The Chicago Blackhawks got back on track on Sunday against the LA Kings at the United Center. Taking advantage of a road weary Kings team, the Blackhawks breezed past the Kings by a score of 5-1. That game doesn’t mean everything is okay, though.
The Blackhawks were going into that matchup on a four-game losing skid, and the holes on this roster are going to be difficult to patch up throughout the season. It’s obviously a good win over the Kings, and they did what they were supposed to against an inferior opponent on a road trip, but don’t get too excited about the Blackhawks.
34-year-old head coach, Jeremy Collition, did a lot of talking in the offseason regarding how the Blackhawks are going to show signs of improvement in 2019-20. We obviously haven’t seen it and Colliton has had a deer in headlights look more often than not this year behind the bench. He went 30-28-9 in his first experience as a head coach following the firing of Joel Quenneville last season.
That was enough for the Blackhawks to retain his services and name him the fulltime head coach. With Quenneville as the head coach last season, the Blackhawks got off to a 6-2-2 start. Colliton and the Hawks go into Nashville with a record of 3-5-2 tonight.
The Predators are off to a fine start to 2019-20, as they don’t seem bothered by the loss of P.K. Subban. They’re coming off their best win of the season, with a 3-2 overtime victory in Tampa over the Lightning. That was their third win in a row to move to 7-3-1 on the season. During their three-game win streak, the Predators have outscored the opposition 13-3. Pekka Rinne has just one loss on the season, which came in regulation against the Florida Panthers. He is scheduled to play against the Blackhawks tonight. Head below for our free Blackhawks vs. Predators pick.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators Pick
Pekka Rinne is the guy between the pipes for the Predators in 2019-20. The former Vezina winner is looking for another one of those trophies this season. He captured the award in 2018 after missing out a couple of times in the past as a finalist. Rinne still appears to have gas in the tank at 36 years old and poised to be a contender again.
He goes into Tuesday night with a 1.98 GAA and 0.931 save percentage. In seven outings this season, Rinne has allowed 2 or fewer goals in six games. I suspect he will look good against a Chicago offence who’ve been sputtering for the most part. Outside of lightning up a tired Kings team on Sunday, the goal scoring has been hard to find for the Blackhawks.
The Hawks have scored an average of only 2.5 goals per game for 2.5 goals per game. They’re still relying on Jonathan Toews and Pat Kane, who are both getting up in age and past their prime. Kane still has that quick burst and would be an asset on a contender. However, Toews has regressed hard at 31 years old. His trade value is in the tubes as well. Toews has recorded just 2 points in ten games. That leaves 11 players ahead of Toews in points, with Kane leading the way with 9 points.
Chicago have been dreadful on the road, as they’ve scored 1.5 goals per game while allowing 4 goals per game. That is a concern going up against the Preds, who have had an offensive party in Nashville with 4.43 goals notched per game at home. Robin Lehner has not good been against the Preds, so he may not be able to save the Hawks here. He owns a 3.64 GAA and 0.897 save percentage against Nashville in five games. Barring Lehner having a party in the crease with a standout performance, the Predators should have this game under control. Expect a 4-2 win in regulation for the Preds on Tuesday night.