Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crippled Predators Fall Quietly in Detroit

The banged up Nashville Predators did little to scare the Detroit Red Wings in a 5-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night.

It was business as usual for the Wings as they got two goals from Pavel Datsyuk and single goals from Brad Stuart, Patrick Eaves and Tomas Holmstrom. Nicklas Lidstrom and Ruslan Salei each had two assists on the night.

The Predators received goals from Joel Ward and Kevin Klein who were the only two players that had pluses in the plus/minus category for the evening.

It was a brutal effort for the Preds who were playing without key players and playing with a few more that were not at full speed.

In addition to Ryan Suter, Marcel Goc and Matthew Lombardi who have been out for a while, Fancis Boullion and Jordin Tootoo did not dress. Kevin Klien and Marty Erat played but were not healthy.

The team played with five defensemen, with all logging more than 20 minutes of ice time. Wade Belak dressed as the sixth D-man but did not skate a shift.

The team was unable to recall anyone from Milwaukee when the issues arose because the team is in Abbotsford and travel would not allow a recall.

Linus Klasen played his first NHL game and saw little relevant action. He played eight shits logging 6:22 in ice time. He did play one shift on the power play and was a -1 as he was on the ice for the Eaves goal, late in the game.

Pekka Rinne did not have his best night in goal which was compounded by repeated defensive breakdowns around the net. He gave up five goals on 28 shots.

At the other end of the ice, Chris Osgood won his 398 career game stopping 23 of 25 Predator shots.

The game was somewhat unusual in that the Wings only had 28 shots on the Preds which is much lower than the historical average. On the Corsi side, the Predators actually fire more overall shots, leading 51-50.

The Predators went 0-5 on the man advantage and gave up a goal on five penalty kills.

After leading the league in points earlier in the week, the injuries appear to be taking their toll on the Preds. With three days between games and only one game before nest weekend's back to backs in Los Angeles, it is hopeful that the team will regroup and give a better showing in the days to come.

The Predators returned to Nashville after the game and will begin to prepare for a west coast swing that begins Wednesday in Phoenix.

TV Note...

The Predators' first appearance on SportsSouth was marred by the fact that many who are within the Predators home viewing area were blacked out allegedly due to a programming choice by the network.

The game was also blacked out on NHL Center Ice leaving many outside the immediate Metro area with no way to view the contest. We will seek a full explanation from SportsSouth on Monday to try to alleviate the same from happening again.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Face Stern Test in Detroit and Weekend Update

The Nashville Predators (5-1-3) face their biggest test of the season tonight in Detroit (5-2-1) when they take on the Red Wings at 6 p.m. Central on SportsSouth.

When the Preds lost their first game (in OT) they followed it with two more OT losses. Will they do the same tonight or come back and beat their long time rival at Joe Louis Arena where Detroit is 24-4-2-5 all-time against Nashville. The Preds remain undefeated on the road (3-0) in this young season.

The Preds and Wings are both coming off home losses on Thursday night. The Preds lost 3-0 to the Blues while the Wings lost to the Coyotes 4-2.

Linus Klasen, the AHL's leading scorer, is set to make his NHL debut tonight. It is unclear where he will fit in the line-up but he could take the place of Mary Erat who has been suffering with back spasms and was mostly ineffective on Thursday and sat out practice on Friday.

The Wings will have Justin Abdelkader back for his first game of the season after being out with a rib injury since the preseason. Jiri Hudler will sit as a healthy scratch.

Pekka Rinne (2-1-2, 1.87 GAA, .946 Save %) will face Chris Osgood (1-2-0, 3.01, .885) who will be filling in the injured Jimmy Howard.

Both teams have key injuries early in the season. In addition to Howard, Detroit will be missing Kris Draper (sports hernia), Brian Rafalski, and Jonathan Ericsson. The Predators continue to be without Ryan Suter, Marcel Goc, and Matthew Lombardi.

Historically, the Wings have outshot the Predators by large margins. So far this year, the Preds have averaged 29.9 shots while giving up 34.8. The Wings have outshot their opponents 34.0 to 28.1 so the trend appears ready to continue.

The Predators will be at a disadvantage on the power play, 18.4% conversion rate for Detroit versus 14.7% for the Preds and the penalty kill, 89.7% to 81,8%.

In summary, the deck appears stacked against the Predators so it will be a matter of heart and team cohesion to see if they will be able to close ranks and overcome the odds and beat the Wings. A win tonight would be a huge step in proving the team's resiliency that Coach Barry Trotz always points toward as a key.

Other Previews from Pred Blog Land come from Amanda DiPaolo, Josh Cooper, Chris Burton, the Tennessean, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

For game previews from the Detroit side see MLive, the Detroit Free Press, and the Detroit News.

In Pred Nation...

Josh Cooper has a story about the Preds' road test while Bryan Mullen say's the league was quiet on any supplemental discipline for Jordin Tootoo. Josh also discloses that Ryan Suter hopes to go west with the team next week.

Dirk Hoag has an update on how the Dish-Fox agreement will affect upcoming games involving the Predators.

There is a new edition of the 303:30 along with a new logo.

Pekka Rinne's jersey's journey into space has been delayed slightly. Jim Diamond has the story.

Peter Horachek underwent successful prostate cancer surgery this week and will not be behind the bench tonight.

Dirk Hoag has a post on Jim Diamond's "Designated Sitters."

Mark Wiloughby has his weekly My View at The View from 111.

Chris Burton breaks down Patrik Berglund's goal on Thursday night.

Puck Daddy picked up on the Halloween Rap from Thursday's game and particularly likes Shea Weber as Frankenstein. Jason Arnott played the part better in real life.

The Milwaukee Admirals won the first half of the back to backs in Abbotsford by a 3-2 score. Chris Mueller, who took over the line spot of Linus Klasen, had the game winner.

Nashville's own J.K. Robbins (See Puck City) stops in at Intent to Blow with a story about The Fratellis making bank with the NHL.

Around the NHL...

Dish Network and Fox came to an agreement yesterday to restore Fox networks to Dish. Will Fox continue to black out games on the Center Ice Package due to their dispute with Cablevision?

Usually a "vote of confidence" for a coach is the kiss of death. We'll see what happens with the Devils.

Taylor Hall can be added to the list of 2010 draftees that will be playing their tenth game in the NHL. The Oilers have announced that he will not be returned to juniors. Tyler Seguin also got word that he is staying with Boston.

Ryan Porth has a list of players who's stock has improved in the first tenth of the season.

Rob Higgins weekly fantasy update has been posted with an interesting discussion on Roberto Luongo.

Adam Gretz takes a look at the successful transition of Dustin Byfuglien to defense amid preseason criticism of the move.

Chris Mason is finally getting relief with the return of Ondrej Pavelec to the Thrashers tonight. Mason has faced a league high 311 shots in his almost ten games before last night.

Gary Bettman and Bill Daly chatted with Yahoo writer Nicholas Cotsonika at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night. Here are the highlights.

An article about a new arena for Edmonton is pointing to Columbus as a success story. That is a bit confusing considering their attendance issues this season.

Here's a history lesson to go with the Pen's Winter Classic jersey. I've always thought when a detailed explanation is needed to reveal the symbolism of something, then it probably wasn't such a great idea. Regardless, it is a good article.

The Daily Line on Versus was canceled yesterday due to "anemic ratings." It was a fun concept during last year's SCF playoffs, but I never found my way back there after hockey was over.

BallHyped has the top 100 sports blogs on Twitter.

Copper and Blue recommends beer as the survival tool of choice this season.

Down Goes Brown reveals some shocking revelations in Kerry Fraser's new book.

Odds and Ends...

For anyone fighting foreclosure on a house or property and needs inspiration, here is a guy that refuses to move.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, October 29, 2010

Predators Recall AHL Goal Leader Linus Klasen

The Nashville Predators recalled Linus Klasen from Milwaukee this morning. The news was first leaked by a Swedish language newspaper and has now been confirmed by the Predators.

Klasen leads the AHL in goals with seven and was named the AHL Player of the week on Monday.

It is unclear where he will fit in when the Preds play Detroit on Saturday but it is rare for a player to be called up and not be inserted into the lineup. With his small physical size, there is little need for him on a grinder line so you would think adjustments will be made on one of the three scoring oriented lines.

Klasen was injured in the first rookie game of the year on a blind-side hit and was unable to participate in the pre-season camp so adjustments to new team-mates will have to be done on the fly.

Here is the full release from the Predators...


-Defending AHL Player of the Week leads the League in goals-

Nashville, Tenn. (October 29, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Linus Klasen from Milwaukee (AHL).

Klasen, 24 (2/19/86), leads the American League in goals (7) and ranks among the league leaders in points (10) through seven games for the Admirals. The 5-8, 178-pound winger was named Reebok/AHL Player of the Week on Monday in just his second full week as a North American pro after amassing six points (3g-3a) in three games. Signed as a free agent on April 20, 2010, the Stockholm, Sweden native spent the last three seasons with Sodertalje of the Swedish Elitserien, tying for fifth in points (19g-32a-51pts) a season ago.

The Predators will look to improve on their hot start when they kick-off a five-game road trip at Detroit tomorrow night against the Central Division rival Red Wings (6 p.m. CT, 102.9 FM The Buzz, SportSouth). After three games on the West Coast and a stop in St. Louis, they’ll return home to take on the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, Nov. 13 (7 p.m. CT, 102.9 FM The Buzz, FOX Sports Tennessee). Tickets are still available for the Chicago contest and may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-PUCK (7825) or online via or

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Predators Head to the Road after Tootoo Controversy and Friday Findings

First off, thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday. It was a bit overwhelming for an old guy like me.

The Predators finally lost a game in regulation. For fans in attendance it was not a pleasant game to experience. A good Thursday night crowd of 15,506 was in attendance as well as writers from and ESPN as it was hailed as the "game of the week."

If you are a Blues fan, it probably lived up to its billing. Preds fans were disappointed as they had little to cheer about.

The most memorable thing from the game was the Jordin Tootoo hit on Carlo Colaiacovo in the third period. Colaiacovo has a history of concussions and folks around the league do not like Tootoo so it was the perfect setting for an overreaction by the officials on what was a garden variety hit by Tootoo standards.

In the postgame, Tootoo and Coach Barry Trotz plead innocence on any type of dirty hit, head shot, or anything on the nature that the stiff penalty was allegedly called for.

If you review the video, Tootoo clearly did not hit head to head and his skates did not leave the ice until the momentum of the hit lifted one skate, in spite of what the "homers" from St. Louis say in the video.

Anyway, the first loss is in the past and the Predators leave today for Detroit which is the first game of an extended, two week, five-game, road trip.

The Predators have played well on trips like this in the past and will have enough time between games to continue to work on the details of their game as well as spend time together and bond as a team.

Last night's game was one loss and no reason for anyone to throw on the panic switch.

Preds-Blues Round-Up

Here is our game story and video of Barry Trotz from last night.

Josh Cooper had his game story and and postgame ponderings. He also discusses the Jordon Tootoo hit and penalty.

Jim Diamond goes to the rule book to analyze Jordin Tootoo's penalty.

David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.

From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, The View from 111, Chris Burton (with advances stats), Jeremy Gover, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

Dirk Hoag has the video of the Tootoo hit and a poll of whether he will receive supplemental discipline.

The other side of the story comes from St. Louis GameTime where they seem to be clear that Tootoo's charge was a head shot. They must not have see the same video that I did. The St Louis Post-Dispatch has a little less biased game story.

In Pred Nation...

Possible breaking news from Dirk Hoag this morning with a Swedish newspaper indicating that Linus Klasen may have been recalled by the Predators.

The Hockey Tonk Angels TweepUp has gone national with a listing at NHL TweetUp for the event scheduled at Bleachers on November 7 when the Preds play the Ducks on the road.

Adam Gretz has an excellent interview with Cody Franson at Fanhouse. He has great things to say about Nashville and the fans.

Last night's game was ESPN's Game of the Week. Scott Burnside was in town and filed this on the Predators' goaltenders.

More national coverage from John Manasso who sorts out the team effort by the Predators. have their weekly prospect update with a focus on the 2009 draft class.

Admiral's roundtable looks at what Steve Begin brings to the table for the Ads. The Ads have games tonight and Saturday in Abbottsford.

Forechecker beat us to the punch on the big Hunt Brothers Pizza announcement as a new vendor at the Bridgestone Arena. Jackson seemed to have no complaints with his slice last game.

Rachel at What the Puck found an odd video clip of Hannah Montana playing some type of hockey.

Around the NHL...

Michelle Kenneth is following the Devils on their west coast road trip and has the latest after the Sharks loss.

The Blackhawks lost the services of Marian Hossa in their game against the Kings on Wednesday. It is unclear how long he will be out due to the "upper body injury." Brian Campbell's appears ready to return soon.

From @ChrisBottaNHL: The Islanders have sent Nino Niederreiter to Portland (WHL). His Entry Level Contract still has three years on it. This was a clse call as Chris wasn't sure what they would do when we talked to him on RLD Radio on Tuesday.

Other junior player news of sorts from @TSNBobMcKenzie: No surprise here, ATL has told Burmistrov he isn't going back to Barrie of the OHL.

Chris Botta also his weekly column at Fanhouse and throws kudos to the Preds and Pekka Rinne. He also hiit on the "9 game clause" for junior players.

Ryan Porth looks at the surprising Montreal Canadians who are off to a much faster start than I expected.

The 2011 Winter Classic jersey for the Pittsburgh Penguins was released yesterday. Here are some pictures.

The Carolina Hurricanes finally made it to the home rink for a game on Wednesday and lst to the Capitals. This may be one of the longest roar trips ever to start a season with the trip to Russia, Europe and the Carolina State Fair keeping them away from home.

Congrats to our friends at Illegal Curve who will move their show to a new home on November 6 at Sports Radio 1290 in Winnipeg.

Lauren Belfoy debuts at The Fourth Period with a good post about types of hockey players.

Inside Hockey looks at coaching greatness and those who come and go.

Ryan Porth's favorite prospect has been traded. This from @MLalancette: Kirill Kabanov is traded to Lewiston, against four draft picks (one European). The Maineiacs are pleased with their new player.

Odds and Ends...

Here is a video from the South Central Regionals Derby to get you pumped for the Nationals next weekend in Chicago. The Nashville RollerGirls are the third seed from the region and are guaranteed to finish in top twelve.

I don't play Farmville bu I know folks that are obsessed with it. A Florida mother killed her baby because it was interrupting her play. I hope they have a good connection for her in the pokey because she will be there for a good long while.

It's hard to believe what's laying around under the ocean floor. A Florida salver found a gold statute worth $885,000.

I'm not sure what our puppy will play with now that they have done a way with the cardboard tube in toilet paper.

