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Game Day Blog - Conference Quarterfinals Game 6

by Tom Callahan / Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Western Conference Quarterfinal Game Six, Chicago leads series 3-2
Bridgestone Arena, 8 pm
Fox Sports Tennessee (HD)  |  Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network

You could harp on the power play, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, giveaways, lack of blocks, or anything else.

Except you can’t.

That’s playoff hockey in a nutshell: win or lose, forget about the last game. What matters now is that tonight’s Game Six is in Nashville and the Predators have a chance to push the series into a winner-take-all scenario.

Quite honestly, as frustrating and exhilarating as the whole series has been (by turns, of course) what matters is the pace set tonight, the crowd involvement, the effort, and the outcome. If the power play busts out tonight and goes 3-for-3 we’ll forget a lot. And honestly, that’s the majesty of sports. No one expects what actually happens, we just make our prognostications and sit back… and wait.

David Legwand has played very well this series, and I don’t expect that to change. I would love to see Patric Hornqvist back tonight, but who knows? You and I both will have absolutely no idea right up until puck drop if he’s going. And kudos to Barry Trotz for inserting Denis Grebeshkov into the lineup, as his patience and poise paid immediate dividends with a pair of assists. Is there anything else that can shake up the lineup? Unless security actually lets Gretzky into the building* and he’s playing for us, unlikely. Hornqvist will be the only real unknown heading into the game tonight.

That said, we need effort from everyone. I want to see that absolutely every player is invested in this team’s advancement. I want to see guys who don’t normally take hits take hits. Or guys bulling their way through tall odds to make a play, even if its out of character. Watch the game tonight. You can tell who has bought in… but those more evident would be anyone who hasn’t. It truly takes a village to win a playoff series, and everyone has to be invested.

  • There will be 100 rush seats for $10 each on sale this morning at the box office, but other seats remain starting at $29. Help out and be the 7th man in full force!, (615) 770-PUCK, all TicketMaster locations.
  • Marian Hossa will not serve any suspension for his hit on Dan Hamhuis at the end of Game Five.
  • Chicago’s penalty kill has now stopped 21 straight Predators power play chances. Nashville and Buffalo are the only two teams in Round One without a power play goal. The Washington Capitals have one.
  • Chicago and Nashville both have identical team goals against averages heading into tonight’s game at 2.37 goals against per game.

Keys to the Game:
  • Give Chicago “the business”. Don’t let them get into the game. Knock them out of it. Play hard, be frustrating, and go all out.
  • The power play. Look for increased movement from the power play if you want to see effective opportunities. What I mean is movement away from the puck. The other four players have to get open and give the puck holder options.
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