The Nashville Predators 3-2 comeback victory against the San Jose Sharks last night was one of the more surprising wins of the season to this point. The fact that it was against a quality Western Conference opponent that appeared better on paper made the victory even more satisfying for players and fans.
The Predators had had the first goal in every game since the debacle in Minnesota on November 26, so when they fell behind twice they found themselves in unfamiliar territory.
Anders Lindback has now won five of six in Pekka Rinne's absence and has bridged the gap well until Pekka returns, probably next week. It was different for him to play without a lead but he was not rattled, even against the powerful Sharks forwards which Barry Trotz said had "the best line in the world."
The Preds have now won four in a row, have points in their last nine games, and are 11-3-3 since the five game losing streak that had fans concerned in early November. They currently are in fourth place in the Western Conference and are tied for the second most points in the West.
The Preds have a big challenge ahead of them tomorrow and Saturday going to New Jersey in another "trap" game and then flying back home to face another tough Western Conference opponent in the Los Angeles Kings.
As much as they have been tested over the last few weeks, this will be another huge test for the team that may be the best one that Nashville has seen in the thirteen year franchise history.
David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist will not play this weekend and a recall from Milwaukee should be announced today. My guess is probably Jamie Lundmark. The other question will be whether Trotz will play Lindback on back to back nights or if he gives Mark Dekanich a start before sending him back to Milwaukee.
It should be an interesting few days, so stay tuned.
Preds-Sharks Round Up...
Here is our game story from last night with postgame video.
The Predators produced post game audio clips from Anders Lindback, J. P. Dumont, Colin Wilson, and Jordin Tootoo. From San Jose comes clips from Coach Todd McLellan, Dany Heatley, and Joe Thornton.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond touches on J P Dumont's game saving play at the Examiner.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper with a focus on defense.
From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, Fang Finger Fever, and AJ at PMFF.
The other side of the story comes from From California comes stories from The Mercury News, Inside Bay Area, SF Gate, Working the Corners, Fear the Fin, Battle of California, Blades of Teal, SharksPage, and Couch Tarts.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper had the latest update on Pekka's return. So when is "soon"? He also has the update on David Legwand which sounds like no time soon.
Sean Leahy must have been inspired with the Preds puck talk he heard on hold for RLD Radio on Tuesday and writes about the Preds at Puck Daddy.
Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News takes a look at the rebirth of Sergei Kostitsyn in Nashville
Mark Dekanich is still getting respect in the AHL even without playing. Mark also gets some pub from his local hometown paper.
ESPN calls Cody Franson a "sleeper" that may be ripe for the picking in many fantasy leagues.
Chris Burton has the power rating round-up. The Preds appear to be about where they should be in most rankings.
David Singleton catches up on the latest Predator news at Hockey Independent.
Hands of Cement is back and is not happy with the new Smashville song.
Around the NHL...
Last night was a huge night for hat tricks with first time hatties for Nicklas Lidstrom, Ryan Kesler, and Drew Stafford. Sidney Crosby also extended his points streak to twenty games in the Pens loss to the Rangers. The Caps also dropped their seventh in a row.
The 24/7 series debuted on HBO and got good reaction. I'd like to see it if anyone has a copy.
Here are some videos from Aaron Wood of AZ Vibe Sports from Glendale City Counsel meeting. Included are the final vote, Gary Bettman, Matthew Hulsizer, and Mayor Scruggs. The mayor is a real charmer. Her even keel has been the highlight of all the meetings that I have seen. They also have the audio of Bettman's speech to the counsel as well as Matt Hulsizer's.
Ryan Porth looks at Sidney Crosby's 19 game point streak and puts it in perspective with other post lockout streaks.
Chris Drury is finally making his return after playing only nine minutes on opening night on October 15.
Chris Wassel gives credit to Heather McWhorter, Travis Hair, and all the Phoenix faithful that pushed from the fan side to get the Phoenix deal done.
Jon Jordan takes a close look at the potential marriage between Evgeni Nabokov and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Adrian Dater stumbled into the Gary Bettman entourage when he was in Florida last week. Here are a few Q's and A's.
Mayors Manor has 10 things LA fans need to know about Marco Sturm.
Bobby Ryan has the second installment of his USA Today Blog. I've never heard of a drawing contest to kill time.
Odds and Ends...
I'm sure the movie The Social Network was a driving force in Time Magazine naming Mark Zuckerberg the Person of the Year.
Google TV announced a major upgrade that makes internet TV very appealing. Maybe it will come to my Roku box. Here's a look at the phone app that goes with it.
Buddy Oakes fro PredsOntheGlass