Tonight's game looks to be the long awaited brother on brother contest between the O'Reilly boys that folks were looking forward to earlier this season. While Ryan has been an unexpected mainstay on the Avalanche, Cal has been up and down to Milwaukee and appears now to be here to stay based on waiver rules and Barry Trotz's post game comments on Tuesday.
In the pre-season before the Preds played the Avs on opening night, someone asked Trotz about the brothers playing each other and he responded, "I'm not going to write your story for you." It was classic Barry Trotz. Cal went to Milwaukee shortly there after.
Since then, Ryan has played in 55 games for the Avs and has seven goals and 13 assists and ranks tenth in the NHL among rookies. Cal has played limited minutes in 17 games with the Predators and has four assists to show for his efforts. He has also played 35 games in Milwaukee, amassing nine goals and 35 assists and played in the AHL All-Star game.
In tonight's game, there will be a level playing field (or rink) in the first NHL meeting between the brothers as both will be in the starting line up and centering their respective lines. It is doubtful that anything dramatic will come of it, but it will be a huge night for the O'Reilly family and something that fans should be able to appreciate.
In Preds Nation...
John Glennon has an O'Reilly brothers story, his notes column, and the game at a glance.
Adrian Dater was a preview of tonight's game from the Colorado side and another O'Reilly brothers story.
Jim Diamond has the story of Pred prospect Zach Budish being the WCHA Rookie of the Week. Jim also has the story of Roman Josi missing the Olympics for the Swiss team.
On the Forecheck has had a bunch of posts including Where is J.P?, Which Winger should the Preds Pursue, and an interview with Pred prospect Nick Oliver.
Fan Huddle says that the playoffs start now for the Predators.
Section 303 has the official Twtvite NHL TweetUp page up for the gold medal game party. They were also talking up a bus trip to Detroit on April 4. Sounds like a good trip to me. Jeremy also throws in his two cents worth on why the Preds need to trade for Kovalchuk.
A.J. is back with his thoughts after a brief period of taking care of life.
Preds101 asks the question, "Should the goalie shoot if a shoot-out goes long enough." Go here to vote.
Around the NHL...
Big news from Wednesday was the firing of Ken Hitchcock in Columbus. It is amazing that he has lasted this long with miserable season the Blue Jackets have suffered through. He will land elsewhere and make a great coach for a team that will buy into the system.
Adrian Dater, who will be in town tonight, got to town early and headed out to Carnton Plantation and Downtown Franklin. I'm looking forward to meeting him in person. Adrian also has thoughts on the Ken Hitchcock firing.
Matt at View From My Seats has a good look at the leading teams in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes and what they could offer in return.
Make sure you are on the NHL Twitter list of your favorite team. Check it out here.
Mirtle has updated his playoff push series. He is now calling 94 points as the magic number in the West.
Ryan at the RLD tells us the top five things that he learned in January.
Down Goes Brown has another classic post with a screen shot of Gary Bettman's G Mail account.
Our friend Eric Smith looks at the current state of all thirty teams. That was quite an undertaking.
Ex Pred fan favorite Chris Mason was on XM204's power play with Scott Laughlin.
Bob McKenzie want to know when it all started that a clean hit results in a fight.
Here's the weekly hype for Sunday's NBC game featuring the Caps and the Pens. I wonder what will preempt this in Nashville this week. Puck the Media also has the announcer breakdown for the Olympic hockey games. Steve Lepore also has the NHL Network carrying AHL games.
Tim Rosenthal has the wrap-up on the Beanpot semifinals. Next Monday will be a classic match between BC and BU in the finals.
I'm not a big Kid Rock fan but he does have good taste in birthday meals in Las Vegas... our future sponsor, In-N-Out Burger.
Off Topic for brides to be... I found this to be a bit unusual. On March 20, Goodwill is having a "Bridal Gala" with over 500 wedding type dresses from overstock in area bridal shops. It's not what you would expect from Goodwill but could be big for a wedding on a budget.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass