predators, they will need to capitalize on the power play and do it early. If the 'Hawks can gain some confidence early with a power play goal, I think they will be poised for their first win of the season.
5-3 Chicago Blackhawks win
Chicago Blackhawks Starting Line-Up:
News and Notes:
Blackhawks Red Carpet Affair before the game, more info at the Chicago Blackhawks Website
Niklas Hjalmarsson day to day with a rib injury
Chicago Blackhawks recall Aaron Johnson from the Rockford Ice Hogs and will be in the starting line-up tonight