Writers note: I will edit typos, grammar, etc during period breaks and commercials.
6:51 PM: Pregame nerves are going, cleared an aisle to pace, we are ready, folks.
7:07 PM: Starting lines will be Kane-Anisimov-Panarin with Keith and van Riemsdyk, not quite the loaded top line I wanted, but expect to see Kane double-shifted nearly all night.
7:10 PM 1st 20:00: Puck drop, let’s go boys #HawksIn7. UPDATE: Animisov lost, shocker.
1st 19:36: Keith off for Hooking, not ideal.
1st 19:15: Crawford with an enormous save, almost re-broke my foot.
1st 17:34: Hawks kill the penalty, need any momentum they can get.
1st 16:49: Not a great start, Nashville with all the energy and puck possession, only one struggling worse than the Hawks is the cameraman. Plenty of hockey to play.
1st 14:54: Q already stacking lines, with Hossa-Toews-Panarin together, finally a shot on net. Kempny gets out-hustled for an icing call, beer counter begins now, 1.
1st 13:20: A FACEOFF WIN AND A SHOT ON GOAL, let’s string a few together and maybe some puck possession, whaddaya say?
1st 12:19: Hawks are putting some pressure on, a few nice shots, multiple Nashville icings, and some offensive zone faceoff wins. Oduya with a nice back-check, things not looking terrible here.
1st 10:27: Great defense by Campbell on a Preds 2-on-1 leads to the first TV timeout. First beer of the night, Yuengling.
1st 8:12: A couple very nice shifts by Hossa and Toews, the Hawk defenders are getting good pressure on Preds forwards, need to feed off the energy. TV timeout.
1st 7:00: Chicago very active on the forecheck, not a great start for Kempny, a bevy of neutral zone turnovers and Crawford makes another huge save after a great dish by Forsberg.
1st 6:31: Keith with an atrocious defensive zone turnover, Crow again with a huge save. Pacing has begun.
1st 5:13: Any momentum Chicago had is gone, some great shifts for Nashville including ANOTHER odd man rush, their 77 of the game. I am not not worried right now. #HawksIn7
1st 4:41: Kane gets a solid look after a cross-ice pass from Panarin, Rinne with a nice save.
1st 3:36: Panik will go for tripping after getting taken down, Nashville going to their 2nd powerplay. UPDATE: I might be better than Anisimov at the dot.
1st 1:34: Kero fails to clear 3 times on the PK, but the Hawks, fortunately, kill the penalty. Nashville looked fantastic, shot blocking keeping the Hawks in it. Anisimov has now won 6 of his last 35 faceoffs…
1st 31.2: Hawks get a puck into the crease, but Ekholm clears. Preds with a very nice surge in the final minute.
END OF 1st: 88 and 72 get a 2-on-1 that turns into a Panarin breakaway and he misses the net, what a chance to erase a shitty start and they cannot capitalize, we go to the break at 0-0. Hawks losing just about every 50/50 puck, need to play an inspired 2nd or this could get away from em.
1st Intermission Thoughts: Hit the fucking net, get the puck deep, and for the love of God make the easy play. Don’t get fancy, just make it work. Dig deep and score first. Nashville was easily the better team and it’s still 0-0, use it.
Start of 2nd: Finally the longest intermission of my life is over, beer #2 is open. Hawks lose the draw, shocker!
2nd 18:38: Hossa with an absolutely golden chance and MISSES THE FUCKING NET and Anisimov is stoned on the doorstep.
2nd 18:18: Chicago wins back-to-back draws for the first time since March.
2nd 16:20: Toews has to have money on Nashville as he gave Forsberg a gift in the slot, but Crawford is there for a save.
2nd 15:07: Back-to-back icings on Chicago, this is not looking good, folks.
2nd 14:17: Great chance for Kempny, nice save by Rinne. Hawks with a nice rush there, can they turn it into more is the question.
2nd 11:48: Kane with a real long shift and is exhausted, Hartman has some pep in his step, would like to see him get a couple more shifts with the top line. Crawford another huge save on Parenteau on the door step.
2nd 10:24: Big surge from Nashville forcing Crawford to make a couple nice saves, we head to a TV break still 0-0. Would love to see Kane-Hartman-Hossa out of the break.
2nd 10:19: GOAL Preds, Kruger blocks a shot which redirects and Josi will get credit for the goal, 1-0 Nashville, Hello darkness my old friend.
2nd 8:00: Fantastic response from the visitors, looks like the Preds goal FINALLY lit a fire under their asses. A couple really strong shifts, need to find the back of the net quickly though, the crowd is LOUD.
2nd 4:45: Hawks with an upcoming offensive zone draw, almost in the danger zone here, need some life.
2nd 3:34: Two grade A chances and Rinne with a stop followed by a shot block. Time to build on it.
2nd 2:31: Fiala with a replica play of his OT winner the other night and Crow with a YUUUUUGE stop, Hawks (barely) still alive.
END OF 2nd: Nashville 1 Chicago 0. This is it, folks, the season is on the line. Will this team get its collective head out of its ass and realize they are the best fucking team in this conference? Let’s hope so. The Preds goal is the microcosm of this series, fortunate bounce that they capitalize on. That being said, they’ve greatly outplayed Chicago in all facets of the game. It legitimately seems like they’ve got 6-7 guys on the ice each time Chicago gains the zone. I have no words to describe what I’ve seen this last week, but there’s still 20 minutes left, plenty of time to make something happen.
2nd Intermission Thoughts: Superstition has taken over and I have changed everything. Boot is off for the “protective sandal”, gone is the fancy Pale Ale and in are the gritty Coors Lights, 2015 Cup Champs hat is off and the 2016 Big East champs hat is in (EDIT: Hawks Snap back is on). I am dedicated to the cause. POSITIVE NOTE: Former champ and Blackhawk legend (in my book) Brent Sopel favorited my tweet, watch out, folks, here comes the onslaught we’ve been waiting for.
3rd 19:17: Keith with an absolutely MASSIVE hit on Arvidsson. Let’s fucking go, boys.
3rd 18:05: Sissons gets cut it looks like, Oduya looked to clear the puck while he was on the ground and got Sissons, no penalty, nothing malicious.
3rd 17:07: A few great looks for Chicago, Keith with the golden chance and MISSES THE FUCKING NET, crowd is loud despite the Chicago surge.
3rd 14:46: Chicago with possession, gotta keep the puck low, Rinne loves the glove.
3rd 14:15: Kane jumps the defense gets a good look and tries to go five-hole, waits too long and Rinne stops him.
3rd: 10:40: After a ton of Chicago pressure, the puck gets caught on Crawford’s blocker and bounces into his own net, God is dead. 2-0 Preds.
3rd 9:39: No idea who scored, not fun, take Corey out for his sake, God is still dead. EDIT: It was Josi, I hate to love that guy.
3rd 8:00: Nashville fans doing their worst with a “Crawford, you suck!” chant. Oooh, you got him.
3rd 7:26: Sissons off for a high sticking, Toews bleeds, double minor, not over yet! FYI first penalty on Nashville tonight.
3rd 5:18: Toews Goal! 3-1, not over, but no more power play. Q pulled Crow right as he scored. Need a little magic.
3rd 1:48: Arvidsson empty netter, 4-1 Nashville, Chicago will be swept, for the first time since before I was born…
3rd 1:19: As if Schmaltz wasn’t having a bad enough post-season, he gets called for a slash. Brutal series, more cap casualties coming, however, there is a young group here that will be back next year.
FINAL: Preds 4 Hawks 1
Featured Image credit to Blackhawk Up