CHICAGO -- It's early, but it's starting to look like the Western Conference and Central Division need to make room for another legitimate contender.
After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs two straight seasons and parting with the only coach they'd ever known, Barry Trotz, the Nashville Predators (4-0-2) are off to their best start since 2010-11 under new coach Peter Laviolette.
The Predators are one of two teams in the West without a regulation loss, joined by the Chicago Blackhawks (4-0-1). Chicago happens to be the next opponent for Nashville, and the Blackhawks are ready to put their great start to the test Thursday at Bridgestone Arena (8 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-TN).