With the preseason now behind us, Isles fans everywhere can collectively breathe a sigh of relief as the moment we have all been waiting for is upon us. The Isles are on the verge of playing the first meaningful games since the heart breaking game 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last May. We have all been eager to pick up right where we left off after exceeding all expectations last season. With all of this in mind, we can only hope for the success to continue so the Islanders can take their place among the elite teams of the NHL. Although the outcome of this coming season is yet to be determined, I think I speak for Islander fans everywhere when I say this is the most confident we have been in the last 20 years.
The Chicago Blackhawks open their championship-defending season on Tuesday, October 1st versus the Washington Capitals. Needless to say, that game will be the number one ticket on Blackhawks' fans lists when regular season single-game tickets go on sale Monday morning, as Chicago has earned the right to raise a handful of banners that night - tops among them, the 2013 Stanley Cup banner.
Three years ago, Capitals forward Troy Brouwer stood on the Blackhawks side of the ice, part of the 2010 Cup-winning team. Now he will return on the visitors' side, as part of a team that is still chasing their first Cup since being founded in 1974. The team will be hungry to mak...
With the season winding to an end, the Flames head into Nashville tonight to face the Preds, looking for a season-high fourth straight win. The Predators on the other hand have struggled down the stretch, going 1-7-2 in their last ten, and currently sit in 14th place in the Western Conference, just two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.
Friday night's game was not the Blackhawks' best - they coughed up 4 goals against the offensively-challenged Nashville (29th in league - average 2.27 goals/game). Chicago is on their way to their first Presidents' Trophy since 1991, and the Predators have already been eliminated.
Five of Chicago's games have come against the Predators this season, and the Blackhawks swept the Nashville series, including two shutouts against them.
At the end of the night, it was a familiar scenario: Marian Hossa putting in the overtime winner to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win, making long-time fans remember a certain first-round game vs the Preds back in 2010.
Chicago had shut out Nashville on home ice on Saturday; the Predators came to the United Center on Sunday hoping to return the favor.
The Blackhawks took Sunday's game 5-3 in regulation, and in doing so, also clinched the first berth in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. They continue to lead the league with 62 points.
Sunday's match was a low-penalty game; both teams are well aware of the other's ability to seize on mistakes and make opponents pay. The Predators took a too-many-men penalty in the first with a bad line change; and Andrew Shaw collected an unsportsmanlike conduct in the second.
The story of the night was the strong play of Chicago...
The league leading Chicago Blackhawks (27-5-4) visit their Central Division rival Nashville Predators (15-15-8) in the front end of a home and home series today at 2pm CST.
Nashville, winners in just one of their previous five, are four points out of the
final playoff spot in the West with just ten games remaining and will likely end the season on the outside looking in. While four points in ten games is certainly not an insurmountable deficit, the shortened season's intraconference schedule makes it extremely probable that the Predators will only be playing spoiler down the stretch this year.
The Blackhawks earned a win in the shootout Monday, and in the process, gave a point to Nashville. The Predators now sit just two points out of a playoff berth with 12 games remaining in their regular season schedule - three more of which will be against Chicago.
During the first and second periods, Chicago dominated most of the play, outshooting Nashville 27-11.
It was reflected on the score sheet as well. Brandon Saad put in the Blackhawks on the board with just 12 seconds left in the first period. Patrick Kane made it 2-0 with 7:50 left in the second.
In the third, however, the Blackhawks did what they've done a few too many times lately: instead of putt...
The Flames will look to end their 7-game winless streak (0-6-1) on the road when they head into Nashville to visit the struggling Predators. This is the second meeting between the clubs in less than a week after the Flames had a convincing 6-3 win over the Preds last Friday night at the Saddledome.