Everything Else

This ran in last week’s C.I. program for the Preds’ game. 

It’s hard to fathom that for pretty much their entire existence, the Nashville Predators have never had a true #1 center. They drafted David Legwand to be that with their first ever pick. You know how that went. Their highest scoring centers over the years are names like Greg Johnson, Yanic Perrault, aging and one-footed Peter Forsberg, and Rich Peverly. The team that lost to the Hawks in 2010 was trotting out Jason Arnott at 35. Colin Wilson as a rookie was the team’s best center the first time they won a playoff round. Mike Ribeiro was as close as they came last year. So you can see what the attraction is for acquiring Ryan Johansen at this age to finally lock down that spot. When you haven’t had something in so long, you’ll drink the sand.

Everything Else

predator vs oldschool

Game Time: 7:00PM
TV/Radio: NBC, SportsNet (Anglo), TVA2 (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Country Music Awards: On The Forecheck

Tonight’s game 6 at home is slightly uncharted territory for the Hawks. Only once previous under Joel Quenneville had the Hawks not ended a series in a non-game 7 situation when they had the opportunity to, and that was at home for Game 5 against the Canucks in 2010. So now they get a second opportunity to end the Predators’ season, and it’s one they had better emphatically capitalize on.

Everything Else

oldschool at predator

Game Time: 8:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN+ (Ch. 201), NBCSN, SN360 (Anglo), TVA3 (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Opryland Season Pass: On The Forecheck

After 101 minutes of hockey that spanned Tuesday well into Wednesday, the Hawks are at long last in a position to advance in the post season. And that opportunity presents itself tonight in the form of the Nashville Predators once again at Bridgestone Arena.

Everything Else

oldschool at predator

Game Time: 8:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN+ (Ch. 201), NBCSN, SN360 (Anglo), TVA3 (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Opryland Season Pass: On The Forecheck

After 101 minutes of hockey that spanned Tuesday well into Wednesday, the Hawks are at long last in a position to advance in the post season. And that opportunity presents itself tonight in the form of the Nashville Predators once again at Bridgestone Arena.

Everything Else

predator vs oldschool

Game Time: 8:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, NBCSN (US), SportsNet (Anglo), TVA3 (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Arrested Development: On The Forecheck

For already the second time in the series, the Hawks have an opportunity to go up two games on the Nashville Predators, this time to push them to the brink. The last time didn’t go so well, but the Hawks are now doing so on home ice where they can dictate the matchups. The key, as always, becomes execution.

Everything Else

oldschool at predator

Game Time: 7:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, NBCSN (US), SN360 (Canada), WGN-AM 720
Yellow Ice: On The Forecheck

And so it begins. In all reality, tonight is the first night of the last ride of these Chicago Blackhawks as they are presently constituted. With another salary cap doomsday looming along with diminishing production from some veterans, it’s the general consensus that a retooling is nigh. And the Hawks at current are sixteen wins away from making a definitive statement of this era of the National Hockey League before many will part ways. But it has to start with one.

Everything Else

So we’re almost through the set up, and then McClure will be along in a bit to get you ready for Game 1. There’s not much more to discuss, but let’s clean up the rest.

Special Teams – This probably should be the big worry for Hawks fans, because the Hawks’ PK hasn’t been very good lately, but luckily the Preds’ power play has fallen off a cliff from previous seasons and ranks 25th in the league. If the Predators don’t get a fair share of power play goals, it’s hard to see how they can consistently win the battle at even-strength at even-strength.

On paper, it should be a good unit though. You know all about Shea Weber’s elephant gun from the point, and no forward is going to be aching to get in front of that. If you cheat out at that too much, you would think Ribeiro would have enough space to find Neal on the other side for one-timers through the slot or Wilson or Smith in front. But it just hasn’t worked out that way.

Everything Else

Well, it’s time to get in up to the elbow on everything yellow that comes with the three stars of Tennessee. We’re going to name it that because there were simply no good matchups for the Hawks to find. Had they even won the division that would still mean Minnesota, otherwise known as the West’s best team since January. Or it could have meant the Jets, a team with three wins at the United Center this season and perhaps will have the hardest arena to play in anywhere in these playoffs. The Blues? Probably on paper (which doesn’t include what’s in between their ears) the most solid team out there. So yeah, no good solutions.

So while the Predators are far from anything resembling easy, and have just as good of a chance of winning this series as the Hawks do, it’s probably the one you’d choose for least painful. So let’s get to it. As the Preds are built from the net out, that’s how we’ll comb it.

Everything Else

oldschool at 20140102035032!Grand_Ole_Opry_Logo_2005

Game Time: 7:00PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
Ghost With A Boner: On The Forecheck, III Communication

Tonight is literally the most important hockey game of the season to this point league wide, with the last two teams without a regulation loss squaring off in Music City. The somewhat surprising Predators holding a slight advantage in the standings in the early going, with a shootout loss in the one more game they have played than the Hawks, and Conference III bragging rights are on the line.