I think that the wax Taylor Swift looks better than the real thing.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Lose to Blues 3-0 in First Regulation Loss

Everyone knew that the Nashville Predators would not survive an 82 game schedule without a regulation loss but no one was ready for the streak to end.

Jaroslav Halak played a near perfect game as the Blues won 3-0 and got payback from their only regulation loss two weeks earlier when the Preds won 4-3.

The Preds remained competitive in the contest until the double whammy of the Blues' second goal and a questionable charging call against Jordin Tootoo took the wind out of the team's sails with less than eight minutes remaining in the game.

The game started with both teams skating well and few stoppages in the first two periods. The Predators had great chances early. At 5:38 in the first, J.P. Dumont had a great opportunity as he found himself alosne in front of the net but Halak stoned him.

At 11:41 Patric Hornqvist had a breakaway that Halak appeared to read the entire way. For the first period, the Blues outshot the Preds 15-8.

Alexander Steen scored what was the eventual game winning goal at 12:56 in the second period. It was a short-handed goal that came four seconds after Alexander Sulzer came out of the box with the Predators having 30 seconds left on a power play.

For the second period, shots were much closer with St. Louis having a 12-11 edge.

St. Louis appeared to come out on a mission in the third period. Their inspired play neutralized the Predator attack. Patrik Berglund scored the Blues second goal at 12:48 to put the Preds in a deep hole.

The game clincher came a few seconds later at 13:11 when Jordin Tootoo was called for charging and given a five minute minor and a game misconduct. The incident occurred when Jered Smithson and Tootoo sandwiched Carlo Colaiacovo as all three were going for a puck behind the Blues net.

On the ensuing power play, at 15:15, Matt D'Agostini scored to put the game completely out of reach at 3-0.

After the game, Jordin Tootoo was puzzled with the call against him, "My understanding is that it was a blow to the head but you look at the replay and it's shoulder on shoulder. It's a tough league to play in. You've got to keep your head up and when you hit someone hard the refs are going to take a second look at it. I'm speechless."

Barry Trotz also questioned the call on the Tootoo penalty, "I looked at it, charging, he didn't move his feet from the top of the circles in. I looked at it with the big emphasis on shots to the head, and I saw a shoulder to shoulder hit and to me, he didn't leave his feet so I'm a little bit confused on that and before I comment more I'll have to hear from the league. To me looking at the factors, I thought it was a pretty clean hit."

Trotz gave the Blues full credit for the win. "They did a real good job. They're number one in the league and that's just a little taste of what the Central Division is all about. They play a good team game, have the lowest goals against and also give you the least amount of shots in the league."

The Predators have little time to worry about the loss as they will leave for Detroit on Friday to prpare to face the Wings for the first time this season at 6 p.m. Central on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Predators Put Streak on the Line Again and Thursday Thoughts

It seems like a while since the Nashville Predators played at home, but it's will be sixteen days after tonight before they grace the ice at Bridgestone Arena once again.

Tonight, the Predators (5-0-3) put their undefeated in regulation streak on the line for the ninth time this season against the St. Louis Blues (4-1-2), who they faced two weeks ago when the Preds prevailed in a 4-3 win which remains the Blues only regulation loss.

The Predators are coming off road wins over Dallas and Tampa Bay over the weekend and have been idle for three days. The Blues also won their last two games at home over the weekend against Chicago and Pittsburgh.

The Predators have some of the most balanced scoring in the league with 13 players with three or more points. In the game in Tampa. 12 different players pointed on the teams four goals.

T.J Oshie leads the Blues with 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) while David Perron leads in goals with four.

With both teams coming off several days of rest, barring any surprises, the number one goalies should see action tonight. Pekka Rinne (2-0-2, 1.58 gaa, .955) should face Jaroslav Halak (4-1-1, 1.81, .929) in a matchup of two of the leagues best netminders.

Special teams should be key in what should be a low scoring affair. The Preds and Blues have similar stats on the power play (Nashville 16.1%, St. Louis 16.7%) and the penalty kill (Nash. 82.1%, St.L. 80.8%).

There is a big difference in the number of penalties taken with the Preds having the second fewest (10.1 min per game) and the Blues having the most in the league (21.9 mpg).

The Preds will continue to play with out the services of Ryan Suter (knee), Marcel Goc (shoulder), and Matthew Lombardi (concussion). Replacements for these key injured players have played well in their absence with Alexander Sulzer playing the best hockey of his brief career and Nick Spaling bringing stability to the Predators penalty kill.

The Blues expect to have the services of Cam Janssen for the first time since he went on IR on October 10. The Blues lost the services of defenseman Roman Polak with a severed tendon in his wrist and recalled Nathan Oystrick from Peoria yesterday. Nikita Nikitin is also out.

Puck drop should be shortly after 7 p.m. and the game is not televised locally. Tickets remain for the game which will be the last chance to see the Predators for quite a while.

Other game previews from Predland come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton and the Tennessean.

Fore Previews from the Blues point of view, check out the St Louis Post Dispatch and St. Louis Gametime.

In Pred Nation...

Josh Cooper has news that Marcel Goc skated at practice yesterday and that the Preds are in no hurry getting Ryan Suter back. Josh also talks about the team's fast start with several players. Finally, Cody Franson reveals his relationship to Bobby Orr.

Colin Wilson's blog at Inside Predators focuses on Jerred Smithson's DJ abilities and Colin getting his apartment cleaned by his mother.

Jim Diamond applauds the excellent play of Alexander Sulzer who is making a case to stay in the lineup when Ryan Suter returns.

Dirk Hoag makes the case for Central Division Supremacy and has a poll as to who will reign.

Amanda DiPaolo discusses the Preds' extended road trips that start after tonight's game.

Mark Willoughby takes a shot at the local media as he presents the video of the check presentation to A-Game Sportsplex by the Predators.

David Boclair has a story about the Predators comfort level in one goal games.

The Badger Herald has a good piece on Blake Geoffrion that looks to his past and his future.

Chris Burton has a roundup of a bunch of power ratings for the week. Hopefully, the Preds will not fall from their lofty ratings.

Paul McCann was back with his weekly Slap Shot Radio last night. Kerry Frazier, Darren Pang and Barry Trotz were guests. The podcast will be available on the web site.

Dan Bradley at Excellence Through Guesswork Hockey has his weekly update.

Terry Crisp was on Puck Daddy Radio yesterday which can be heard here.

In Goal Magazine takes a look at the new mask from Pekka Rinne.

Around the NHL...

Ryan Porth discloses his all under-rated team. This is a good discussion starter. I like the Nichol, Suter and Ward picks.

Mike Ross at NHL Home Ice talked with Eric Cole yesterday and the end of the interview is interesting when he talks about the game with the KHL during the preseason.

The CBC has the surprise five of the young season. Should the Preds really be that surprising?

From the Rink looks around the league at the 1/10 pole. After last night's loss, the Devils do appear to have a lock on worst start. Could John MacLean's job be in jeopardy? Rick Chere asks the question.

It's time to fish or cut bait for the Islanders on Nino Niederreiter at to keep him or send him back to Juniors. Michael Schuerlein has the story.

Teemu Selanne passed Bobby Hull on the all-time goal list on Tuesday night. That one was a little under the radar for me.

The NHL Board of Governors and the Officials’ Association ratified a new four year deal as part of their collective bargaining agreement.

While on the subject of officials, would you like to see comments from the refs after the game. Tim Wharnsby discusses the issue.

Will Craig Anderson going down be the most significant injury of the season? For a team that lived and dies with his efforts last year, others will have to step up. On the positive side, John-Michael Lyles set an NHL record for D-Men in having an assist in nine straight games to start the season.

Later yesterday, we found that Anderson's injury may not be as bad as feared.

The Team Marketing Report is out and Puck Daddy transforms the raw data into a "Beer Drinkers Cost Per Period" which is probably more usable for most folks. As far as average ticket prices, the Preds are middle of the pack.

Here's another team specific podcast, The Bolts Beat. I love the variety of all the podcast available. James "Tapeleg" Gralian redid my hockey podcast aggregator into something that is much nicer and more usable.

Down Goes Brown has a defenseman's guide on how to handle the pressure in the NHL.

Contrary to what we have heard, Jeff Skinner wants to be returned to Juniors so he won't have to live in Raleigh all year.

Odds and Ends...

Is consumerism winning the war on Cancer? Dalia Kurtz shares her thoughts.

Here are forty passive-aggressive parking notes.

For fans of The Office, here are some of the costumes from tonight's special Halloween show.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Predators' Success Reaches Beyond The On Ice Action

The Nashville Predators have become one of the early season success stories in the NHL as they have started with a 5-0-3 record and remain the only team in the league that has yet to lose a regulation contest. Their 13 points in eight games leads all 30 teams.

While not getting the same attention as the success on the ice, an even larger turnaround has occurred in the stands at the Bridgestone Arena.

Just twelve months ago, the Predators' opening night crowd of 14,797 drew criticism from pundits from around the league that the team was unable to sell out their home opener.

Historically, the team has struggled at the box office in the early months of the season when the locals have been more focused on college and professional football, so starting slowly out of the gate was no surprise.

During the past offseason, the Predators ownership group made a major investment in top front office talent, hiring Jeff Cogen as the new CEO, and Sean Henry as President and Chief Operating Officer. Both have extensive experience and may prove to be the two best free agents that the team has ever signed.

Benefits of the new blood in the front office have already been seen. Through five home games, the Preds have played to 94.8% capacity with two sellouts and only 4408 tickets unsold. In comparison, in recent years since the lockout, early crowds averaged in the 13,000 range and the team played to less than 80% capacity.

The increase in attendance has been the result of hard work in the front office.

Jeff Cogen gives some factors driving the improvement this year. "The sales group has had success in renewing last year's season ticket holders. It starts with that. If you can't keep your customers, it's hard to create new ones."

"We've also put together some innovations and added value relative to attracting new people. Its a data centric initiative that seems to be working," Cogen continued. "We think that if we can get you to a game and know who you are, we can get you back. You are seeing some of that activity taking hold."

Cogen also pointed to a combination of other factors including an increase in group sales, promotions in the marketplace, and a favorable early schedule with teams like Washington and Pittsburgh visiting Music City. Additionally, individual ticket sales are almost double, year over year.

One of the things that has characterized the Nashville market over the years is a large percentage of individual fans buying tickets as opposed to corporate season ticket accounts.

Cogen sees that as a positive, "There are more individual tickets than I'm used to but I don't consider it a problem. I consider it an opportunity because if you have a season ticket, the same person comes over and over again so you are not growing the base."

"For every individual ticket that comes here and we know who they are, we can try to convert them to a season ticket so, the more volume the better."

In Cogen's tenure with the Dallas Stars organization, he faced many of the same obstacles that the Nashville market has seen. He has a two pronged approach to growing the fan base over the longer term.

The A-Game initiative that was announced yesterday is primary. The Predators donated $150,000 to A-Game Sportsplex to grow and develop youth and amateur hockey in the Nashville area that should act as a springboard for developing fans in the midstate area.

"The second initiative is to attract more volume," Cogen explained. "It's one thing to sell more tickets it's another thing to get more people."

"I'd like to build TV ratings and attract more eyeballs to our broadcasts. That's an easy point of entry for somebody to be attracted to our game."

The Predators will be watching those folks who are watching the games at home. "If we can create data capture initiatives on our broadcasts, then we know who's watching and can invite them to a game." Cogen exclaimed, "The first one is on me!"

"Then we have some data and have gotten them to a game so they might convert to a three game plan, then six, then twelve, and possibly even more games."

Around the league, over the years, folks have said that Nashville has some of the best fans in the league, but there just are not enough of them. The Predators are attacking that notion head on and plan on bringing more new and different bodies into the arena on a go forward basis.

Jeff Cogen has worked his plan before and it will work again, "If I had to capture it in one sentence it would be 'data capture, sample, sell.' I need to know who you are, get you to the building, and then from there I think I can grow you into a customer."

After seeing the enthusiasm of the early season crowds and listening to the excitement in Jeff Cogen's voice, there is little doubt that this will be a banner year for the Predator's organization in bringing new fans into the fold.

If the Predators continue their early on ice success, tickets to a game could be a hot commodity and possibly, even hard to come by before the season is over.

As more tickets are sold, money for player salaries will grow and insure contract extensions for Shea Weber and others keeping the core group of Predators together for years to come.

More Later

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Big Day for Fans at A-Game Sports and Wednesday Wrap-Up

From all reports, Predator fans had a banner day at the special practice and presentation at A-Game Sportsplex in Franklin yesterday afternoon.

Long term, the highlight was a donation of $150,000 to A-Game to aid in development of youth an amateur hockey in the mid-state area.

Of a more immediate note was the excitement of many fans to see the Preds practice up close and personal. A select group of young players even got to skate with their favorite Predators in a practice setting.

The whole event was just another example of what good neighbors the Nashville Predators are to folks in and around the Nashville area.

Jim Diamond was on the scene and has a story with a picture slide show here. Mark Willoughby was also in attendence and has his reflections.

Programming Note...

Ryan Porth's RLD Radio yesterday was interesting as we survived the elements to have great conversations with Long Island's Chis Botta and Carolina's Chip Alexander. Check out the podcast here.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

In Pred Nation...

The Hockey-Tonk Angels are putting together a viewing part for the Preds-Ducks game on November 7 at Bleachers in Franklin. Go here for details and if you have not joined their group, go ahead and do so while you are there.

Section 303 has openings on their road trip to Atlanta on December 6. Here is more info. has Jay Levin's Western Conference notebook and a Milwaukee Admirals update.

Some of the more surprising news came from Milwaukee where the Ads sent Chet Pickard to Cincinnati and recalled Jeremy Smith in return. Pickard was off to a rough start and will benefit from a confidence boost at a lower level.

Bryan Mullen has news that Ryan Suter and Marcel Goc will miss both games this weekend as well as the word on J.P. Dumont's wife having their fourth child. He also has a post this morning on the Predators' balanced scoring.

David Boclair discusses using wings to fill the middle while injuries have taken their toll.

Chris Burton looks at the need for the Predators to protect their own players.

Stu Hackel has a nice piece in the New York Times explaining that the Nashville Predators are the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey.

Hockey Night in Nashville looks at Cal O'Reilly as an unsung hero in the first eight games.

More Power rankings are out. Brian Metzer at Versus has the Preds second. The SB ratings has the Predators as the best in the West.

Encouraging words from noted journalist @StanFischler: Predators are most overlooked, underrated NHL team. Most amazing coach, Barry Trotz; g.m. David Poile. AND my man, Gerry Helper!

Mikle Heika liked what he saw in the Preds over the weekend and writes about it at Versus.

From @PredsNHL: Tweetup time! This Saturday, Oct 30 @ 5:30pm, Otter's Chicken on Demonbreun. Enjoy some company and watch the #Preds battle the #Wings!

Around the NHL...

Some disturbing news for Avs fans from @adater: Per Mike Haynes aka @voiceoftheavs Craig Anderson hurt in warmup tonight, not on Avs bench. More... Craig Anderson hurt a knee in warmup - this sounds bad. Had to be helped off ice Adrian also gives us a video of the injury.

The Vancouver Sun has news of all the changes going down with The Hockey News. It will be a complete change from what folks are used to. How will it affect its 100,000 readership base?

Matt Reitz looks at the transition of some players from underrated to overrated.

Bad news for the future/present career of Sheldon Souray who has a broken hand from @TSNBobMcKenzie: Looks like Souray did the damage with a haymaker to the side of Matt (son of Kim) Clackson's head.

Justin Bourne has interesting insight into the art of goal scoring and how some are better than others on both sides of the puck.

John Grigg at TSN doesn't list Ryan Suter's absence as a top ten defenseman injury so far this season. It is fairly amazing that Cam Fowler makes the list and Suter doesn't.

From RT @sportsnetbroph: NHL officials have ratification vote today (Tue) on new CBA with NHL. Votes will be in by 11 a.m. Wed. and results announced one hour later.

The Financial Post has a rundown of new technology available to fans to listen to and watch games on their mobile devices.

XM Home Ice rolled out a new TV commercial advertising their coverage of every NHL game on their service.

Adrian Dater gets down to brass tacks on sayings when your team is going bad.

In a similar vein, Stay Classy has a list of ways to tell if your team is struggling.

Intent to Blow has the story of Sergei Kostitsyn filing suit against his brother Andrei.

Odds and Ends...

Be careful what you do in your social media world because lawyers are always lurking in the background.

The Fox-Dish dispute is driving folks to "illegal websites" to watch games. Imagine that. The New York Daily News alleges that a Cablevision employee was advising a customer how to watch games on the internet.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Predators Continue to Give Back to the Community and Tuesday Tidbits

The Nashville Predators have a long history of giving back to the community through the fundraising efforts of the Predators Foundation.

The Predators Foundation is a big part of the fabric that makes a pro sports team a valuable asset to their community. The foundation has many events throughout the year that raises money that is in turn given back to the community in many different ways. Last season, over 100 local charities benefited from over $300,000 in funds given out at the end of the season.

Today, for those who may have missed the Pred's preseason camp at Centennial Sportsplex, another opportunity exists for folks to get an up close view of the Preds as they take their practice on the road to A Game Sports (formally Southern Ice) in Franklin.

As part of the festivities the Preds will officially announce a new partnership with A Game Sports and will be presenting $150,000 to them to encourage youth hockey in the community.

When new CEO, Jeff Cogen first came to town, he discussed how important the development of youth hockey programs was to the long term success of the franchise. As kids play and grow into adults they become the season ticket holders of the future.

Therefore, the partnership developed today will benefit both entities in the short term as well as in the future.

Here are more details and the schedule of events from the Predators.

The Nashville Predators invite you to experience A-Game Sportsplex, a youth hockey facility in Cool Springs that fosters interest in hockey among all ages. Tomorrow, October 26 Nashville Predators leadership will present A-Game with a check for $150,000 as a way to encourage and promote youth hockey initiatives. We welcome you to stay and watch the Nashville Predators open practice after the check presentation. Make sure to hang around after practice for the Kids Community Corner with games, player autographs and prizes for all kids in attendance.

WHO: Jeff Cogen, Nashville Predators CEO
, TriggWilkes, A-Game Sportsplex, Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators Head Coach, GNASH and the Nashville Predator Dancers

WHEN: October 26, 2010 from 3:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

3:15 p.m. - GNASH and Dancers arrive to greet fans, take pictures and hand out swag.

3:30 p.m. - Check Presentation

4 -5 p.m. - Predators Open Practice

5:10-7:15 - Player clinics with A-Game Mite and Squirt House Teams featuring Francis Bouillon, Nick Spaling, Alexander Sulzer and Colin Wilson.

5:30-6:30 p.m. - Kids Community Corner in the Courts - activities include player autographs with Cody Franson, Patric Hornqvist and Shane O'Brien, appearances by GNASH and the Ladies of Smashville, youth games and more.

WHERE: A-Game Sportsplex
, 215 Gothic Court, Franklin, TN 37067

Jim Diamond has more details and Forechecker adds a timely video to his post.

Programming Note...

I will appear as co-host on Ryan Porth's RedLightDistrict Radio today at noon Central. Ryan will have Chriss Botta of Fanhouse and Chip Alexander of the Newsa and Observer as his special guests.

In Pred Nation...

Cody Franson is set to appear on NHL Live today between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Central. It can be seen on the NHL Network, or on NHL Home Ice Radio.

Josh Cooper gets an answer that he doesn't expect from Barry Trotz on which game was the biger win over the weekend. He also has a post on the Preds' improved power play.

The power rankings are starting to come out this week and RLD Hockey doesn't play the homer card and leaves the Preds in fourth. They are up to #2 at ESPN. Joe Haggerty goes all out and puts the Preds at number one. Helene Elliott has the Preds in the second slot and her Kings in third.

Amanda DiPaolo has her weekly Central Division Shakedown which is a good scouting report for the Predators next two opponents, St. Louis and Detroit.

Chris Burton goes slid by slid looking at Sergei Kostitsyn's first goal as a Predator.

Mark Willoughby has the first two "Hattie" awards for this season. Both are well deserved. I love it when Mark pulls out the silver trophy. Mark also appeared on the RedWingsGuy podcast last night.

Is Gabriel Bourque the heir apparent to Jordan Tootoo as the Predators' future pest. Admirals Short Shifts (Roundtable) has a story at OnTheForecheck.

Jas Faulkner talks of the Preds going streaking at The Hockey Writers.

Paul McCann adds his thoughts about the Predator's big weekend on the road at Hockey Buzz.

Cody Franson need votes at PHT as he is up for the goal of the week. Vote now and vote often.

The Anders Lindback picture at this story makes it look like he is starting Moovenber a week early.

Scott Burnside has the Blues-Preds game as one to watch this week but picks the wrong winner.

Sam at PredsBlog has a couple of men who look good in purple ties.

Around the NHL...

Another game night brings another hit that will be discussed today where Dustin Brown nailed Antti Miettinen and received a game misconduct. Take a look and see what you think.

Kevin Allen has some interesting numbers that shows that almost 20% of NHLers are from the US. Much of the future growth has to do with expansion into non-traditional markets and the involvement of players never exposed to the sport in the past.

Derek Zona at Copper and Blue has put together a neat Aggrigator in a newspaper type format of all the hockey news from SB Nation sites and calls it Hockey Hub Daily.

Chris Botta, who will be on RLD Radio today, has his wrap-up of the week's best. He also has an excellent commentary on the cover-up in New Jersey and how it will eventually backfire.

Steve Lapore has news of the NHLPA auctioning autographed books for Hockey Fights Cancer in the next couple of weeks. Steve also has the news on Mike Milbury joining Versus's Hockey Central.

Michael Nylander, who was on loan to Rochester, has a broken vertebrae in his neck and is scheduled for surgery. This probably will be the end of the line for the veteran center.

Good news from agent Allan Walsh on Pavelec @walsha In the good news department, client Ondrej Pavelec of the Thrashers has been activated from IR and is ready to go.

Al Cimaglia looks at the prospects of increased litigation in NHL matters. Lawyers are killing society and we don't need more in our sports world.

A new owner in Phoenix will get a bunch of big hugs so it appears.

Michelle's Monday Musings include Devils talk and the upcoming west coast road trip for Marty the Duck.

