The Blackhawks came out with a solid effort last night posting a monstrous 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators in what surely was a goaltending battle not soon to be forgotten. The Nieminator Antti Niemi made 23 saves with a lot of them being outstanding which prevented Nasvhille to gain any sort of motivation or confidence therefore frustrating them in the goal scoring department. On the other side countryman Pekka Rinne was equally as good stopping 31 of 33 shots keeping the game from getting out of reach early, Rinne also had a crossbar to thank and an extremely quick whistle by the referee when the puck was not even close to being frozen and ended up in the net only to get waived off.
Both clubs had 5 PP opportunities which is very rare for these teams and the Hawks ended up tallying on one of them…can you believe it? The Hawks scored on the powerplay which is another infrequency of occurrences for this team as they have been borderline horrific having the man advantage. Chicago did come back to earth on their final powerplay opportunities as they could not get much going, hats off to the Predators for playing extremely well shorthanded.
All of Chicago’s lines were productive and a notable was Kris Versteeg and his defensive prowess last night, he made some fantastic defensive plays and to my count had zero turnovers! The Hawks controlled most of the game until the early portions of the second period where the Predators came out flying and surely gave Hawk nation a scare but Chicago overcame the short lived Nashville onslaught and ended up scoring right after which turned the tides back in Chicago’s favor.
If it were not for a third period breakdown and a flutter ball of a goal on Niemi in game one Chicago could very easily be up 2 games to none in this series but as the saying goes “woulda, shoulda, coulda…” It’s over and it happened and the Hawks are going to music city tied at 1 game a piece. The Predators did what they had to and I guarantee are happy to come out of the Windy City with a split and home ice advantage.
- both teams looked not great handling the puck or passing, there were a number of fanned shots or poor passes from both sides so I am assuming the Chicago ice is really as bad as everyone says
- JP Dumont was invisible after getting crushed by Ben Eager
- Young stud Patric Hornqvist was absent from the Preds line up and that is one guy Nashville needs in the lineup
- Is Jason Arnott even playing?
- the “Timmins Tornado” showed some frustration after a push from Versteeg and mauled the youngster on a bench side affair.
- Brent Sopel was a beast last night once again breaking up numerous plays and blocking a ton of shots.
- Hossa was incredible proving once again he is one of the top 2 way players in the game
- Seabrook/Keith were paired up again and did not disappoint, it was only a matter of time until these two were reunited.
- Shea Weber led all players with over 25 minutes of ice time, he is a fantastic defenseman that any team would want on their squad
- Dave Bolland scored and played excellent hockey, could this be the turning point to our unsung hero from last year?
In ending, if Chicago can play like they did in last night’s victory and keep it rolling into game 3 it will give us one heck of a great chance to take the lead in the series. Media boasts how great Nashville can hold a lead well I believe the Hawks proved last night they can do it too.
See you Tuesday in Nashville.
Thanks for reading,
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 )