Monday, October 31, 2011

Injury bug strikes Preds as they take on Chicago

The Nashville Predators will take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Halloween night at the United Center in Chicago. The Predators will be without Mike Fisher, Sergei Kostitsyn and Nick Spaling due to injury. That puts the Predators in a tough spot against the Blackhawks, who have started the year with a 6-2-2 record.

Ryan Thang has been called up to the Predators from the Milwaukee Admirals in response to the injured players for Nashville in the past few games. Thang has five goals and one assist in seven games with the Admirals this season. He's a native of Chicago so this game will be a special one for him.

Nashville has won two games in a row for the first time since the opening weekend of the year. They are coming off on a shutout performance against Anaheim, and have a little bit of confidence built up.

Chicago has had a great start to their season, and are currently on top of the Central Division standings. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane are tied for the team lead in points with eight. Jonathon Toews is one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL. Nashville will have to be very conscience of where he is on both sides of the ice.

My player to watch for the Blackhawks is Dave Bolland. Bolland has two shorthanded goals on the year so far, and has a shooting percentage of 27.8%. Bolland is a gritty player who can get the job done on both ends of the ice.

For Nashville, my player to watch is Craig Smith. Smith will be moving to the center position for this game. He's very comfortable in that position, and it will be interesting to see how he handles it at the NHL level.

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