Conference III Championship Belt Tale of The Tape: Chicago at Nashville, 6 December 2014

by J.R.

Tonight, Chicago rolls into Nashville for its first defense of the Conference III Belt of the 2014-15 season — and Nashville gets its first shot at the strap in the new campaign. The Hawks and Preds met for the Belt three times last season, with Nashville winning twice.

The Challenger: Nashville!

The Champion: Chicago!

The Belt!

The Belt!

Nashville Predators Chicago Blackhawks
17-6-2 Record 17-8-1
7-3-0 Last 10 8-2-0
Peter “Giddy Up And Go” Laviolette Coach Joel “The Thrill” Quenneville
69 Goals For 82
51 Goals Against 52
“Prince” Filip Forsberg (25) Points Leader Patrick “Mr Patty Kane” Kane (26)
Forsberg (11) Goals Leader Kane (12)
Pekka “The Eraser” Rinne Goaltender Scott “Oh My” Darling or Antii “Faantastic” Raanta
Eric “Not Nys” Nystrom Threero Bryan “Bingo” Bickell and Michal “Big Rozie” Rozsival
Forsberg Rookie To Watch Klas “The Klaw” Dahlbeck
6’1″ Average Height 6’1″
200 Average Weight 191
3 Title Belts Won 4
3-3 as Challenger, 1-3 as Champion Record In Belt Matches 4-3 as Champion, 4-3 as Challenger

It’s a 6 PM start on a Saturday in Nashville. I’m sure there’s an official reason for it, but the probable actual reason is that that’s one less hour the Red Horde can pound beers on Lower Broad and make a mess of themselves.

In any event, this one is not just for the Belt, but the battle between two of the NHL’s hottest teams is for the Conference III lead, coming at an intriguing time in Nashville’s schedule, the Preds having played St. Louis Thursday (and boasting a gaudy 11-1-1 home record). Chicago played Friday against Montreal, so come in with a little bit of the back-to-back drags.

A successful defense by Chicago would mean the next Belt match would come Dec. 16 against Minnesota, who held the strap for the first six weeks or so of the season. If Nashville wins the challenge, the Preds will defend Tuesday in Colorado.