Too Many Men on the Site looks at the early Central Division dominance.

Half Smokes reveals the Alex Ovechkin that we all suspected was there.

A non-hockey blog writes about NHL Tweet-ups.

Down Goes Brown looks at prior episodes of star players finding the coaches dog house on the heels of the Ilya Kovalchuk benching on Saturday.

Intent to Blow reports that Devils coach John MacLean will be a healthy scratch for the remainder of the season.

Odds and Ends...

Domain names can be a gold mine. The Atlantic looks at the most expensive sale prices.

Hormel would like to turn its peperoni product into the next Spam.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, October 25, 2010

Teemu Laasko Returned to Milwaukee

After playing only four shifts as the Predators seventh defenseman on Saturday against the Dallas Stars, Teemu Laasko was returned to Milwaukee. His recall was due to questionable availability for Kevin Klein over the weekend due to flu-like symptoms.

Here's the Predators release on the return...


Nashville, Tenn. (October 25, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has reassigned defenseman Teemu Laakso (TEE-moo LAK-soh) to Milwaukee (AHL).

Laakso, 23 (8/27/87), made his season debut in Nashville’s 1-0 victory at Dallas on Saturday night, logging 2:43. He returns to Milwaukee where he’s posted four assists in five games.

With a 5-0-3 record, the Predators return to Smashville for Thursday night’s game against the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues (7 p.m., 102.9 FM The Buzz) as the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. Thursday is also College Night at Bridgestone Arena; fans showing their student ID at the box office will receive a $10 upper-level ticket or a $25 lower-level ticket. In conjunction with College Night, there will be drink specials for all in attendance throughout the first intermission. Tickets are still available for the game and may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-PUCK (7825) or online via or

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Linus Klasen Named AHL Player of the Week

Linus Klasen was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week today in a release from the league this afternoon.

Playing a three game in three day set with the Milwaukee Admirals over the weekend, Klasen had three goals and three assists for the week. For the season Klasen now has seven goals in seven games and also has three assists.

It is unfortunate that he was injured in a rookie game early in the preseason and was unable to be on the ice with the full Nashville squad during camp. He should be one of the first players called up by the Predators when a need arises for a top six forward.

Here is a video tribute from Europe of the North American rookie.

Here is the full release from the AHL...


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Milwaukee Admirals left wing Linus Klasen has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 24, 2010. Klasen tallied three goals and three assists for six points in three games.

Klasen began a busy weekend by notching an assist and then scoring the game-winning goal in Milwaukee’s 3-2 victory at Grand Rapids on Friday night. Back home the following evening, Klasen picked up another goal and an assist as the Admirals defeated Abbotsford, 3-1. And on Sunday in Chicago, Klasen tallied his league-best seventh goal of the season and chipped in another assist in Milwaukee’s 4-3 loss to the Wolves.

In recognition of his achievement, Klasen will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Admirals home game.

In his first season in North America, Klasen leads the AHL with seven goals and has added three assists for 10 points in seven games with Milwaukee. The 24-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, played the last three seasons for Sodertalje SK, and tied for fifth in the Swedish Elitserien with 51 points in 51 games in 2009-10. Klasen signed as a free agent with the Nashville Predators on Apr. 20, 2010.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Player of the Week include Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving, Binghamton goaltender Barry Brust, Bridgeport left wing Jesse Joensuu, Charlotte center Zach Boychuk, Chicago center Jason Krog, Grand Rapids right wing Jan Mursak, Hamilton center David Desharnais, Hartford goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris, Hershey right wing Ashton Rome, Houston goaltender Anton Khudobin, Lake Erie left wing Greg Mauldin, Manchester left wing Dwight King, Manitoba center Joel Perrault, Norfolk center Blair Jones, Oklahoma City goaltender Martin Gerber, Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop, Rochester left wing Kenndal McArdle, Rockford defenseman Brian Connelly, San Antonio right wing Brett MacLean, Syracuse goaltender Timo Pielmeier, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Steve Wagner and Worcester right wing Benn Ferriero.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Calling Out The Tennessean

Today's topic is rather tired and nothing new, but I take my cue from the object of my story and choose to rehash something old because it's a slow news day in Preds Nation and I needed an attention grabbing headline.

The Tennessean has been a part of my life for over fifty years, dating back to the days as a toddler when I would run out and get the paper for my father each morning before breakfast. I have been a reader my whole life, even when I lived in Knoxville for eight years.

I have not been a subscriber for several years and rarely hold the dead tree version in my hand as the web version usually suffices. You might say that since I'm not a "paying customer" that I have no right to complain. That is not true in today''s media as I "pay" by viewing the ads on the internet (I'm sure that's the logic with their advertisers).

First, I will give the Tennessean major kudos for for hiring Josh Cooper as their new beat writer and actually sending two reporters to most home games. Josh's (and Bryan Mullen's) coverage has been great this year, primarily driven by Tweets and blog updates. That aspect is a huge improvement from what has been done in the past.

I'm even willing to give the guys a free pass on the humorous "We want Crosby" debacle from last week. The article provided several laughs and was good fodder for funny followups and tweets.

My complaint lies in the fact that the Tennessean refuses to put the Nashville Predators on equal footing with other sports entities in the Nashville area. Can you imagine if the paper did not send a beat writer to a road game involving the Titans or Commodores? Would a neutral biased AP story suffice as their coverage?

That is what Predator fans got in their football-filled Sunday and Monday Tennessean when the team beat the best team in the West and the East on consecutive nights.

From a business standpoint, especially in these days of tight finances in the newspaper business, I can understand that they could blow off spending $1000 to send Josh to these two games since they had plenty of football to fill the inches.

What the managers at the Tennessean don't seem to realize is the public relations damage that they are doing with true Predator fans that expect more from the local paper. Fans want to see the paper "All In" just like they want to see the full effort on the ice every night.

The Tennessean has alienated many Pred fans over the past few years with their ongoing attacks on the team. Some stories have been justified but many have been pointless rehashes of old news merely to grab a headline and fill inches on slow days.

While I don't expect the Tennessean to be a cheerleader for the Predators, I do hope they would acknowledge that Nashville currently has the best record in the NHL and considers that a fairly major story in the local sporting press.

On a national scale, the "prestige" of the Tennessean as the local voice for Nashville could be called into question in Dallas and Tampa when local "Bloggers Row" members Amanda DiPaolo (Dallas) and Jeremy Gover (Tampa) are the only media covering the games over the weekend.

I'm sure my call to send Josh to cover all 41 road games will fall on deaf ears but he needs the chance to do the job he has been given to the best of his abilities. He can't do that sitting on the couch or watching a bootleg internet feed of the game.

As much as the Tennessean is held in disdain by Predator fans, an announcement by their management that they would cover all games equally, regardless of the cost, would probably go a long way in mending a few fences and getting a few lost subscribers back into the fold.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Present Is So Bright That The Preds Have to Wear Shades and Monday Musings

Programming note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, there will not be a POTG Radio tonight. I will co-host RLD Radio on Tuesday at Noon Central.

As you awake on Monday Morning, check out the 30 team standings at and see your Nashville Predators at the top of the heap. After sweeping Dallas and Tampa Bay on the road the Preds unbeaten in regulation streak remains intact.

Last night's win was a true team win with no player getting more than a point and all four lines being involved in the scoring. Twelve separate players each got a single point in the effort.

Anders Lindback got three star recognition from and Puck Daddy for his 42 save performance. Pekka Rinne's early season injury was a blessing in disguise as last night's game probably would have been his first star.

The Predators do not play again until Thursday when they take on the Blues at Brigestone Arena in the last home game for 16 days.

Pete Weber called this Cody Franson score as being "shades of Bobby Orr." thought so too and ran it as a highlight video last night.

Preds-Bolts Wrap-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

Nashville's Blogger's Row was well represented in Tampa with Jeremy Gover as the only media person on the road with the Preds.

Jim Diamond uses hic contacts to get quotes from Tampa in his game story.

Josh Cooper has his postgame ponderings to go with the AP story at the Tennessean.

The rest of the Nashville blog world had the best game view on the couch. Here are stories from Dirk Hoag (with advanced stats), Mark Willoughby, What the Puck, HockeyChic, PredsBlog, Hockey Night in Nashville, and Amanda DiPaolo.

For the game story with a Lightning angle, check out Tampa Tribune, Raw Charge,and the St Petersburg Times.

In Pred Nation...

Jas Faulkner has her weekly Preds wrap-up with some really nifty illustrations.

The Milwaukee Admirals played their first three game in three night set over the weekend and came away with two wins and a loss. Admirals Roundtable has the game stories. Linus Klasen continues at his goal a game pace and is probably another injury away from getting a call from Nashville.

Aaron Sims has another talk/listen episode, this week with Mark Dekanich.

For those with an artistic flair, go here to compete in the Preds Pumpkin Carving Contest.

On Tuesday, the Predators will practice at A Game Sports in Franklin from 4-5:30 and it will be open to the public.

Around the NHL...

Something to keep an eye on in New Jersey is Saturday's healthy scratch of Ilya Kovalchuk to give him time to "think about things." He returned on Sunday to play the Rangers with "no comments" in abundance. is return did not help in the Devils' 3-1 loss which kept them buried in a tie for last in the East.

Barry Melrose Rocks takes a look at the potential suspendable actions in the current NHL.

Many teams are pushing the nine game mark where rookies get sent back to juniors if the don't want to burn a year on their contract. Taylor Hall has yet to score a goal. Will he stick around past nine games?

Ryan Kennedy makes an argument that in spite of early season attendance woes in Columbus, Atlanta, and Phoenix, that Gary Bettman's sunbelt strategy is working on a different level.

Matt Reitz has the latest roundup of being a hockey fan in California.

Adrian Dater has some perspective on weekend events.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Predators Hang On to Keep Streak Alive in 4-3 Win Over the Lightning

The Nashville Predators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to complete a two game road sweep of the best team in the West and the East within a 24 hour period.

Anders Lindback was the hero of the game, deflecting 42 of 45 Tampa shots while Colin Wilson's late goal proved to be the game winner. Twelve different Predators earned points in route to their four goals in what was truly a team effort.

The Predators improved their record to 5-0-3 to continue their streak of being unbeaten in regulation. At the end of the day the Predators' 13 points wast the most in the NHL at the end of play on Sunday. The Preds' last seven games have been decided by a single goal.

The Predators much maligned penalty kill held firm and stopped all four power play chances that the third ranked Lightning had during the game including one important one in the closing minutes of play.

The Lightning struck first at 6:30 in the first period when Pavel Kubina grabbed a puck from Joel Ward at the blue line and fed it to Sean Bergenheim who put a wrister past Anders Lindback to give Tampa a 1-0 lead.

Shea Weber tied the game at 11:54 when he picked up an opposite side rebound off a shot from Francis Bouillon and lifted it into the top of the net on Dan Ellis' stick side. Cal O'Reily also picked up an assist.

Segei Kostitsyn gave the Preds a 2-1 lead at 15:04 when he picked up a loose puck in the blue ice that had gotten through Ellis and put it into the net. Nick Spaling and Jered Smithson were awarded assists on the play.

The period ended with an odd scrum with 1.2 seconds remaining with Patrick Hornqvist getting mugged by four Tampa players around Ellis. Coincidental penalties were given out to Hornqvist and Victor Hedman.

After starting slowly the Preds almost caught up in shots, finishing the period down 13-10 to the Lightning. Tampa also led the Corsi 19-17.

At 3:53 in the second period, Joel Ward swatted a rebound into the net from about eight feet in the air and was justifiably waived off.

Tampa Bay then had a series of three power plays that the Predators' penalty kill unit was able to handle despite heavy pressure on Lindback.

Cody Franson scored one of the more amazing goals of the year at 17:55 to give the Predators a 3-1 advantage. Franson was skating down the middle of the ice on a breakaway and took a feed from David Legwand and completely deeked Ellis and gently slid the puck in the net behind the sprawling ex-Predator.

With 28.3 seconds left, Tampa put a puck in the net that was waived off. The Bolts out shot the Preds 16-10 for the period and applied heavy pressure on the Nashville defense. The Corsi was more indicative of the Bolt's offense with the Lightning leading 30-14.

Play in the third started with a surprisingly fast pace considering both teams were playing their third game in four nights.

Tampa Bay put heavy pressure on the Preds in the first half of the final period. At 10:15, Steven Stamkos fed Vinny Lecavalier on a breakaway that was stopped by Lindback.

The Predators made a great play at 14:10 to give the Preds a 4-1 lead. The play stared with Colin Wilson on the boards passing to J. P. Dumont who sent the puck on to Mary Erat who then fed it back to Colin Wilson who was able to blow it past Ellis who was still looking at Erat for the shot.

A minute later, Martin St. Louis was left alone beside Lindback and roofed the puck into the net to cut the Preds lead back to two. Fifty-seven seconds later, ex-Pred Adam Hall shot from behind and banked the puck off Lindback to cut the lead to one.

Things deteriorated further at 16:53 when the Predators put the Bolts back on the power play when Marty Erat was called for cross-checking Stamkos into the boards behind the net. The Predators survived the Bolts all out assault and held on for the 4-3 victory.

For the game, Tampa out shot the Preds 45-26 including 16-6 in the final period. The Corsi was more extreme with a 73-41 differential. The pace of play for the full sixty minutes was surprising considering that it was the Predators second game in less than 24 hours.

After the game, the Predators headed back to Nashville and will not play again until they meet the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night in the last home game for 16 days.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Hope to Continue Streak in Tampa

The Nashville Predators (4-0-3) will put their unbeaten in regulation streak on the line again this afternoon at 5 p.m. when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-1-1) at the St. Petersburg Times Forum.

The Predators have had the benefit of playing the team with the best record in the West (Dallas) and the top record in the East (Tampa) within a 24 hour period.

The Predators have had little success in Tampa going 1-3-2 and have not won there since their inaugural season. The game will mark a return to his former team for Shane O'Brien who played parts of three seasons there from 2006-2009.

After a 30 save shutout last night in the Predators 1-0 win over Dallas, Pekka Rinne will get the night off and Anders Lindback will get the start in goal.

For Tampa, Dan Ellis will face his old teammates for the first time and claims he has no animosity toward the Preds.

With Teemu Laasko playing last night, he became the 16th Predators draftee to suit up for the team this season. Last year the Preds has 17 draftees play which is a mark that should be broken this season.

Tampa is led in scoring by the league leading Steven Stamkos who has eight goals and six assists and is coming off a hat trick in their last game against Atlanta on Friday.

The Lightning's special teams are among the best in the league with their power play ranked third (29.3%) and their penalty kill at sixth (88.6%). The Predators are ranked 12th (16.7%) and 24th (79.2%) respectively.

On the injury front, J.P. Dumont left last night's game with an undisclosed injury, believed to have been suffered from a Shea Weber slapshot. His availability for today is questionable. The Predators played seven defensemen last night so they could do that again or insert Sergei Kostitsyn and/or Wade Belak into the lineup as no call ups have been announced. Simon Gagne is out for the Lightning.

Other game previews come from Amanda DiPaolo and Dirk Hoag.

From the other side, check out Tampa Tribune, Raw Charge,and the St Petersburg Times.

Preds-Stars Round-Up...

Amanda DiPaolo was the only Nashville person at the rink for Saturday's game. Here is her game story.

Here is our wrap-up from last night.

Other stories come from Dirk Hoag (with highlights and advances states, Mark Willoughby, Jeremy Gover, What the Puck, and the AP story at the Tennessean.

The other side of the Star-Preds game previews can be found at The Dallas Morning News, ESPN Dallas, the Star-Telegram, The Dallas Stars Blog, and Defending Big D.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pekka Rinne Leads Predators to 1-0 Win in Dallas

Pekka Rinne was perfect in goal stopping all 30 Shots from the Dallas Stars in the Predators' 1-0 victory at the American Airline Arena on Saturday night.

Cal O'Reilly scored on a rebound off of a Shea Weber shot just 42 seconds into the contest and that held up as the only score in the contest.

Kari Lehtonen was the hard luck loser in goal for the Stars and was impressive stopping all but one of the Preds' 24 shots.

The Predators looked strong as the game began and outshot Dallas 11-8 in the first period. The second period was all Dallas, with them peppering Rinne with 13 shots while the Preds only got off five shots. In the final period, the Stars led in shots 9-8.

Dallas had numerous scoring chances but the best was in the second period when a shot from Matt Niskanen ended up behind Rinne in the blue ice. Kevin Klein beat Loui Eriksson to the puck and was able to clear it.

The Predators started seven defensemen due to Kevin Klein being a bit under the weather. Teenu Laasko, who was called up before the game only played four shifts and saw 2:24 of ice time. Sergei Kostitsyn was a healthy scratch.

Shea Weber's big shot claimed a couple of more victims during the game. Patric Hornqvist was hit but was able to continue playing. J.P. Dumont was stuck and did not return after the 7:50 mark in the third. His availability for Sunday's game is unknown.

The Predator's unbeaten in regulation streak continues as they are now 4-0-3. Dallas slips to 5-2
as they are off to their best start in several years and were leading the league with 3.67 goals per game before being shut out on Saturday night.

The Predators have a quick turn around and left immediately after the game to travel to Tampa where they will play the Lightning at 5 p.m. central on Sunday afternoon.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Put Streak on the Line in Dallas and Weekend Round-Up

The Nashville Predators (3-0-3) take their unbeaten in regulation streak into Dallas where they will face the surprising Stars (5-1-0) at 7 p.m. at the American Airlines Center, The venue has not been kind to them over the years as their 5-16-1 record will attest. The Preds were 2-2 against the Stars last season.

The Preds have lost three straight home games in overtime while the Star's only loss was in Tampa last Monday. This is the best start for the Stars since they went 8-1 in 2005.

The Stars have shown plenty of offense early in the season with 3.67 goals per game compared to the Preds 2.67. The Preds have allowed 2.33 while the Stars have given up 2.67. Surprisingly, the Stars are only averaging 23 shots per game while giving up 36.3 while the Preds have fired 32.5 while allowing 34.

Another oddity is that he Predators' special teams statistically are better than the Stars. The Stars are 9.1% on the man advantage while the Preds are 17.9%. On the penalty kill, the Stars are at a league worst 64.3% and the Preds are at 76.2.

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars while it is expected that Pekka Rinne will make his third straight start after returning from his early season injury. I would imagine that we could see the return of Anders Lindback at some point during this early season, back to back, set.

Dallas is led in scoring by Brad Richards (2 goals, 8 assists), James Neal (4,4), Mike Ribero (0-7), and Brenden Morrow (5,1). The Preds have had balanced scoring with twelve players with three points or more, led by Steve Sullivan with four goals and an assist.

This morning we found out that Teemu Laasko was recalled from Milwaukee since Kevin Klien was somewhat under the weather. Per @NHLPredsInsider Klein did skate this morning and the move was considered a precaution.

Tonight's game will not be available on the NHL Center Ice Preview. Paul McCann has the best explanation of why it is blacked out.

Amanda DiPaolo will be the lone Nashville media person at the game and provide updates at @predlines. Her game preview is here.

Other previews come from Chris Burton, Paul McCann, and Jeremy Gover.

From the Rink has both Nashville games this weekend listed in the top five games to watch.

The other side of the Star-Preds game previews can be found at The Dallas Morning News, ESPN Dallas, the Star-Telegram, The Dallas Stars Blog, and Defending Big D.

In Pred Nation...

Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy has more details on the "secret" Radulov contract that is actually a 2 year extension on a contract that runs through next season. Josh Cooper talked to David Poile about the new contract.

J R Lind captures the major screw-up by the Tennessean Pred writers who claim the crowd was demanding Crosby instead of Frosty on Thursday night.

The Tennessean has fallen back into their prior ways by grounding Josh Cooper this weekend for the Preds' back to back road games. Fortunately, Blogger's Row has it covered with Amanda DiPaolo in Dallas and Jeremy Gover in Tampa.

Josh Cooper does have a story about the offense of Joel Ward and David Legwand and an explanation of Colin Wilson's lack of ice time.

Dirk Hoag has the Preds' back to backs as one of the ten toughest of the season in the NHL. Dirk is also on the take, testing out a free pair of MLX Skates.

Mark Willoughby has his weekly "View" with more lessons in civics.

This may be the worst article ever written about the Predators. I can't imagine what would drive someone to this level of hatred. Sam at PredsBlog was also offended by the drivel.

Around the NHL...

The highlight of Friday's news was the six game suspension for Rick Rypien. I don't have a problem with that suspension. I have a bigger problem with the fan who needed "legal representation." No one should have any sympathy for this guy if he plans on making it a money grab. The guy should enjoy his 15 minutes of fame and leave it at that.

The Pioneer Press has the story of Gary Bettman calling "the fan" and his disappointment with what he considers a light punishment. He also claims he is getting "harassed". I guess Gary should quit calling him.

There is a three way debate at Red Light District over which team is more surprising so far, the Islanders, Stars, or Leafs.

Wile the Predators' attendance has been booming this year, Columbus and Atlanta have had crowds under 10,000 already but Phoenix my have set the standard with 6,707 on Thursday.

Kingscast is ready to claim the cup in episode 75.

Adrian Dater discusses the Preds' Sunday opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning and their quick turn-around.

Good to hear from @ChrisBottaNHL: Kirill Kabanov is expected to re-join the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday after two weeks in Russia on a personal matter.

Here is an older article by Tapeleg that is worth another visit on the original Zamboni.

James Murphy's new show s now Hockey Primetime (as opposed to the old name Inside Hockey). Here is the preview of today's show that can be heard on XM/Sirius or at Hockey PrimeTime.

Brent Sopel is now doing his own video blog. This time he has Dustin Byfuglien as a guest.

Funny video from the Dallas Stars where a fan complains about Adam Burish on NHL 11 and Burish responds.

Odds and Ends...

If I lived in Cincinnati, I'd be all over this opportunity to be a roller derby official.

Speaking of Derby, here is a good lead up to the Nashville RollerGirls trip to the Nationals in Chicago in two weeks.

Todd Stepp has the difference between Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, this is hard to believe. A giant penis shaped weather system was spotted in Texas.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass