Corey Crawford has posted back-to-back shutouts, the second and third of his NHL career, and has not allowed a goal in 126:25, including not giving up a single goal in the shootout against Ottawa on Jan. 7. His season GAA is down to an outstanding 2.14.
It's in that context that the Blackhawks meet the Predators in Nashville tonight, the fourth meeting between the two teams this year. Nashville has taken two of the first three games from the team that beat them in the first round of last year's playoffs.
It's time for the Blackhawks to make a statement about what kind of team they're going to be this year. They are currently in the middle of nine Western Conference teams that are in a six-point range between Phoenix (fourth place) and San Jose (twelfth); a win tonight would put them in a tie with the Coyotes and ahead of Nashville into second place in the Central behind the Detroit Red Wings.
Both teams have won six of their last ten games and if the Hawks can win tonight, it would even up the all-time series with the Preds, which currently stands 33-32-5 in favor of Nashville.
Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.