The Chicago Blackhawks are playing so well, we might run out of ways to praise them.
Here’s a crack at it, though: the Blackhawks are as hot as Pekka Rinne is cold.
Chicago beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Tuesday to win their 12th consecutive game, a new franchise record.
It was difficult not to fixate on those dueling stories: the Blackhawks being so, so good and Rinne struggling so, so much.
Sure, there are moments when Nashville’s defense lets Rinne down (maybe on Patrick Kane’s 30th goal?). The larger body of work has to be troubling, even if GM David Poile seems more interested in boosting Nashville’s offense.
Maybe more specifically, Kane and Rinne may be going in exactly opposite directions.
Let’s not forget about the goalie at the other end of the rink.
It’s not as though the Predators didn’t compete tonight. They generated 39 shots on goal, an impressive total even if you factor in Nashville being in catch-up mode for much of the contest.
When you’re losing like this, it’s a combination of factors, and one undeniable issue tonight was “facing the buzz-saw that is the Blackhawks.”
Next up for Chicago: a 2015 Stanley Cup Final rematch that’s also a clash between two red-hot teams, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won their sixth in a row tonight.