The Predators must have been in a big hurry to get home last night as Chris Wassel reports that the 131 minute game was the shortest contest of the year in the NHL. The Devils also seemed to be in a hurry as they offered little resistance in the Predators 3-1 win which was a game that was very workmanlike and offered little flash or dash.
Tonight the Predators (17-8-6) will host the Los Angeles Kings (17-11-1) at the Bridgestone Arena at 7 p.m. Host is a rather loose term considering the Preds have been in town for a few hours while the Kings have been here since late Thursday night.
It would be easy to gush about the Predators five game win streak, getting points in a franchise best 10 games, or going 12-3-3 in their last 18 games, but in the Western Conference you are only as good as your last game. A loss here or there and you can fall from the top two or three to being out of the top eight.
The Predators are currently three points behind Detroit in the Central Division, and are tied with Colorado for the second highest point total in the Western Conference. Take away the Predators five game and four game losing streaks and the team has an unbelievable 17-1-4 record.
According to LA Kings insider, Jonathan Bernier (2-5-0, 3.30, .889) will get his first start in 24 days against the Predators tonight. The picture in goal for the Predators is not as clear. Even though Pekka Rinne claimed to be 100% yesterday, my bet is that the Preds will continue to ride Anders Lindback (8-1-2, 2.08, .931) for one more night since they have three days before the next game and he was not worked hard last night.
The Preds will again be short-handed with Legwand, Hornqvist, and Franson officially out for the game. Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene, and John Zeiler will be out for the Kings.
After tonight, the Preds will probably get a couple of days off to recover before a quick back to back in Chicago on Wednesday and here on Thursday against Ottawa.
The Kings side of the story comes from Mayors Manor, Jonathan Moncrief, Kingscast, KingsCourt, Jewels from the Crown, Kings Insider, J.P. Hoonstra, and the LA Times.
Here is our game story from last night.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, Jeremy Gover, and What the Puck.
Puck Daddy awarded Mary Erat the night's second star for his two power play goals while NHL.com gave him the third star.
The sad story from New Jersey comes from The Devils Examiner, Michelle Kenneth, Speaking of the Devs, In Lou We Trust, NJ.com, New York Post, Pucks and Pitchforks, and Fire and Ice.
Chris Wassel had some nice things to say about the Preds and the local media in spite of his team taking a drubbing.
In Pred Nation...
NHL.com has a nice feature from Mike Morreale on Anders Lindback this morning.
Josh Cooper caught up with Steve Begin before last night's game. He also got the latest update from ex-Pred captain Jason Arnott. Also from before the game, an interesting note on Trotz leaving it up to Shane O'Brien and Alexander Sulzer as to who will play the off side D.
If you listened to last night's game you heard what was tweeted by @kcwilson: Radio broadcast tonight on 102.9 The Buzz from New Jersey will feature a special color commentator - Wade Belak
Dirk Hoag, who did a good job in his first stint on the Preds postgame show on The Buzz last night, has his Weekend Breakfast Links Round-Up.
Jim Diamond found this French interview with J P Dumont (use Google Translate to view).
AJ at PMFF forgoes a game recap to focus on Jason Arnott.
Robbie at HNIN is the first to bring up the pending "goalie controversy." Trotz has said previously that the team had plenty of back to backs after the first of the year and both Rinne and Lindback would play.
Rebecca Allen AKA @TigerPredsChick has a plan to move from Memphis to Nashville and take over the Predators Pro Shop and sell snuggies to the masses.
Eddie Garrison at Bleacher Report sings praises for the Predator defense.
Jeff Blay includes Jordin Tootoo and Shane O'Brien in the top ten bash brother pairings in the NHL.
Jeremy Smith threw a shutout as the Milwaukee Admirals beat the Lake Erie Monsters 3-0 in the Ad's last game before Christmas.
The Toronto Sun has an article about Jonas Andersson who was with the Preds during the preseason this year and is now back in Winnipeg.
Around the NHL...
Part three of the Rosie Awards focuses on the media. There is good stuff here.
Ryan Porth's latest Trophy Tracker is up at RLD Hockey.
Chris Botta spoke with Bill Daly who gives a preview of changes on revenue sharing that may be instituted under a new CBA.
Sam McCaig has his list of top 10 hockey stories of 2010. Not a bad list other than Bruins collapse seems out of place.
Adrian Bleeping Dater has his bleeping thoughts on the first bleeping episode of 24 bleeping 7.
Big hit to the Flyers with the news that Chris Pronger will be out 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Who would have thought that tomorrow's Wings-Stars game would be the Game of the Weekend?
A second rink is being built at Heinz Field in the parking lot for public skating and other events.
Good news on the stolen jerseys from Pat Burns funeral. Twelve of them have been recovered.
Odds and Ends...
A new study indicates that Pluto has an underground ocean beneath its icy crust. I have a hard time believing this.
In an odd case,Pro Golfer John Daly got custody of his son and his ex-wife ended up in the poky.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass