Blackhawks: Nashville deserves credit for Hawks early success

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images /

A statement game in mid-October? If you ask any Chicago Blackhawks players they would probably laugh at the notion, but make no mistake about it they will have memories from last year’s postseason on their mind when the two teams meet at the United Center tonight.

After several attempts by Nashville’s front office to “keep the red out” it was the players who finally got the job done. Coming into the series the Hawks were heavy favorites and were picked by every ESPN hockey analyst to win the series.

Four games later Predator fans rejoiced after getting the proverbial monkey off their back. Blackhawks’ fans on the other hand were left to wonder if this was the beginning of the end of their hockey dynasty.

Putting the sweep in perspective

After an offseason to let the shock wear off, I wanted to offer this sentiment to the Predator organization: Thank You.

Thank you for outplaying the Blackhawks in every phase of the game. Thank you for making Stan Bowman stand up and say enough. For every one of the Hawks 23 goals this season, the Nashville Predators deserve a primary assist. They could not have done it without you.

What should the Preds expect

This is not the same Blackhawks team Nashville saw in April. They are faster, younger and perhaps the most important, hungrier. Getting embarrassed the way the Hawks did forced everyone to look in the mirror. No more living in the past of three Stanley Cups. Nashville reminded the Hawks of who they used to be.

More from Da Windy City

So far this season Chicago has responded. Heading into tonight’s game the Hawks are 3-1-1 and second in the Central Division. Their 23 goals referenced above lead the NHL. Corey Crawford is currently tied for first in wins (3) and second in GAA (1.50) and save percentage (.956).

Be careful what you wish for

Before anyone reminds me, I know the season is exactly five games old. I understand that a win in October will not erase the humiliation of getting swept, but don’t think that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have not had this game circled on the calendar.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks: First line excelling to start the season

Nashville went out of their way to make the Hawks a rival. While they did indeed keep the red out last year, they may have woken the red up in the process.