How Well Will Chicago Compete This Season? December 1st Should Set the Stage
Every since sweeping Chicago in the first round of the 2017 playoffs, the Predators/Blackhawks rivalry has felt just a little different to me. There doesn’t seem to be as much of the “big brother vs. little brother” mentality left. I think that can be contributed to a few reasons. One, the Predators are now legitimate Stanley Cup contenders; they’re young, talented, and have most of their guys signed for many years to come. Another reason is that Chicago just isn’t the same team they were a few years ago. They’re still talented, but they’re older and have a lot of big contracts that have caused them to fill out their roster with average players. In this rivalry, water seems to have found its level.
December 1st is the first time that the Predators and Blackhawks meet this season, and we’re lucky that it takes place in Nashville. We’ll be almost two months into the season, so we’ll have a great idea of each team’s strengths and weaknesses. Last season, the Preds and Hawks split the season series at 2-2. This first matchup will be a good indicator as to how the rest of the season series should go. Do the younger, faster Predators have a clear upper-hand on the older Blackhawks? We’ll know on December 1st.