The Nashville Predators have no time to celebrate their latest come from behind overtime win over the Panthers last night in Florida. They hit home ice tonight against the L A Kings at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena.
Going into tonight's game, the Preds are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 94 points. They have a three point lead over Detroit, four points on the Kings, and a five point lead on Colorado. All three teams have played two less games than the Preds.
Looking up in the standings, they have little chance of catching Phoenix who is in fourth and six points ahead of them.
Pekka Rinne will return to the Pred's net after having last night off. Rookie Johnathan Bernier, who was an emergency recall yesterday, will start for the Kings.
Predator's Keys to the Game
Get Points now...
The Predators have three games in the next five nights and then only have two left next week. The teams that are chasing the Predators each have two extra games to accumulate points next week while the Preds are idle.
Therefore, the Preds need to get all the points they can this week so they have a bit of a gap while the other teams are chasing them. Tonight's game can provide a four point swing with the struggling Kings and the Preds need to take advantage of that. It is the final time that the Preds play a team they is on their heels.
No Time for Fatigue...
It would be easy to take a shift or a period off tonight after having played last night on the road and 16 games in the last 28 days, but the Preds need to give a full 60 minute effort.
They will have extra time next week when other teams are playing and the week after that while waiting for the playoffs to get the extra rest that they need.
The Streaks Mean Nothing...
The Predators have beaten the Kings seven straight times including all three games this season. The Kings are also riding a four game losing streak after their loss last night in Minnesota.
Neither of these streaks mean anything and tonight's game is a clean slate that will stand on its own the minute the puck is dropped. The Kings are desperate for points as they want fifth place as much as the Predators. They will turn it around at some point, and the Preds need to make sure it isn't tonight.
The other side of the King's story comes from the L A Times, Kingscast, Press Telegram, and the Kings Insider with Rich Hammond.
Here is out game recap from last night as well as a humorous piece on the Top Eleven Tweets after David Legwand scored his eleventh goal.
John Glennon has his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings from last night.
In Pred Blog World reports come from Section 303, Forechecker, The View from 111, Fan Huddle, and See Puck City.
The other side of the game story can be found at the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel.
In Pred Nation...
Here is the Tennessean's Game at a Glance for tonight's Preds-Kings game.
Jim Diamond has the story of Yanik Perreault being inducted into the Quebec Major Junior League Hall of Fame.
The NHLPA has a feature story on Patric Hornqvist.
From @kingscast: Quick will start tonight. Bernier will start against Nashville. Looks like @LAKingsInsider has set everything straight
From @Jay_Grossman: Alexander Radulov Shining in #KHL Playoffs, Leads Entire KHL In Playoff Scoring
The Hockey News must be trying to make up for last week's hack job by Ken Campbell with some kind words in this week's power rankings.
Open Ice Hockey has some alternative NHL Awards and the Pred's Ice Girls get the nod in one category.
Around the NHL...
The Phoenix Business Journal and SB Nation have a story about a possible Coyote move to Winnipeg. It's too bad folks can't sit on these stories until after the playoffs and let Phoenix fans enjoy the run.
Here is Bill Daly's press release responding to the story.
Travis Hair has a different explanation at Five for Howling.
Eklund had a poll of over 1000 folk's second favorite teams. Preds at 12 is not bad for a non-traditional market.
Who says "non-traditional" hockey markets can't produce excitement. Puck Daddy has the story and videos of one of the largest brawls of the year that occurred Saturday night in Knoxville. Expect more fireworks when Knoxville and Fayetteville meet in the first round of the SPHL playoffs this week.
Central Scouting has released their latest lists of rankings of North American players by league/region. Here are some early mock drafts by several experts.
Steve Lapore asks hockey folks not to ruin the projected Winter Classic matchup by complaining. Steve has a good argument for folks to leave the bashing aside at this point.
Chuck Fletcher is launching an investigation in order to avoid as many injuries on the Wild in the future.
When Marian Gaborik was playing well and the Rangers were in contention for a playoff spot, everyone assumed it was a mater of time before the meltdown occurred. Larry Brooks has the story of Gaborik's most recent failings.
Five Reasons B D Gallof Loves Hockey.
DirecTV has jumped on the ESPN 3D bandwagon.
Adrian Dater questions the heart of the Avs in their loss to San Jose's "B-Team".
Amanda Fortier takes a look at Calder Trophy candidates at View From My Seats.
Travis Hair has started an adoption campaign seeking support from non playoff teams. Could the Yotes be designated "America's Team" since they fought off Canadian imperialism?
Odds and Ends...
Web site TripAdvisor.com has seen an increase in hits from a fake destination called Schrute which comes from Dwight Schrute's fictitious Bed and Breakfast on an episode in 2007. Instead of deleting the site, they have embraced the publicity. Smart move.
Good advice from our friend George Scoville on phishing scams as the tax deadline draws near.
Too many foreign language tweets? This may help.
What happens when flashmobs go bad? Here is the Philadelphia story.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass