The Nashville Predators solid win over Colorado last night was only their second win on home ice in almost a month going back to a 4-2 win over Carolina on January 7. The sellout crowd on a very foul-weathered Thursday night was rewarded with as solid a game as the Preds have played in quite some time.
The players are well aware that they have not played well in front of the home crowd recently. Captain Jason Arnott even said, "they haven't had much to cheer about as of late so it was good to see."
The win was reminiscent of the type of play that fans came to expect in November and December when the team was hitting on all cylinders. Pekka Rinne started his third game in a row and seems to be taking ownership of the net, once again. Hopefully, this was a game that laid the building blocks needed for another successful run.
The Preds have five games left before the Olympic break and need to win several in order to separate from Calgary and Detroit that are only two points behind them in the crowed Western Conference standings.
The opposition will be stiff as it includes the best of the West in San Jose and the revamped New Jersey Devils and the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Not to be overlooked are the Islanders and Rangers.
After the break, it will be a twenty-one game in forty day sprint where all teams will be tested. The Preds need to focus on each game and each shift as it comes and give 100% every time the skates hit the ice.
Preds-Avalanche Round Up...
Here is our game story with postgame interviews from last night.
John Glennon has his game story, notes column and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond has his game story as does David Boclair.
In the blog world, stories come from The View from 111, Forechecker, Brandon Felder, AJ, What the Puck, and See Puck City.
The other side of the story came from Adrian Dater at The Denver Post who has several stories and post game video.
In Preds Nation...
Dirk asked the timely question "Where is J.P. Dumont?" yesterday. He had a season low in ice time (other than a game in which he was injured) last night and was basically invisible when on the ice.
Scott Burnside at ESPN has a great perspective piece about the Preds before last night's game with the Avs. ESPN labeled last night's Preds-Avs contest as their game of the week. Too bad their game story was the AP wire story.
@dani3boyz is hosting an NHL Tweetup in honor of the visiting Predator writer @viewfrom111 on Long Island. All of our New York City area friends need to come out and join the party.
Jeremy from Section 303 is the star of a new DM Live video. He looks like he knows his stuff.
Around the NHL...
The big trade involving Ilya Kovalchuk finally went down last night. Now that it is over, we can get back to hockey on the ice once again. It was a good deal for the Devils stretch run and a decent one for the Thrashers. Once Kovalchuk turned down the offers made by Atlanta, it was obvious that he just wanted out of the organization.
Word this morning is that Ken Hitchcock may stay on with the Jackets in another capacity next season.
With all the trades talks, you can follow the trades that have been completed at The Hockey News trade log.
The Fourth Period has their top 25/30 players available at the deadline.
It appears that Dallas may be for sale after all.
Ryan Whitney and Tim Gleason were added to US Olympic team to replace Paul Martin and Mike Komisarek. Tim Gleason was on XM 204 discussing his addition.
For those who have been waiting for XM on their Blackberry, it is finally here.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass