Here we all are a mere one day prior to the opening game of the playoff match-up between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators and after hours and hours of analyzing and statistical comparisons I have come up with the ultimate way to beat the pesky Predators and here it is… Score more goals then them in at least 4 games before they do. Quite a genius analysis don’t you think? If one can dig deep into that sarcastic opening statement you will understand that basically I am saying discard all the regular season statistics out the window more or less. NHL prognosticators and”professional” analysts who base the playoffs from every team/individual statistic from the regular season or previous playoff history honestly has got to be kidding if they think that is the sure fire way of predicting an outcome. On various hockey message boards you will see post after post comparing one stat to another back and forth bickering amongst each other on why their team will win the series.
Here is a quick example: 2005/2006 Stanley Cup final between Edmonton and Carolina. The Oilers were 41-28-13 so basically a .500 team at 41-41 (yes an OTL is a loss), half the Oiler team was in the negatives in the +/- category and on the season and they were a +5 goals for vs. goals against differential yet took the mighty Hurricanes to 7 games in the final.
OK this is not a hack on the stats junkies whatsoever but in all honesty everyone realizes whichever team is the hottest throughout the playoffs will ultimately be hoisting Lord Stanley over their heads. Sure the regular season statistics would seem indicative on what the team should do in the upcoming playoffs but I ask you the reader are they really? Do the top teams basically just acquire the home ice advantage which is easily taken away after one game as we have seen in the first 3 of 4 playoff match-ups thus far in the 2009/2010 post season?
Hawks vs Predators news & notes:
Line 1 : Sharp/Toews/Hossa Wilson/Arnott/Erat
Line 2 : Brouwer/Bolland/Kane Ward/Goc/Sullivan
Line 3 : Ladd/Madden/Versteeg Dumont/Legwand/Tootoo
Line 4 : Eager/Fraser/Kopecky Smithson/Boyd/O’Reilly
Line 1 : Byfuglien/Keith Suter/Weber
Line 2: Seabrook/Hjalmarsson Franson/Hamhuis
Line 3: Hendry/Sopel Bouillon/Klein
Notables on the shelf
Brian Campbell – has resumed skating with the club and will travel with the team
Kim Johnsson – no recent updates
Nick Boynton – practicing with a full cage and is available
Denis Grebeshkov – expected to join the Predators early in the series
Patrick Hornqvist – is practicing and is expected to suit up early in the series, possibly game one.
As you can see on paper the Hawks would seem favored to win this opening game let alone the series but it will all come down to game plan execution, goaltending, who makes the least amount of mistakes and obviously who takes advantage of the errors made by the opposition. Does Nashville implement the trap style to slow down the high flying Hawks and just wait it out to capitalize on a turnover? Or do they try and run and gun with Chicago? Barry Trotz is a tremendous coach and it will be very interesting to see what occurs in tomorrow’s opening game. Upset specials seem to be the theme after the opening round first games thus far and as a Hawks fans let’s hope that does not keep occurring. I would like to see the Hawks play their up tempo puck possession game and if the Predators trap then dump and chase and try to beat them with our speed. Goals don’t have to be pretty, get the shots on net and start hacking if need be!
Thanks always for reading and LET’S GO HAWKS!!
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )