The Nashville Predators (34-24-7) face off against the Chicago Blackhawks (22-38-6) in a Central Division showdown Thursday night. The Predators are on a three-game winning streak as they fight for their playoff lives. They are threatening the Winnipeg Jets for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, as the red-hot Preds are 7-2-1 in their last 10. On the other hand, the Blackhawks are as cold as ice, as they’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 and sit 30th overall in the NHL standings.
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Both teams struggle with scoring goals, as the Blackhawks are 31st in goal scoring, while the Predators are 28th. The power play situation is the same, as they are 28th and 25th, respectively. A low-scoring game may be in the works for fans at Bridgestone Arena as the Preds aim to win against their easiest remaining opponent on their schedule.
Predators Within Striking Distance of Jets
The Predators sit four points back of the Jets with three games in hand. The only team to sell at the NHL trade deadline, including selling forward Nino Niedereitter to the Jets, has the potential to surpass them in the standings as early as Saturday night.
Following the Predators and Blackhawks clash, the Jets visit Bridgestone Arena following a date with the Boston Bruins. The contrast between the two teams’ upcoming games is gigantic. If the matches go to the favorites, Saturday night will be the most critical game of either team’s season. Although, even if the Predators win their next two and find themselves in a playoff position come Sunday morning, they still have the second-hardest remaining schedule among all NHL teams; the Ottawa Senators have the toughest overall.
The Predators’ recent play, most notably their three-game winning streak, should give fans confidence that they will beat the Blackhawks. However, the NHL is the most unpredictable league in the world, and the Blackhawks shocked fans Tuesday night by convincingly defeating the Bruins.
Will the Blackhawks Ruin Their Bedard Odds?
It was only recently that the Blackhawks sat last in the NHL. This position would grant them the best odds to draft Connor Bedard in the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft, or at worst, lose the lottery, dropping to third; still not an awful position. Now, they are 30th, and while they are playing poorly, the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and other bottom-feeding teams are playing equally poorly or even worse.
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