Today's action in the World Junior Championship features the game that everyone has been waiting for, the showdown between USA and Canada, with the winner getting a bye in the medal round. Both teams are 3-0 and have not been challenged so it will interesting to see who is best prepared to raise their game to the next level. The game is set for 7 p.m. CST on the NHL Network.
In the other grouping, undefeated Sweden will play Finland, with the winner most likely getting the bye onto the semifinals. That game is at 1 p.m. CST. Another important game will be at 3 p.m. CST when Switzerland plays Slovakia, with the winner moving into the medal round and loser going to relegation.
Pred Prospect, Roman Josi of Switzerland was Puck Daddy's number one star of the day at the tournament as he led Switzerland to a 7-5 win over Latvia. He was also named to their Olympic team earlier in the day.
The Predators will meet the Blue Jackets in the last game of the year tonight at Nationwide Arena in Columbus at 6 p.m. which will be televised on FS TN. We will provide our game preview with our Keys to the Game later today.
In Pred Nation...
Barry Trotz and Ken Hitchcock were in the same room together for a Columbus Coach's Show on @971thefan on Wednesday afternoon. I was able to call in and I asked Barry about Pekka's reaction to not making the Finnish Olympic team. Barry said that Pekka knew that he wasn't being chosen on Tuesday. He basically said that Pekka was disappointed but challenged to prove he is the best Finnish goalie in the NHL.
We had two stories about the Pred's Olympic selections (1, 2) and the story about Mike Santorelli and Alexander Sulzer being recalled from Milwaukee.
John Glennon has the story about Shea Weber making Team Canada, the injury situation and a game at a glance for tonight's game at Columbus. He also had stories about Barry Trotz's reaction to the injuries along with an update on the Erat and Klein conditions.
Forechecker found this story that Mark from The View from 111 did for a web site called Stadium Journey. It is an interesting look at the home of the Preds. Dirk also had more updates from Wednesday than we can list at OnTheForecheck so check them out.
Mark also has a neat story about Barry Trotz. I heard about this at the time but didn't give it the proper consideration that Mark does. Trotzy is one of a kind and someone that we should be proud to call our coach. No matter whether you agree of disagree with his moves on the ice, his character can never be questioned.
AJ has a nice piece at Pull My (Fang)Finger about the Pred's Season on the Brink (Part 1).
Section 303 has the story about Pekka getting the shaft. They also has stories about all the Olympic picks.
The Olympian has a story about Ryan Suters Olympic Legacy.
Cool Tweet from teammate Dan Ellis before Weber's selection yesterday "@dellis39: Fingers crossed for my boy WEBS...I want to see him t up bombs for team Canada!!!!!!"
From Tuesday is a bunch of pics from the Blues-Preds game from Ashley Glatz of inside hockey.
From @TheViewfrom111: Congratulations to Tim Darling Communications Dir. for the Preds on the birth of his son Hayden Daniel this morning. 8 lbs, 2 oz & 19".
Short Shifts has the US team for the AHL All-star game that has no Admirals which leaved Cal O'Reilly as the lone representative to either squad.
On Wednesday, for the first time, there was serious public discussion about moving the Winter Classic to Saturday if it appeared that rainy conditions would prevail on New Year's Day. The forecast was in flux so it could possibly be game day before a change is made. Here is the link to the Winter Classic hub on NHL.com that should have the latest offical information as the situation developes.
The NHL Network will have coverage of both team's practices today on the outdoor ring beginning at 10 a.m. CST and running to 2:30. It will be rerun once completed so those of us who have to work today can also see it.
Versus Network will have New Year's Eve hockey coverage beginning at 10 p.m. CST in a 90 minute show that will preview the Winter Classic and celebrate the New Year with entertainment from the House Of Blues.
Tim Rosenthal and Jake Duhaime have video from the ice at the Winter Classic on Wednesday when the Media got to skate on the Fenway Park rink..
Around the NHL...
Matt at The View from My Seats has all the Olympic rosters that have been announced.
Justin Bourne has an article about parents putting too much pressure on kids playing hockey at The Hockey News.
Tim Rosenthal has a good review of a book I'd like to read, "Gold, A Celebration of the 1980 US Olympic Team."
The DC Examiner is insulted that Team Canada took Shea Weber over Mike Green.
The death of another sports section (Washington Times) is chronicled by the rival paper. Being in print media is a scary proposition these days.
For BlackBerry users this is an interesting app if you plan on having an auto accident. As the claim manager for an insurance company, I see folks on a daily basis that have no clue what to do after a wreck. Maybe we should buy our insureds BlackBerrys with their app preloaded.
Totally off topic but I sure our northern audience would love this hillbilly stereotype of a guy beating a deer to death with a stick. Anywhere else PETA would lynch the guy and here he's treated as some type of good Samaritan.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass