The Chicago Blackhawks (11-23-2) will take on the Nashville Predators tonight (20-16-1) in Music City to kick off the 2024 portion of the schedule. Puck drop is at 7pm. Be sure to give our friends over at Nashville Hockey Now a read for the other side of things.
Previously on Blackhawks Hockey:
It’s probably one most Blackhawks fans want to forget as Dallas bludgeoned the Hawks 8-1. Not much of anything went right, including Tyler Johnson sustaining an injury that put him on the IR.
How to Watch and Listen
Scouting the Opponent and Miscellaneous Musings
The Predators and Blackhawks have already played a pair of games, with the Blackhawks coming up short in regulation and a shootout. The Preds are 15-6-1 and have been playing much better than when the Hawks first saw them. Chicago, on the other hand, continues to be ravaged by injury and lost one of its top scorers when Johnson landed on the IR.
Arvid Soderblom starts tonight, and hasn’t won a game since November 24 when the Hawks stunned the Maple Leafs at home. He came into relief for Petr Mrazek during Sunday’s bloodbath and stands to benefit from a full game.
But it won’t be easy. The Blackhawks have 87 goals on the season as a team, with half those goals coming from four players. Subtract Johnson’s nine goals and that’s another hole to patch up for a team struggling to find the back of the net. The Predators, on other hand, have Filip Forsberg who is two goals from 20 but only has a pair of assists against the Blackhawks this season.
The Predators only have a pair of wins in their last six games, and might be looking to flex their win over Washington into a winning streak. They’ve managed to do that the last two times they’ve played Chicago, and managed to turn their season around with the 4-2 win over the Blackhawks back on November 18th.
It’s another divisional battle for the Blackhawks, and they’re already on a two-game slide. They’ll have three and weeks worth of games before the All Star Break kicks off a ten-day spell without any games.
In other words–gear up. Nick Foligno warned about complacency creeping into their game. Tonight will be the first of many games testing that out–especially with another big contributor out with injury.