Sunday, September 18, 2016
Inside The Rivalry: Chicago Blackhawks
If there is one team that gets under the skin of true predators, "this Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago, as of late, really irritated many Nashville fans over the past few years. Whether they slew of agitators on the roster (see J. Andrew Shaw ), or the fans going in the first period because of too much alcohol consumption, the fact remains that the fans of Nashville for all fans hate the Blackhawks.
Perhaps what makes it even worse is the fact that Chicago has won three cups in the last seven years. Talk about the fans coming out of the tree.
However, let's look at what made this great series in the past year!
Record against Chicago last season: 2-3-0
The best player of the series last year,
It was hard, because there were no players who are consistent in all five games against the Hawks. When you look at it, the Raptors had a decent amount of players to play well against Chicago.
Do you have big guns such as James Neal and Filip Forsberg, both of whom have stepped up huge in a 5-1 blowout victory over the Blackhawks. Then you play the role of players like Eric Nystrom and Ryan Ellis, who contributed to the great series.
For me, I'll go with James Neal. He had just finished with two goals in the series, but he always seemed to play really well against Chicago. Let's not forget about the hat-trick he put them on his first year in uniform Preds'. I expect that Neal to have another solid year against the Hawks this season.
Best game since last year
For me, it came down to two options. Hawks 5-1 defeat in December, and a 3-1 win over them at the end of February. I decided to go with the February 25 inclination towards them. I mean after all, we are selecting the best game, but not a good beat down, am I right?
The game was already a big, due to the effects of playoff seeding and that at the end of the season. It was a slow start with neither team able to find the back of the net in the first period. This was not due to lack of effort, though. Both goalkeepers made some very impressive saves to keep the game scoreless.
Brent Seabrook broke the tie early in the second to give the Blackhawks lead. It was not too long after that Viktor Arvidsson tied things back to the Raptors. Both teams traded more chances, but the second period ended in a draw.
The third period was played close one as both teams struggled to get anything past the goalkeeper before the end of the game. Cue Calle Jarnkrok. He scored with less than two minutes left to play in the competition to give Preds huge advantage later. Nashville then went on to add an insurance marker as Miikka Salomaki scored the empty Netter, to seal the deal for Smashville.
It was a tense fight, but Nashville has ended with a victory and two huge points in time.
The best time from last year
There are always a lot of great moments when Nashville takes on Chicago. For me, though, it had to be this tremendous save by Rinne on Toews.
It was the best moment for me because of how important it is that the economy was not only in the game, but this season, as well. Rinne has struggled throughout the year, so for him to get a huge roll in the elite player was a big deal. I believe that the savings Rinne gave his groove back to finish the season strong.
Bold prediction for the 2016-2017 season
The two teams will square off five times this year. My bold prediction that the Predators latching Patrick Kane to two points or less in those five games. I think that the protection of Nashville redesigned and reinforced Rinne will keep Kane in control during the whole year.
Bonus Bold Prediction: P.K. Subban will acclimate quite nicely in the Central Division. I believe that he is averaging two points per game against the Blackhawks this year. Book Now! (Or not. I usually far from my bold prediction. Should one win in the end, is not it?)