The Nashville Predators will take on Central Division rival the Chicago Blackhawks in a first round Stanley Cup match up. This is an intriguing match up, because although the two teams are in the same division and played six times during the course of the regular season, they have not played each other since December 27th. The Blackhawks took the season series 4-2.
Playing the Blackhawks will be an easier travel schedule for the Predators, as the Hawks are in the same time zone and just over an hour away by air.
Although travel will be easier, this will be a tough opponent for the Predators. The Hawks bring abundant team speed and an explosive offense to the ice. The Predators will have to play sound defense and control the puck in order to have an opportunity to win the series. The View will take a more in depth look at the match up in the next few days.
The series will not start until Friday, and the schedule is as follows:
Friday, April 16 at Chicago 8:30 TSN, Versus (JIP)
Sunday, April 18 at Chicago 8:30 TSN, Versus (JIP)
Tuesday, April 20 at Nashville 9:00 TSN, Versus (JIP)
Thursday, April 22 at Nashville 8:30 TSN2, Versus (JIP)
Saturday, April 24 at Chicago 3:00 NBC, TSN
Monday, April 26 at Nashville TBD TSN
Wednesday April 28 at Chicago TBD TSN
All times are Eastern Standard Time. The Versus broadcast will be joined in progress (the JIP designation).
The Friday start gives the Predators time to get injured players ready to go and some valuable practice time. Even though the games in Nashville have a late start, it is imperative that the 7th man be ready to bring it to support the good guys.
The second season has been set. It's time to bring it. boys.