After a hellish return to work on Monday after vacation, I was revived by last nights POTG Radio show which was a lot of fun.
Mark Willoughby from The View from 111 and Russ Cohen, author of 100 Ranger Greats were both great guests and we had a wide ranging conversation about the state of the Predators, Mark's jump out of a helicopter, and Russ's new book and the related tour.
Russ also does the Prospects Show and Business of Hockey Show on XM204 so it was really interesting to get his insight on the Predators prospects as well as others from across the league that are on the cusp of breaking into the NHL. His weekend shows on XM have a new time at 3:00 Central on both Saturday and Sunday.
I did admit during the show to a lapse in moral character (and judgment) on Sunday when I went to the Bellagio sports book and placed a $20 bet on the Predators to win the Stanley Cup this year. At 60-1, a miracle season run would easily pay for a trip to the NHL Awards show next June.
My intent was to place a bet on the Anaheim Ducks who had been listed at 19-1 a week earlier which seemed like a good deal with a realistic outcome, but by Sunday that had fallen to 10-1 which was not as enticing.
Looking forward, I see this week as the beginning of a turn-around for the Predators who could finish up the month well with a three game win streak before heading out on a two week West coast swing. These next seven games are critical in bringing the Preds back to the .500 mark and getting the team in position to taking advantage of back-loaded home schedule that is coming.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon has an article about Dave Scatchard's return to hockey at the Tennessean. There is also news that Dan Hamhuis will return on Wednesday. Bryan Mullen reports even more line combos at Monday's practice, but it was before Mike Santorelli arrived back in Nashville so more changes are on the way.
Jim Diamond has more on the Ryan Jones demotion. This is the second player on a one-way contract that the Preds have sent down to the AHL this season. Alexander Sultzer was the first after a marginal training camp.
Jim also did a complete analysis and comparison between the first 10 games for the Preds for this year and last year. Taking a look at this information explains why the team is struggling.
David Boclair at The City Paper has an in depth article on the financial shape of the Preds with information garnered from an interview with David Freeman. This is a must read for anyone who doubts the commitment that the current owners have to creating a successful operation in Nashville.
At Hockey's Future, the Predators have moved up to number two in the NHL in the organizational ratings. This is not really surprising as the Preds are loaded with young players that are within a year or two of being read for NHL play. The complete depth chart with individual ratings can be found here.
If you missed it, Admirals Short Shifts had an interview with Barry Trotz over the weekend that has some interesting insights.
Charles-Oliver Roussel was named the QMJHL offensive player of the week, scoring seven point, all on the power play. Too bad the Preds can't call him into action. Roussel along with Pred prospect Gabriel Bourque are also set to play the Russians in the QMJHL Super Series next month.
Big Kev returns and is clearly frustrated with the current Predator situation.
The Preds practiced at A Game Sports (Southern Ice) in Franklin yesterday afternoon and here is one Dad's story of the G.O.A.L. Program and the kids getting to meet the players after practice. It is a must read for a feel good story.
Around the NHL...
In Phoenix, Judge Redfield T Baum convened the Coyote's bankruptcy case again on Monday for a status hearing. Jerry Moyes finally agreed to sell the team to the NHL as reported in this AZ Republic story. Interestingly, Moyes and Wayne Gretzky will receive less than $10 million and the NHL will be repaid $37 million in temporary financing that has been used to run the team since last fall. It looks as if the sale will be completed next Monday.
The NHL launched an "official" Facebook site on Monday. To this point, we have been unable to find it. The league is really doing a good job of being involved with social media on Twitter and now, Facebook. Update: Here is the link.
In the Big Apple, two of my favorite hockey writers, @PsychoPuckLady and @MichelleKenneth, had lunch together yesterday. Even funnier is that it looks like Nick Giglia will also be joining the ladies today. We had both ladies and Nick on POTG Radio a few weeks back for some very interesting conversation. Katrina writes of her first day in the city at Psycho Lady Hockey.
Ryan at the RedLightDistrict takes a look at a few major injuries and the players that need to step up and fill bigger roles.
TSN's Power Ratings has a surprise at the top this week. Check it out.
Mirtle looks at team by team attendance in this young season.
Who would have thought that the SEC had a hockey league. I'm surprised. Here is the web page.
From Hockeywood is a photo of Taylor Swift at the Kings game on Sunday night. She seems to get around to a lot of NHL Arenas. At least this time she wasn't sporting a Kings jersey.
NHL Snipers points to a great save by Jonas Gustavsson in last night's game against the Ducks. A side note would be that the Leafs won their first game beating the Ducks 6-3.
Finally, from @kdug: This is scary