We are very much at the point at which we can confidently say that the Nashville Predators have serious momentum on their side. They extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night, in what was a highly impressive win in multiple facets of the game.
The two teams will run it back tonight at the United Center, in what will be the Predators’ second back-to-back game in the past week. They boast a 4-2 record in consecutive contests so far this year, and the way they are playing right now also bodes well for their chances of winning.
How can the Predators pull off a fifth victory in a row?
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Tighten Up Defensively
By no means were the Predators bad in their own zone last night, but they did give up some chances that shockingly stayed out of the net.
One of those chances came in the third period when Juuse Saros made a diving effort to swat the puck out of the blue paint with his stick.
Saros is still playing incredibly well since he came back from injury, but I have a tough time believing he will perform the same way if the Predators allow the chances they did last night.
The Blackhawks have great shooters such as Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Dominik Kubalik, and with how offensively potent they have proven to be, they will find the back of the net sooner or later.
Score Quality Goals Again
Last night’s game featured maybe the most beautiful goals the Predators have netted all season long. The first one, especially, was a textbook example, as the top line worked it down low to set up Ryan Johansen in front for an easy tap-in.
It only took over two months into the regular season, but the Predators found an offensive strategy that will win them games. This is not exactly breaking news, but sticking with consistent lines over multiple games seems to make a difference.
Either way, if the Predators can replicate the offensive work they did last night, they will have a good chance to win with how complete of a game they are playing as of late.
Nashville Predators Getting Hot At A Critical Time
The Predators are riding a wave of momentum that they have not had since the very beginning of last season. In the 2019-2020 season, there would be times when they looked to be generating traction, only to flounder and undo the progress they made.
Now, it does not look like a joke. The Predators have won four in a row and six of their last seven, with two of those wins coming against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.
I am happy that the youth movement is coming to fruition and getting results, but I still want to see more. Their next four games, including tonight’s, are against the Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars, two of the three teams they are trying to beat for a playoff spot.
We will see if they can take full advantage of their momentum because it means nothing if they cannot pass their most critical tests.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM CDT and will be televised on NBCSN. Follow along with us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute game commentary.