Everything Else

Everyone’s darling. It’s always so much fun when the Canadian media “discovers” that hockey can be enjoyed somewhere else other than some main artery in Toronto or that one strip of bars in Calgary where everyone wears a jersey because they don’t actually own anything else. Of course, this also happened in 2012 when the Canucks played the Predators in the 2nd round and they were shocked to discover the Nashville fans had better and more fun traditions than, “two college kids ripping off a game from It’s Always Sunny,” and “waving a towel.”

Whatever, the Nashville Predators made the most noise they ever have in the playoffs last year, and outplayed the Penguins for a good stretch of the Final. But in the same vein as, “didn’t, lawyer fucked me,” they went the, “if only Pekka Rinne was actually as good as we keep telling people he is” route for defeat excuse. Here’s the thing though: Pekka Rinne is still here. And he’s a year older.

Nashville Predators

’16-’17 Record: 41-29-12  94 points (4th in Central, lost Final to PIT)

Team Stats 5v5: 51.3 CF% (5th)  51.3 SF% (7th)  50.7 SCF% (14th)  7.8 SH% (13th)  .926 SV% (9th)

Special Teams: 18.9 PP% (16th)  80.9 PK% (15th)

Everything Else

 vs 

Game Time: 7:00PM CDT
TV/Radio: CSN, NBCSN (US), TVA-S2 (Canada), WGN-AM 720
Golden Showers: On The Forecheck

The long national nightmare is over, The Chicago Blackhawks are once again playing hockey games that matter. And they’re doing so from their most advantageous position in four years, with home ice for as long as they remain in the Western Conference playoffs. For those counting at home, under Joel Quenneville the Hawks are 11-1 in series wherein they have home ice, the lone outlier being the 2014 Western Conference Final, which took to Game 7 in OT to end. That also remains the only series that the Hawks have ended up losing wherein they have taken Game 1. The road is laid out for them, and the first step is tonight on West Madison against the Nashville Predators.

Everything Else

 at 

Game Time: 7:00PM CST
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Get The Red Out: On The Forecheck

In what is looking more and more to be the case as games tick off the schedule, this will be the last meeting between the Hawks and Predators until Game 1 of the Western Conference Playoffs. And with both teams apparently locked into their respective positions within the division, tonight in Nashville and here on out remain about getting healthy and tightening up play more than about results.

Everything Else

 vs 

Game Time: 6:00PM CST
TV/Radio: WGN Ch. 9, WGN-AM 720
Mike Ribeiro Is A Sex Criminal: On The Forecheck

It seems like every single year the Hawks manage to have played more games than anyone in the first half of the season, with the entire rest of their division having games in hand up until the final week of the season. This year is no different, and what better way to pile on than with three games in four nights, all at home.

Everything Else

The Predators came into this season perhaps the most watched team in the West, if not the whole league. For the first time, it really appeared they could be one of the last four, or two, or even last team standing. They had a deep forward corps, though perhaps lacking star power. They had one of the deepest blue lines around, made only better by swapping out Shea Weber for He Who Should Be President Of The World. There were certainly questions about the goaltending, as Pekka Rinne has fallen off elite status. If it all went balls-up, that’s where it was most likely the arrows of blame (a great My Bloody Valentine album) would be pointed.

It hasn’t worked out that way, and it hasn’t worked out the way the Predators and their fans would have hoped either.

Everything Else

predator vs evil empire

Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, NBCSN, SportsNet East, WGN-AM 720
Napalm The University of Tennesee Athletic Department: On The Forecheck

Tonight’s game will conclude the season series between the Hawks and Preds. And while the Hawks have already won the season series outright(3-1-0), the Predators have exposed some of the flaws in the composition of the Hawks’ roster in the process. And they’ll catch the Preds during their most productive streak of the season, having taken points in 7 straight games, and winning four straight games on the road, and eight of their last nine.