In my opinion, the beginning of a season is the best way to determine the chances of how well a team will do. The season often shows off the training that has gone into the team. Every team has an equal opportunity to train and to make their teams better. How they use that time is up to the team.
Even though the Predators' fans went to great lengths in their own arena(passing out shirts before the game and making a lot of noise) to bring home a win for their team, it didn't matter in the end. The Blackhawk's talent on the ice is what ultimately mattered and will continue to matter for the entire series.
It doesn't really matter who is playing who in my opinion. The reason these games are played and the reason that our country is absolutely beyond obsessed with sports is that anything can happen. The games need to be played and a lot of variables happen, so yes they can take this series.
While a great team, the Blackhawks are not the superlative champions they once were in the distant past. The likes of Gordie Howe, Stan Mikita and the other Blackhawk greats of days of yore are no longer available to lift the team to the level of play they need to achieve to beat the powerful Predators.