Game 36 Preview And Open Thread: Blackhawks vs. Predators

Puck Drop: Dec. 26, 7:30 PM CT

Chicago Blackhawks
Record: 18-15-2
Points: 38
Place: 3rd in Central, 10th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 18.6%, 13th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 84.1%, 11th in NHL
Blackhawks Team Statistics


Nashville Predators
Record: 16-16-2
Points: 34
Place: 5th in Central, 14th in Western Conference
Power Play Percentage/Rank: 14.7%, 25th in NHL
Penalty Kill Percentage/Rank: 84.8%, 8th in NHL
Predators Team Statistics

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! The Hawks are now off their holiday break and back in action tonight to take on the Predators, whom they knocked off 5-2 at the UC just one week ago. Tonight's game will be shown on TV, on Comcast Sports Net.

The Hawks received some bad injury news today, and had to place Ben Eager, Martin Havlat and Dave Bolland on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Martin St. Pierre and Michael Blunden have been recalled from Rockford. Havlat is no surprise at this point, as anyone could have seen an IR stint coming after sustaining his groin injury. Bolland's is no surprise either, but I had not heard about an Eager injury until now. I think St. Pierre and Blunden will be able to fill in adequately on the 3rd/4th lines, but the loss of Havlat is a frustrating one, yet again.

If the Blackhawks can come up with a similar effort to the one they had against Nashville a week ago, they should be able to knock off the Predators again. I think they will have a large crowd to play in front of again, so don't be surprised to see them raise their level of play and play inspired tonight.