Now…..we wait. Last night the Nashville Predators eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-1 win in Game 4. Yes, that’s right, Game 4! For the 1st time in Predators history they swept an opponent out of the playoffs. The crowd came ready to be loud and loud they were. Nashville played a solid game and slowly grabbed control as they game went along.
Both teams came ready to play in this one. The Predators really came out of the gate hard and put some early pressure on the Hawks, it looked like they might score early. However, the Blackhawks pushed back and had a few chances of their own. Ultimately the 1st period ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Predators began to win all the little battles in the 2nd period. Even though they were outshot in the period 13-9, it didn’t feel like it. Finally, at the 9:41 mark of the period Roman Josi broke through with a wrister that found a hole in Crawford for a 1-0 lead. That would be all the scoring in the period. There was a feeling in the building of anticipation at this point, albeit, nervous anticipation.
This continued into the final period. Once again, the Blackhawks outshot the Predators, but they didn’t seem to be in control. The Preds were winning all the little battles and getting to the loose pucks, if only to get the puck out of their zone or into Chicago’s zone. Then, it happened, the roof was blown off the place when Colton Sissons scored with just over half the period remaining to extend the Nashville’s lead to 2. I am pretty sure no one sat down for the remainder of the game.
Roman Josi would finish off a 3 on 2 just 2:29 later and it was all over. Both teams would add one more goal before the end of the game, but the script was already written. Just as in the entire series, the Preds did almost everything right tonight. From winning puck battles to continuing to stay in Toews head, they played a complete game. Chicago took their lumps and congratulated what was the better team for these four games. Believe me, the Blackhawks will be back again next year and ready to go. They are a very good hockey team and a proud one as well.
As for the Predators, the journey is just beginning for this team. They await the winner of the St.louis / Minnesota series and the next chapter in this season. Each player, to a man, is saying the right thing, “we haven’t won anything yet.”. This team appears focused on going as far as they can take themselves. Exciting times in Smashville! Hopefully they are up to challenge.
Check out this little tidbit from our friends at On The Forecheck. Just a little fun poked at some way over confident Hawks fans.
Follow me on Twitter at danieljones@dj_puckplanet