The Predators are losing their footing in the climb to the final spot in the playoff picture. They haven't been able to string together consistent wins against the very teams they are surrounded by in the standings. Thursday's loss to the Blue Jackets thrust yet another dagger into the heart of the Predator's postseason hope.
But Saturday afternoon's 2:00 p.m. visit from the Chicago Blackhawks (the first of this weekend's home-and-home) may not be as one sided as it seems. While they own the leagues best overall record, the Hawks are just 4-3-1 in their past eight games. The Predators are 4-2-2.
Chicago has been giving up a lot of third period goals recently. Thursday, they blew a two goal lead to St. Louis late in the game, and lost in a shootout. It was the same song and dance the last time these two teams met, only the shootout went in their favor.
Both Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland did not accompany the team to Nashville. However, Kane and Toews are as healthy as ever, and so is rookie Brandon Saad, who has added another dimension to Chicago's potent attack.
#20 / Left Wing / Chicago Blackhawks
Oct 27, 1992
|2012 - Brandon Saad||35||8||13||21||+13||8||0||1||2||75||10.6|
Mike Fisher was back in the lineup on Thursday, but due to his hand did some skating on the wing. It remains to be seen if he's fully back to 100%. Gabriel Borque will not skate in this afternoon's game, however. Borque was injured in the last meeting between these two clubs on a high hit by Dan Carcillo.
David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist are doing the best to carry the team. Legwand is 3-4-7 in his last five games while Honrqvist is 1-4-5. If they can get some help from Sergei Kostitsyn, (who has been skating with reckless abandon ever since his Edmonton gaffe,) it could be the spark the team needs.
#74 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators
Mar 20, 1987
|2012 - Sergei Kostitsyn||36||3||10||13||+3||4||1||0||0||33||9.0|
The outlook is bleak, but this team and its fans still want to make the playoffs. This weekend's set definitely won't solidify whether they'll be in, but it could solidify if they'll be out.