The Nashville Predators wake up in the Windy City this morning and will head out to the United Center to face any remaining demons left over from their devastating game five loss to Chicago in the opening round of last years playoffs.
The Chicago team that the Predators will face will look much different than last April's version. Trades, injuries and suspensions will leave less than a dozen players on the ice that the Preds saw in their last meeting.
On defense, the Hawks will be without the suspended Niklas Hjalmarsson as well as Brian Campbell who is out with a knee injury.
As we reported yesterday, the Preds traveled to Chicago without Pekka Rinne and Marty Erat from Saturday's starting lineup. Anders Lindback will get his first NHL start in net and have rookie Mark Dekanich as his backup.
After the Hawks lost their first two games with Marty Turco in goal, Corey Crawford got the win in Buffalo on Monday night. Turco should return to the net tonight.
For Chicago, Marion Hossa is on fire, scoring three goals and adding two assist in the first three games. Nashville has only played one game and has no one with more than a single goal.
Puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m. Central and the game will be on Fox Sports Tennessee and The Buzz 102.9. After the game, the Preds will head home for the second half of the back to back with St. Louis at the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.
Game previews are up from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton and Patten Fuqua.
From Chicago comes stories from The Sun Times, The Daily Herald, and the Chicago Tribune.
Last night I appeared on The Third Man In Radio show hosted by Chris Block and was hoarse by the time I was done. It was the most hard core Predator talk that I had ever been a party to.
Chris was a great interviewer and prodded me for everything I know about the Preds. It's probably more interesting to the Chicago fans because we discussed a bunch of stuff about Nashville that they may not know. Check it out at the following link.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper confirmed with David Poile that the Preds have started negotiations on a contract extension for Shea Weber. He also found that the Preds don't want to hear the "Dagger" tonight.
Josh also writes about the Predators return to Chicago while Bryan Mullen covers Anders Lindback's first start.
David Boclair talks about Patric Hornqist and his ability to go to the net.
Jim Diamond updated his recent story about Anders Lindback with more information about his custom mask from the creator.
Forechecker had this story on Pred Prospect Taylor Stefishen yesterday but it is a must read if you missed it. Dirk is also looking for a new nickname for Anders Lindback and has a great drawing of "Anders the Giant" by Rachel Addison with inspiration from Crummy Joel.
Mark Willoughby wonders if the culture of hockey can change for the better. It's been a tough first six days for the NHL.
What the Puck has a Top 10 Tuesday of things you will see this year.
Paul McCann has his take on being Anders Lindback right now.
In Goal Magazine runs with Amanda DiPaolo's 13 feet of goalie phrase as they write about the Pred's goalie tandem.
The Milwaukee update was posted at Predators.com yesterday. Aaron Sims also has the update from Milwaukee through two games.
With Dekanich getting the call to Nashville, Jeremy Smith heads to Milwaukee.
The Preds Odd Man Rush looks at what the Devils are up to.
The Manitoba Moose are pleased with the acquisition of Jonas Andersson.
Around the NHL...
Last night's opener for the Kings was fun to watch as the Thrashers, with Chris Mason in net, were up 1-0 until Ryan Smyth scored two goals and added an assist in the third period to give the Kings a big win.
The big news from around the league yesterday were the two suspensions that everyone was waiting for. Both James Wisniewski and Niklas Hjalmarsson were each suspended for two games for two totally separate offenses. Puck Daddy uses the film rating system guidelines on violence and sex to sort out the suspensions.
We are not a week into the season and Ryan Porth already has five coaches on the hot seat.
Matt Reitz compares the hapless Anaheim Ducks to a school yard bully who isn't very good at sports so he beats you up.
Long time Red Wing Kirk Maltby announced his retirement yesterday afternoon. It is expected that he will join the Detroit scouting staff.
Rory Boylen caught up with Pavel Datsyuk and discussed his fight with Corey Perry during the Wings opening night match with Anaheim last Friday.
Mark Spector chronicles all the issues that Gary Bettman had to deal with before the season is a week old. The commish gets paid well. He can handle it.
The Hockey Writers looks at their Top 10 Calder Trophy candidates.
Brian Burke was honored by the members of PFLAG for his support of his son Brendan that was tragically killed last year.
What did Mike Ribeiro do? Dennis Kane has some ideas.
Odds and Ends...
The Nashville RollerGirls received their seeding yesterday and will play Oly the second seed in the west on opening day of the National Championship Tourney. Oly was the overall champion of last year's tournament.
What about a McDonald's Happy Meal that looks the same 171 days after it was purchased as it did the day it came out of the bag.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass