Nashville Predators Can’t Mess Around Against Chicago Blackhawks

Nashville Predators center Luke Kunin (11) has a shot blocked by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen (32) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Luke Kunin (11) has a shot blocked by Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen (32) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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A matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks should have the Nashville Predators confident in another win, but they can’t overlook a desperate team in disarray.

There hasn’t been many times this season that on paper you can say that the Nashville Predators should be confident favorites to win, but here we are with this matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Predators and Blackhawks will meet for the first time of the 2021-22 season, and this can’t be the time that the Predators start a game sleepwalking.

The Blackhawks are in a mess of disarray both on and off the ice, but I can promise you they’ll come into this game hungry for a divisional win. They’ll have to do it with an interim head coach as they announced on Saturday that Head Coach Jeremy Colliton has been fired. He was in his fourth season and had a record of 87-92-26.

Recent domination in the series for the Nashville Predators

Last season the Predators had to really step up to the occasion late in their playoff push to beat the Blackhawks, and ended up owning the season series record of 7-0-1. Just pure domination, and it has to continue on Sunday night in Chicago.

The Predators are coming off a thrilling Friday night win over the Vancouver Canucks that featured Matt Duchene continuing his blazing start to the season, and the power play continuing to be productive going 2-for-3.

As for the mess that’s the Blackhawks, they’re rocking a disastrous record of 1-9-2 and a minus-21 goal differential. The Predators are dead even on their goal differential on the season.

Not to be too harsh on the Blackhawks, although I’d love to keep piling it on, they have showed some resolve in their losses to top teams like the Hurricanes and Blues where they only lost by one goal.

Again, the Predators absolutely can’t take them lightly at all. They’ve still got talented goal scorers in Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and the young Kirby Dach.

In net, the Blackhawks have also been horrendous, which pains me to say because I’ll always have love and respect for Marc-Andre Fleury. But he’s struggling badly this season, as his the other goaltender option in 26-year-old Kevin Lankinen.

Simply put, the Predators are the much better team both on paper and on how they’re playing through the early portion of the season. If the Predators keep up the trend in play that they’ve been showing quite frankly over the entire 11 games they’ve played, then this should be another win for them.

6-5-0 (12P). 151. Bally Sports South. Sunday, Nov 7. 1-9-2 (4P). 94. . 6 PM CT

One x-factor that could swing this into the Blackhawks’ favor is poor special teams play. At 5v5 I’m not worried whatsoever in the Predators winning, but too many penalties will even the playing field for the Blackhawks to make this a game and even steal a win.

A vintage Fleury game playing out of his mind also scares me because the man is due, and he’s still one of the best goaltenders of this era.

The Nashville Predators are in search of their sixth win in their last seven games and are fourth place in the Central Division with 12 points.

Game time is scheduled for 6:00 PM CDT from the Windy City and will be televised regionally on Bally Sports South.