In the topsy-turvy Western Conference, a two game win streak can take you from the outhouse to being in the middle of the pack. The Predators, with 27 points find themselves tied for ninth and only two points behind second place Dallas.
The Predators' season at 10-8-5 is about as odd as it could get so far. They were the last undefeated in regulation team going 5-0-3 to start the season and were atop the league standings on October 24 after back to back road wins over Dallas and Tampa Bay that look pretty impressive at this point.
Then they tanked for the five game losing streak. Since that time, they are 6-3-2 with the six wins being split into three pairs and a four game losing streak (with two OT loses) thrown in there to keep fans off balance.
So in spite of fairly decent play for the last eleven games (exceptions - one period in Toronto, and Minnesota), fans have never been able to get comfortable with this team. The entire season has been like a giant theme park roller-coaster ride with very high highs and lower lows.
I said on Tuesday morning that this team was a four game win streak away from fourth or fifth place and it appears they are half way to that goal. If they can win on Saturday against Carolina and a few other games fall into place, they could be in the middle of the Western Conference race, at least for a few days.
It is a long season, and I think some of the worst is over for the Predators and that they will indeed grow from what they have been through as Barry Trotz always likes to point out. I don't foresee the Western Conference being a place where anyone will be "comfortable" for the rest of the season.
If you have a weak stomach, I would advise buying Tums or Alka-Seltzer in bulk because I think you are going to need them.
Predators-Blue Jackets Round-Up...
Here is our game story from last night.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), and Hockey Night in Nashville.
The sad side of the story comes from the Columbus Dispatch, The Dark Blue Jacket, and The Cannon.
The final commentary on the game comes from a parody Twitter account from the BJ's new mascot @CBJBoomer Life sucks. Then they make you get into this damn suit. Wish I was back spinning that sign on the roadside.
In Pred Nation...
Be on the lookout for Predators around town today as they head out into the community after this morning's practice. Late updated from Jim Diamond - Practice canceled today.
Rachel from What The Puck has a post that makes me a bit sad. She is a good writer that I enjoy reading and is being pressured by life to not post as often as usual.
Admirals Short Shifts has the wrap up from Milwaukee's long 10 game road trip. Great goaltending and horrible power play, what other team does that sound like? The Ads played their first home game in forever last night against Manitoba and won 6-3.
Jay Levin has the Western Conference Notebook at Predators.com.
Daniel Bradley is injured and can't type so he substitutes this visual montage as his Preds preview. Funny stuff!
NHL.com featured the Preds win over the Yotes from Tuesday night.
Stephen Yeargin wrote a tribute to Brandi Burton who passed away on Sunday due to her fight with Cancer. Brandi was the child ambassador for Hockey Fight's Cancer and dropped the puck in October before the Preds-Pens game. A moment of silence was held Tuesday before the Preds-Coyotes game.
Paul McCann looks at the loss of two folks in the hockey family which made for an odd juxtaposition on Tuesday night.
Around the NHL...
The annual farce known as Forbes NHL Most Valuable Teams came out again. Would you rather buy a team on the upswing on and off the ice like the Preds at $148 million or the disaster on Long Island for $151 million. Obviously, Forbs has no idea of the disarray in New York.
The one thing Forbes did get right was saying David Poile was the GM that did the most with the least.
The NHL named Sidney Crosby, Carey Price and Dustin Byfuglien as the three stars of the month for November.
Bob McKenzie takes a long thoughtful look at the Chris Botta debacle on Long Island. It is surprising that this decision has not been reversed and that it has gone on as long as it has.
Eric Duhatschek has an article that is basically a eulogy to Jim Kelley at the Globe and Mail. It is amazing that he worked until his death.
Ryan Porth has players and teams to watch in the new month.
Chris Botta caught up with Pat LaFontaine for a discussion about concussions. He is a true advocate helping those with post concussion symptoms.
Bob Wage at Canes Country takes a look at Carolina's rebuilding project. The Hurricanes will be here Saturday night in a return match from last month as one of only three teams from the East that the Preds play twice this season. The other two are Atlanta and Florida.
Mayor's Manor takes another look at The Hockey News Curse.
The Hockey Writers looks at what the NHL is doing for the next thirty days leading up to the Winter Classic.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard was out almost as long as Steve Sullivan but made a cameo, one-game appearance in the middle of his 113 game stint before he played last night against Phoenix.
Changing a fan's flat tie after a game seven loss got Brooks Laich a place on DC's top forty shapers of 2010.
Odds and Ends...
With the NFL stating that there will be "full refunds" for games not played due to a lockout, this may be a good time to try to unload my PSLs for the Titans. With the way they are playing, they aren't worth the paper they are written on. Oh wait, I don't have a piece of paper.
A group is predicting Jesus' return on May 21, 2011 with billboards in Nashville and eight other US cities. Clearly, this is a lie and there is a special place in hell for those who try to mislead folks in the name of Jesus. Mark 13:32 clearly states ""No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." I have never used this web site to preach but if anyone ever has any questions, feel free to ask.
It may be early but NORAD already has their Santa Tracker ready with Google Maps.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass