With an important game #3 tonight going in Nashville it seems a lot of Predator fans are extremely confident that the Predators will win this game without giving any real reason why so I will assume it is just a hunch..biased? Perhaps but for this Hawk follower I am now realizing predictions for this years NHL Playoffs are for the birds. Teams are much to close in capabilities and skill levels to make a bold assumption on who is going to win a series. That said, I will from now on stay clear of predictions as they can only do one thing and that is make me look foolish as some of my predictions already have been thrown out the window so to speak. One can throw in every statistical edge one team has over another but honestly does that mean anything thus far in the post season? Nope.
Moving on, the Predators are a somewhat ailing bunch missing 2 key ingredients to their squad and that is in the likes of Patric Hornqvist the teams leading scorer and d-man Denis Grebeshkov. Chicago is without puck moving icon Brian Campbell and Kim Johnsson.
So which club misses their key players more? Nashville a team which lacks in scoring and subtracting a 30 goal scorer is devastating let alone missing a fine d-man in Grebeshkov and Chicago missing a key puck mover in Campbell and major minute man in Kim Johnsson.
Arguments can be made on both sides here as on paper it looks like missing Soupy and Johnsson completely diminishes the Hawks back end but it really has not hurt the Hawks defensively yet and I stress the word yet but offensively the powerplay and 5 on 5 scoring has decreased.
With Nashville missing Grebeshkov has similarities to Chicago missing Campbell, Grebs can move the puck quite well and would not be the #1 go to guy for a PP what have you but he is most definitely a nice depth player giving the Predators more looks offensively. The key guy for obvious reasons is Hornqvist whom is a pure sniper with extraordinary hands plus the question still looms and that is can Arnott, Dumont, and Sully make up for some of his scoring?
So far we have yet to see anyone making up grounds for Hornqvist, sure the Preds have score 4 goals all in the first game albeit 2 of them were empty netters so in reality they are averaging 1 goal per game minus the empty netters. Chicago has scored 3 goals averaging 1.5 goals per game, a far cry from the offensive wiz kids regular season statistics. It will be an interesting game 3 if all 4 of these guys are not playing and 2 of the guys (Soupy/Johnsson) are not playing guaranteed so perhaps tonight’s game we will see which players are missed more.
Patric Hornqvist – as per twitter @predsontheglass that he did not skate so I will assume he is a game time decision
Denis Grebeshkov- no word as of yet but prior to this series there was talk he would be ready for tonight’s game
Brian Campbell- as per twitter @Chris Kuc he won’t be playing but is getting very close to returning
Kim Johnsson- no word but I am assuming he is gone for the playoffs
On a side note, do you ever wonder about media such as TSN analysts for example and who they secretly cheer for during the playoffs or during Olympics and so forth? Well I have always felt that everyone has a favorite team no matter what they say even if they try to hide their favoritism. So I decided to call out Bob Mackenzie of TSN see below:
TSNBobMcKenzie-…he could care less who wins/loses, just like me. It’s not Toronto or Bettman. It’s hockey. Stuff happens. Life ain’t always fair.
_TKON-@TSNBobMcKenzie I will bet you have a fave team, you need to portray you do not have one b/c of your status in the media (cont.)
_TKON-@TSNBobMcKenzie Who was your team as a kid, I am guessing Chicago
TSNBobMcKenzie-@_TKON I grew up in Toronto and was a Leaf fan as a kid. Harold Ballard and being a journalist took care of that. I could care less who wins
TSNBobMcKenzie-@_TKON This upsets people but I no longer have real rooting interest for Canada in int’l hockey. Just like good hockey and good stories.
Just an interesting short convo in which I truly did not expect that type of an answer, especially the tidbit for him not rooting for Canada in International play was quite a shocker. However it was an excellent answer by him and I understand where he is coming from.
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 )