Note: There will be no POTG Radio tonight due to the game.
The high flying Nashville Predators (14-8-6) face the lowly New York Islanders (5-17-5) tonight at the Bridgestone Arena in what could be the ultimate trap game for the Preds.
The Predators are 9-3-3 in their last 15 games and are 6-1-5 at home. The Islanders have lost 19 of their last 20 with the only win coming against the almost as miserable New Jersey Devils. On Wednesday, the rival San Jose Sharks come to town so it would be easy for the Preds to look past the Islanders.
Barry Trotz is well aware of the "trap" nature of tonight's game. I asked him about it after Saturday's game. "I talked to the players before the game and I talked to them after the game about planning our week. It is a trap game. We're playing teams that we don't have a lot of familiarity with. We're playing teams, that if you look in the standings aren't as high as some of the teams we've been playing lately so they are trap games."
Trotz continued, "At the same time those are games that you want to have. You can't let people off the hook. Those two points are just as important as two points in Detroit. San Jose or some place like that. We've got to be point collectors right now and make this place a hard place to come get points. If we do that then we've done our job."
The Predators are coming off of a 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers while the Islander lost 6-5 to Atlanta on Saturday at home in a game where 1,100 Quebec Nordique fans showed up to protest that they have been without an NHL team for 15 years since their team moved to Colorado. Atlanta and the Islanders have two of the worst attendance records in the league so they made their point.
The Predators hold an 8-3-2 advantage in the all time series against the Islanders. The Isles have not won in Nashville since April 11, 2002 when current GM Garth Snow was in goal.
The last meeting between the Preds and Isles was on Long Island on February 9, 2010 which was a heart breaker for the Predators when the Islanders scored with 12 seconds remaining to force overtime. The Preds lost in the shootout 4-3.
It was announced on Sunday that David Legwand would miss tonight's game and probably not play for the rest of the week. The Islanders injury list is too long to mention and has been a primary factor for their season heading down the tubes after they were primed to try to compete for a playoff spot with the team they assembled in training camp.
Anders Lindback will most likely be in goal for the Predators after he collected his first NHL shut out on Saturday. In four starts since Pekka Rinne went out, Lindback is 3-0-1 and has stopped 112 of 119 shots that he has faced. Rick DiPietro is probable in goal for the Isles.
If you don't have tickets, it's Military Monday with special pricing for vets and active military personnel.
Other Previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Dirk Hoag, The Tennessean, and Predators.com.
Chris Burton also has five questions with Sean Leahy who follows the Islanders.
For the Isles view of the game check out Chris Botta, Lighthouse Hockey, Dee Karl, IslesBlogger, and The Islanders Aggregator.
Here is our game story from Saturday with Barry Trotz's postgame presser.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, postgame ponderings, and quotes from the locker room.
Jim Diamond touches on Pekka Rinne's injury and Anders Lindback's debut.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
The sad version of the game stories come from The Sun Sentinel, The Rat Trick, The Miami Herald, On Frozen Pond, and Litter Box Cats.
The Rat Trick has a particularly amusing assessment of the contest.
In Pred Nation...
Jeremy Gover brings everyone a Merry Christmas wish from Blogger Row. Those pants were really tight.
Amanda DiPaolo spoke with Tomas Vokoun on Saturday and brings news from the ex-Predator.
Contrary to rumors and a post I had on Friday, Shea Weber makes no news by telling Josh Cooper "I love it here." We will see. Josh also gets the word from Steve Sullivan as to why he no longer Tweets. Thanks Dan Ellis.
Josh also has a story about Peter Horachek's battle with Prostate cancer.
Jim Diamond wraps up the Preds weekend with faceoff trouble, headblocks and travel schedules.
Sam at Predsblog is still not sold on Kevin Klein. Imagine that!
Robby at Hockey Night in Nashville has Jordin Tootoo's most memorable incident.
Ryan Ellis is paired with Erik Gudbranson at the Canada World Junior Camp.
Admiral's Roundtable has the wrap up of last night's 2-1 win over Oklahoma City and the other two games from the weekend where the Ads picked up five of six points.
Around the NHL...
What in the world has happened to the Capitals who got drilled by the New York Rangers 7-0 last night at the Garden. Brandon Dubinsky had the Gordie Howe hat trick that featured a fight with Alexander Ovechkin.
Sean Leahy takes on the "respect" issue in the aftermath of Linus Omark's flashy shootout goal against Dan Ellis on Friday night. It appears to me that had Dan stopped the shot then he could talk about how un-classy the move was. As it stands now, Dan got beat which is no surprise since he always had trouble in the shootout when he was with the Predators.
Jeff Z. Klein recounts the activities on Long Island on Saturday night when there was life at the Islanders game.
Mike Russo has a story about Paul Bissonette's Tweeting. He hopes to draw interest to hockey to put more butts in seats in the desert.
Another Saturday night of hockey and we have up for suspension Alexander Semin crosschecking John-Michael Lyles in the back and Jody Shelley boarding Adam McQuaid.
Ryan Porth takes a look at Brian Burke's rebuilding of Toronto two years into the project. He also met with David Booth on Saturday before the Preds-Cats game.
The Marco Sturm to LA trade is alive again and is waiting on Sturms physical to complete the transaction.
Saturday's Big Chill at the Big House set the record for attendance with 113, 411 folks at the game. Kevin Allen, along with many more, would like to see the Red Wings use the same set up for a game.
Dangerous Hockey has the greatest hockey snowman ever made.
Odds and Ends...
NASA's next Mar's mission will produce "six minutes of terror" when the landing is attempted using an unbelievable sky crane to lower the unit on to the planet.
More folks are cutting the cord to watch television over internet devices.
If you have been gone all weekend and missed the MetroDome roof collapse here is a video.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass