Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Predators Shutout Coyotes 3-0 to End Streak

The Nashville Predators ended their four game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.

The win looks better on paper than it did in the arena. Since there was no television feed available anywhere, the rest of the world was spared what could be described as tentative play, that was highlighted by a couple of backdoor power play goals.

The Predators' first goal came at 3:36 in the opening period when the team was on the power play working the puck toward the net. Steve Sullivan passed the puck from the right side across the blue ice to Shea Weber who tried to feed it to Patrick Hornqvist who was in front of the net. The puck came back to Weber a second time and he was able to nail his third goal of the season to put the Preds ahead 1-0.

In the second period, Phoenix was called for a series of three penalties in a 3:01 minute stretch which produced 50 second of five on three man advantage in the middle of the infractions. The Preds scored with three seconds left on the two man advantage when Sullivan threw a perfect pass to Cal O'Reilly who was to the left of Ilya Bryzgalov and was able to snap the puck into the net to make it 2-0 Predators.

"Sully made two great passes on the power play and they clicked tonight. It was good to get a goal early which was good," a happier Barry Trotz related. "I thought early we were moving the puck well, getting looks and creating angles. We got the first goal and then the five on three goal which could be a momentum changer."

Trotz wasn't pleased with the other power plays as the game progressed, "I didn't like the power plays the last few times when they were pressuring pretty hard up ice. We just stopped working with the intensity we need to in supporting the puck, there fore it was a schmozzle. That's the best word I could come up with."

To the average fan, much of the game appeared to look like a game of keep away, especially in the third period. The Predators got their first empty net goal of the year on a shot by Jordin Tootoo with 25 seconds remaining in the contest. Moments earlier, Tootoo had failed to get a shot into the open net and was pleased to have had a second chance at it.

Pekka Rinne was easily the first star of the night as he picked up his third shutout of the season. He stopped all 33 Phoenix shots and did not appear to struggle at all.

Rinne seemed relieved after the game, "It was a solid game. We scored a couple of goals tonight and that was the difference. Defensibly we played solid. We had a few breakdowns but that happens every game and I was able to make those saves. I feel very good right now."

Coming in to the game Rinne had given up only eight goals in his last six starts but the team had only managed four goals during the four game losing streak. His goalkeeping has not been the team's problem.

"I've been feeling really good for a while now. I obviously haven't been getting the results you want but you have to respect this league and the other teams. It's so hard to win these games and you have to be on top of you game every night to get two points."

Trotz was asked if Rinne had gotten past being snake-bit on wins, "I will let you know tomorrow. Peks was really good but we need to tighten some things up. I think we were just OK and had some good fortune and we had a good goalie tonight. We're going to have to tighten some things up against Columbus and we're going to need an even better effort to beat Columbus."

The team will play Columbus at Nationwide Arena for the second time in ten days on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Central.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Need A Regulation Win Tonight and Tuesday Tidbits

The Nashville Predators (9-8-5) are in desperate need of a confidence boosting regulation win against the Phoenix Coyotes (11-6-5) tonight at the Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators have lost four in a row, two in regulation and two via a shootout, and do not want to equal the five game losing streak of earlier this season.

Phoenix had won seven in a row before losing to Anaheim 6-4 on Saturday. The Yotes are at 27 points and in a four way tie for sixth and the last playoff position in the Western Conference.

Whenever. the Coyotes and Predators hook up, it is like a battle of twins with a Dave Tippett coached team fighting a Barry Trotz coached team. Every inch of the ice is fought over and defense and puck possession are priorities.

In their prior meeting this year on November 3 in Phoenix, Ed Jovanovski's hat trick led the Coyotes to a 4-3 win, in a higher scoring contest than usual between the two teams.

Pekka Rinne (6-7-4, 2.50, .914) will start for the Predators and Ilya Bryzgalov (10-3-5, 2.78, .915) will go for the Coyotes in a battle of two of the league's best netminders.

Phoenix averages 3.0 goals per game while the Preds are at 2.2. Both teams are stingy on penalties with Nashville only having 10.9 minutes per game and the Yotes are at 11.0.

Lee Stempniak leads the Coyotes in goals with seven while Ray Whitney recovered from a slow star and leads in assists (13) and points (16).

It should be a close battle and a game that you should plan to attend to see the Predators battle for much needed points in a crucial Western Conference battle.

Other Predator previews come from Amanda DiPaolo with a focus on Pekka Rinne, Chris Burton, Preds.com and The Tennessean.

For a look at the Coyote side of the game check out Arizona Vibe, Five for Howling, Coyotes Examiner, the Arizona Republic, and the Coyotes Aggregator.

POTG Radio...

Last night's POTG Radio was a good show that featured Steve Stirling from Intent To Blow and Aaron Wood of AZ Vibe Sports.

Steve discussed the history of Intent to Blow and some of the more popular episodes. Then we turned to the harsh reality of discussing the New Jersey Devils' rough start to the season.

Aaron and I talked about the Coyotes and tonight's match with the Predators. We also covered the ownership situation in Phoenix and some of the challenges the Coyotes face if the new owners do indeed keep the team in place.

Give us a listen at the player below or download the show at iTunes.

Listen to internet radio with PredsOnTheGlass on Blog Talk Radio

Programming Note...

I will co-host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio at noon Central today. Ryan has a great show lined up with Justin Bourne who writes all over the internet, Adam Jahns from the Chicago Sun Times, and Will DePaoli from Inside Pittsburgh Sports.

In Pred Nation...

Josh Cooper has the latest on Cody Franson's hit with Sean Avery's stick. Franson doesn't say it directly but insinuates that Avery should have avoided the incident. Josh also crunches the numbers to show the Preds don't perform well without David Legwand. Josh also has a notes column this morning that covers some of the same topics as as his blog.

David Boclair talked to Pekka Rinne, who has the first losing record outside of October in his career. Pekka is a competitor who does not like to lose.

Dirk Hoag looks at options for David Poile to replace Matthew Lombardi in the middle of one of the Preds top lines. Also, For the poor souls that loaded up their fantasy teams with Predators, Dirk has the weekly fantasy update.

AJ has his Tuesday AJenda and discusses the seriousness of Matthew Lombardi's injury and how the Preds seem to have a turkey hangover.

Hockey's Future has an update on Preds prospects playing Junior Hockey. Taylor Beck appears more and more like the real deal.

Jeremy Gover writes of Ryan Ellis's third Team Canada selection and the oversight of Taylor Beck not being selected.

Jas Faulkner has the latest in her Greetings from Smashville Series.

Paul McCann has his quarter pole look at the Preds at Hockey Buzz.

Robbie at HNIN has positive news on the attendance front. Tonight's game should be their biggest challenge yet.

Colin Wilson says he likes playing on new lines in his latest blog entry. That's a good thing since he has bounced around like a ping-pong ball since the Lombardi line fell apart.

Kelly at Preds Fanantic seems to be living Groundhog Day over and over with the Predators and is getting frustrated with it.

Bleacher Report labels the Tootoo-Avery Fight, the fight of the month.

World Juniors Updates...

Team Canada announced the 39 players that were invited to the camp to select the final team for the World Junior Championships that begin on December 26.

Launy "The" Schwartz gives his analysis of the team at Hockey 54.

From @Sean_Leahy: USA Hockey announces prelim WJC 28-man roster to be announced Dec 7 & final 22-man roster will be announced Dec 23

Here is information on the pre-tournament games that are set for both the US and Canadian squad.

Around the NHL...

Chris Botta has the story and video on Sidney Crosby's "dirty" play on Ryan Callahan last night against the Rangers. Callahan was actually tagged with an interference penalty. Great sleight of hand (foot) Sid!

The latest All-Star voting is out without the actual numbers. Ovechkin is no longer in the top three forwards.

The Bruins cleared cap space by sending Matt Hunwick to the Avs for Colby Cohen. They may have enough room to squeeze Marc Savard back on the roster and Colorado gets a D-Man with experience.

The MSM-Blogger debate rages on with Travis Hughes trying to make some sense of the issue at Broad Street Hockey.

James Mirtle looks at Brian Burke's first two years in Toronto. He also chronicles Burke's 20 biggest moves with the Leafs. I'm not sure the Preds have had 20 big moves in the history of the franchise.

Justin Bourne writes about a player's view of the shootout. It goes hand in hand with Barry Trotz's recent growlings about a "skills competition."

Adrian Dater writes about Chris Stewart's poor decision to fight and get inured at Versus. He also comments on Chris Pronger breaking the "Avery" rule.

The Pipeline show has an extended piece that tries to clear up a lot of the cross border confusion over CHL-NCAA matters.

Somehow, I missed the "Boomer" the mascot story from Columbus until yesterday. Someone really screwed the pooch, so to speak, on this one. Intent to Blow couldn'tmake up a mascot like this.

Intent to Blow prepared for Steve's appearance on POTG Radio with a couple of new posts. One on Pronger's Inspiration for Douchebaggery and another on the perils of Movember Mustaches for NHLers.

Odds and Ends...

Here is a Christmas idea for the headbanger on your list. Our friend Su Ring's book "Steel Goddesses" is a great read. If you contact her directly at @Motley_Su or motleysu@gmail.com, she would probably autograph it for you.

The Nahville RollerGirls have a new monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to at their site. Opening night for the NRG will be April 23, 2011 at Municipal against the Kansas City Roller Warriors.

Many effective leaders have bold signs in their office to state their basic principles in a few words and motivate their employees. Mine would probably be "Solve more problems than you create."

Hard to believe that 271 unknown Pablo Picasso pieces have surface in France that are worth $80 million dollars.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, November 29, 2010

Can The Predators Beat The Odds Again? POTG Radio, and Weekend Wrap-Up

The Nashville Predators have now passed the quarter pole with 22 games under their belt and a very average 9-8-5 record that is good for 23 points and a firm hold on 13th place in the Western Conference.

At home, where the Predators are playing before over 95% capacity crowds and have already had four sellouts, they have a very odd looking 3-1-5 record and six of the nine contests have gone to a shoot out or overtime.

They remain only four points out of eighth place and a playoff slot in the Western Conference and no one is panicking at this point. The smartest guys in the room on what the future holds are the sports betting prognosticators. I checked the futures site at Betus.com to see where the Preds currently stood.

The Predators are currently at 60-1 odds which is the same figure assigned to the New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The only teams that are bigger long shots at this point are Buffalo, Calgary, Minnesota, Florida, Edmonton and the Islanders.

These are not teams that the Predators want to see themselves compared with. From the beginning of camp, the Preds have had the best team "on paper" since the beginning of the franchise.

The Preds have struggled in scoring goals (2.18 goals/game - 28th) and on the power play (11.1% - 27th) but other teams that are in the top eight have also struggled in those areas and have still managed to win games.

Injuries to key people have also contributed to the mediocre record which was highlighted by a 5-2 loss in Detroit on October 30 when they could barely put a full squad on the ice and dressed Wade Belak as a sixth defenseman and he never set foot on the ice.

The most frustrating thing for coaches, players and fans is that the team has found a variety of ways to lose games, which is frustrating, because it has been different issues in each loss.

A week ago after the 2-1 shoot out win in Carolina, Trotz commented on the five game losing streak. "It wasn't one thing or one part of our game. We got away from a tight defensive game and pucks were flying in the back of the net. We weren't playing poorly but pucks were just going in."

After Wednesday's 2-1 shoot out loss to the Blues, Trotz focused on the formula needed for the Predators to win games.

"The biggest mistake that the Nashville Predators can make is when we say that we have to score lots of goals and all of a sudden we are non Nashville Predator-like and we will lose 6-4 and that's not the way we need to play."

"Our identity is that we play solid team defense as a group and piggyback some of our offense off of that and become a hard team to play. It doesn't matter what rink we go into, when we do that, we are hard to beat."

After Saturday's 2-1 shoot out loss to the Rangers, Trotz further explained the frustration of the team going 4-8-2 since October 24 when they were the last undefeated in regulation team in the NHL.

"You have to stay positive. You look back at some of the events of the last two weeks, There was talk in Toronto that he power play could get us back in the game, but it had nothing to do with it. It was all about taking bad penalties."

"You have to dissect each game and say what did we do well and what did we do not well. A lot of times you forget what happened in the first, second, and third periods, you just remember the outcome."

"Every game has its own storyline. Sometimes you have happy endings and sometimes disappointing endings and sometimes they are in between. This one was disappointing because I thought we played real solid, just as we did in the St. Louis game."

"You go in after the game and say we did a lot of good things. Everybody's mad and unhappy that we lost which is a great sign, but at the same time I'm not going to brow beat anyone for giving me a complete effort and playing a real solid game. I'll brow beat them when we don't play well like in Minnesota. We're a pretty good solid team."

When you listen to Barry Trotz, you see a man focused on the end of the season, a man who never waivers from the ultimate goal. There is a reason that he has been the Predators only coach and that is consistency. He has few highs and lows, only a focus on long term success.

The next few weeks will be critical for the Predators to turn things around and start finding ways to win, instead of ways to lose. To this point, they have done nothing to take themselves out of position to compete for a playoff spot. However, it's time for the Predators to start putting together a string of victories to make a statement that they belong in the playoff picture.

The Predators have been beating the odds-makers for years, so once again, the march to prove them wrong needs to begin now. I personally will take some of the 60-1 action because I still believe in this team and in Barry Trotz's ability to be there in the end.

Preds-Rangers Wrap-Up...

Here is our game story from Saturday night and a follow-up post about Jordin Tootoo becoming an NHL hero for whipping Sean Avery.

The Tennessean had Bryan Mullen's game story and notes column and Josh Cooper had quotes from the dressing room.

David Boclair has his story with a focus on Jordin Tootoo's victory over Sean Avery.

From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth at Inside Hockey, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, What the Puck, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

HockeyFights.com has video of the Tootoo Avery bout as well as the O'Brien-Prust scuffle.

The winning side of the story comes from New York Post, News Day, North Jersey, BlueShirt Banter, SYNRangers Blog, Ranger's Report, Ranger Rants, Ranger's Review, Ranger's Tribute, and BlueShirts Blog.

POTG Radio Tonight...

Tonight we are pleased to have a couple of guests that should be fun to talk with. We will start off with Steve Stirling from the great web site, Intent To Blow. We had Joe Bechtel and Josh Burnett on last February when the site first kicked off but we've been slow to get Steve on due to his busy schedule.

Our second guest is Aaron Wood, who we met in Las Vegas at the NHL Awards Show in June. The Aaron is the Owner of AZ Vibe Entertainment that covers all forms of things to do in the Phoenix area. They also do a good job of covering the Coyotes at AZ Vibe Sports so we will discuss the Yotes great start to the season and preview tomorrow night's Predators - Coyotes game at the Bridgestone Arena.

Join us at BlogTalkRadio with the player below or on iTunes.

Listen to PredsOnTheGlass on internet talk radio

In Pred Nation...

Cal O'Reilly will appear on NHL Live today at some point between 11:00 and 1:00.

After Saturday's game, Amanda DiPaolo talked to the Rangers about the Predators.

Jim Diamond talked to Frankie Bouillon about is recent trip to Montreal and captures the Cube's thoughts about was the visit meant to him. Jim also analyzes the Preds recent run at the Examiner.

Josh Cooper point out that the Predators are getting bunches of shots but few goals.

Jas Faulkner has a great story about the tribute to Andrea Conte at the governor's mansion that the Preds put on to honor a great Predator supporter from the infancy of the franchise.

Mark Willoughby has his quarter pole report card and I would beat my kids if they came home with grades like that.

Dirk Hoag paints a bleak picture of the Nashville Sports scene and gives you a chance to vote on the most anemic offense in the city.

Robbie at Hockey Night in Nashville gives more detail to his previous call for change.

Seth Lake has a comprehensive plan of action for the Predators at On The Forecheck.

Admirals Roundtable has a look at all the weekend's action in Milwaukee that included the benching of Linus Klasen which may have paid dividends.

The NHL Examiner looks at the Preds at the 20-game mark.

Here's a story from Detroit about Hannah Osbeck who interned with he Predators over the summer and relates some of her experiences.

Around the NHL...

Dustin Byfuglien had a four point day (1 goal, 3 assists) in the Thrashers 4-1 win over Boston yesterday. According to Thrashers radio, the game's first goal by Evander Kane, and assisted by Anthony Stewart and Byfuglien was the first time three African American/Canadians had ever scored a goal together in the NHL.

Ryan Porth caught up with Derek Stepan on Saturday when the Rangers were in town.

Pat Burns' funeral will be today in Montreal.

ESPN has the story of Semyon Varlamov's shootout win over Carolina and his winning three in a row after his return from a groin injury. Why did I drop him in one of my fantasy leagues?

Matt Reitz would like to see fans shake up the All-Star voting with a few write-in campaigns.

NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly questioned the viability of Atlanta as a hockey market on the Illegal Curve Radio Show over the weekend.

Chuck Gormley looks at bargain players and some that aren't.

From over the weekend, Chris Chelios confirmed that he has had discussions with a KHL team about playing this season. In another report he also said that it would be unlikely.

Dangerous Hockey had a run in with Matthew Barnaby on Twitter and lives to tell about it.

Odds and ends...

Tons of shaved ice were brought to the Cocoa, Florida Riverfront Park for the city's Christmas tree lighting ceremony so local kids could play in the "snow."

Whenever you are in Sedona, a must visit for a meal is Dahl and DiLuca's which is an excellent restaurant. I have met Chef Lisa Dahl and she is a very nice lady. Here is a Q and A with her.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is Jordin Tootoo An NHL Hero After Whipping Sean Avery?

Folks around the NHL seem to love to hate the Predators' Jordin Tootoo as he is constantly getting abused on Twitter, message boards, and in the comments below his YouTube fight videos.

Based on public opinion via the Twitter world, it appears that Sean Avery is even more reviled and hated than Tootoo. Immediately, after Tootoo pummeled Avery and flashed the double peace signs to the sold out Bridgestone Arena crowd, the Twitter feed lit up with folks that were excited to see Avery go down.

Here is a sampling of comments:

@jmottmemphis: Sean Avery that was a long time coming. Surprise he didn't turtle like him normally does. Thank you TooToo!!

@lisa617: Jordin Tootoo is my new hero. Keep throwing those peace signs dude!
@Forechecker: Wow, Tootoo provides all the NHL with a public service by battering Avery's face into pulp... Jordin pounded him.

@stfraw: WTF was that Tootoo??? Rocky Balboa??? You made me laugh, boy :)))

@davidlasseter: Buy Tootoo a beer on behalf of hockey fans everywhere!

@predatweeter: Haha Avery v. Tootoo was always going to be a ginormous mismatch, nice going Sean, welcome to the school of beatdowns.

@nhldigest: Jordin Tootoo just made a lot of friends by beating up Sean Avery

@pattypred: sounded like GrimReaper (Stu Grimson, Preds Color man) was giddy over the Tootoo/Avery fight. At least Avery didn't turtle

@jfnscott: Just watched #preds Tootoo pummel the shit out of #rangers Avery. Excellent work. Everyone around the league knows Avery's a dick.

@CameronSelah: Jordin Tootoo's level of greatness just went up a few notches. :)

@Zannie83: Thank you Jordan tootoo for beating averys face in

@Number31: Damn it Tootoo, punch Avery harder next time.

@BlackAcesBlog: golly. Jordin Tootoo filled out Sean Avery like a job application.

@Vicvic_1986: I hope Avery gets another snootfull of Tootoo's fist. Cheap a**!?#@

@sfenush: You know youre an agitator when you are able to get Sean Avery to drop his gloves. God Bless Jordin Tootoo

@Oilerfan82: Tootoo is my hero for cleaning Avery's clock last night!

@catiekat3715: after last nite i wanna give jordin tootoo a big hug... he was already my fave pred but he beat up avery so he's amazing :)

@RACHELMALFARA: Thank you tootoo for doing what everyone wanted, kicking avery's ass

@CarrollThorpe: Sean Avery vs Jordin Tootoo. I wish you had pounded him a little more.

The YouTube video of the Tootoo-Avery fight is the hottest thing going today after it was featured on Puck Daddy's site. After the game, Jordin Tootoo was surprised that Avery actually was willing to fight as indicated in this interview.

So it appears that the consensus opinion is that Sean Avery is far more hated than Jordin Tootoo. I guess when you are talking pests and agitators in the NHL, there are multiple levels of hate and Avery appears to be at the top of the list.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Out Play Rangers But Lose 2-1 In A Shootout

The Nashville Predators played an excellent game at both ends of the ice but managed to lose to the New York Rangers 2-1 in a shoot out after leading for most of the game.

Erik Christensen scored the only goal of the shoot out to clinch the victory for the Rangers. Ryan Callahan scored the game tying goal at 13:04 in the third period to send the game into overtime.

The Predators goal came from Colin Wilson 5:10 into the contest which gave the Preds the first early lead since they played in Montreal on November 18.

Both goalies were superb in the tight defensive contest. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 of 30 Nashville shots and all three in the shootout while Pekka Rinne stopped 23 of 24 and all but the game winner in the shootout.

Trotz was frustrated after the game, "I think it's really frustrating. It seems like a lot of gloom and doom. It's unfortunate when you have a lead but can't hold on to it. These things are coming a little bit harder. We had a lot of chances but Lundqvist was really good."

He further said, "Wins are not coming real easy, but we got a point, and you take the points whenever you get them."

One of the highlights of the game was the first period bout between Jordin Tootoo and Sean Avery. Tootoo was asked if he was surprised that Avery was willing to fight, "Absolutely, He's the guy that wants to have the advantage on you whether you are at the end of your shift and he's fresh. I knew he was going to try to surprise me but I knew it was coming."

Coming into the game the Predators had gone 17 for 17 on the penalty kill and decided to put it to the test at the 1:00 mark in the first when Jordin Tootoo was called for holding Ruslan Fedotenko. The Preds kept the streak intact by allowing only one shot.

The Preds had a great scoring chance at 4:10 when Marty Erat had a breakaway but could not find the net. A minute later, at 5:10, Wilson took advantage of a Dan Girardi bobble and took the puck to the net and put it past Lundqvist to give the Preds a 1-0 lead. Phantom assists were given to Francis Bouillon and Marcel Goc.

The Rangers put the puck in the net at 8:52 but it was ruled null and void as it was deemed kicked by a Ranger player.

In an odd move at 14:31 after a TV time out, Tootoo and Sean Avery were each given roughing penalties for contact before a faceoff. After serving their time, as the pair left the box at 16:35, they drew together like magnets and immediately reengaged. Tootoo bested Avery in a clear take down after a couple of solid punches to Avery's head.

Thirteen seconds later, Shane O'Brien and Brandon Prust engaged behind the Preds net and fought to a draw as the referees intervened after they wore each other out.

As the period ended there was more pushing and shoving between Colin Wilson and Brandon Dubinsky. For the period the Preds out shot the Rangers 13-11 and were dominant in the Corsi 25-15. On the fight card the Preds led with a 1-0-1 record with another bout with potential to be continued later.

Both teams committed infractions at the start of the second period, Rinne for delay of game at :09 for going into the trapezoid and Alex Frolov for holding Steve Sullivan's stick at 1:55. The Preds went back on the man advantage at 6:01 when Brian Boyle for tripping Jerred Smithson.

At 9:05, Bouillon was called for roughing Avery after a little bump into the boards. On the penalty kill, Rinne saved a goal at 10:06 with a great save on a point blank shot from Erik Christensen.

Rinne was called for entering the trapezoid a second time at 18:13 and was not pleased with the call. It is an infraction that is rarely called and it happened twice in the second period.

For the second period, the Rangers out shot the Preds 7-5 and led the Corsi 18-11. The Preds faced a barrage of shot attempts but were excellent at clearing any rebounds to cut down on quality second chance attempts.

Cody Franson had to be hauled out of the arena at 5:53 in the third when Avery hit him in the neck and/or face with the blade of his stick. No penalty was called.

Trotz explained the injury, "He basically took a stick high up in the head and neck area and he's being evaluated at the hospital right now. Talking to the trainers, he'll probably be fine, but the hospital trip is precautionary."

The Predators returned to the power play at 9:30 when Fedotenko tripped J.P. Dumont. The Preds managed two shots but nothing on the scoreboard.

At 13:04, the Rangers tied the game 1-1 when Callahan picked up a rebound off of a Michael Del Zotto shot and put it past the out-stretched glove of Rinne.

The game went to overtime with the Predators outshooting the Rangers 11-5 in the third period and leading the Corsi 28-10 as the Preds really limited the Rangers chances while putting significant pressure on their defense.

Overtime was a brisk back and forth period with no whistles and no real scoring chances as each team was credited with a single shot.

In the shootout, Christensen went first for the Rangers and scored the only goal. Cal O'Reilly, Goc, and Marty Erat missed for the Preds while Derek Stepan and Callahan failed for the blue shirts.

The bottom line is that the Predators have now lost four in a row, albeit two were in shootouts where a point was earned, and have scored five goals in their last five games. The Preds are still only three points out of the Western Conference playoffs so it's not time to panic but the team needs to find more consistency and find ways to win instead of ways to lose.

The Predators will return to action Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena when they take on the Western Conference.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preds Hope to Bounce Back Against the Rangers and Saturday Round-Up

The Nashville Predators (9-8-4) were stinging after a 5-2 loss in Minnesota yesterday afternoon but need to put that behind them, regroup, and be ready to play a surprising New York Rangers (13-10-1) team tonight at the Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators have quietly slipped into a three game losing streak after showing a few signs of life in the games before the current streak. The Rangers have won three of their last four including a 3-0 blanking of the Panthers last night in Florida.

Pekka Rinne (6-7-3, 2,61, .911) will return to the Preds' net after playing only one period against the Wild where he gave up three goals on nine shots, primarily due to poor defensive play around him. Tom Callahan Tweets that Henrik Lundqvist (8-8-1, 2.72, .917) will start for the Rangers after playing 60 minutes and stopping all forty shots in last night's game in Florida.

The Rangers have far more firepower than the Predators averaging 3.0 goals per game while the Preds eek out 2.2 GPG. The Blue Shirts have ten players in double digits in points while the Preds only have three. Brandon Dubinsky leads in points (19) and goals (12) while Ryan Callahan leads in assists (12).

The Predators had two power play goals yesterday to move up to 27th in the league at 11.5%. The Rangers are ranked 14th at 17.0%. On the penalty kill, the teams are nearly identical with the Preds at 19th (82.5%) while the Rangers are 2oth (82.1%). New York is more heavily penalized at 16.5 MPG (25th) versus the Preds 10.5 MPG (4th).

The Predators appear to be without David Legwand and Matthew Lombardi for the longer term. According to Bryan Mullen, Kevin Klein will return tonight while Nick Spalling may be down for the count with the flu. The Rangers will be without Vinny Prospal, Chris Drury, and Michal Rozsival.

Oddities... The Rangers have not been in a shoot out this season while the Preds are 3-1 in them. New York has five shorthanded goals to the Preds' one. The Preds are 7-6-(1)-0 against the Rangers in 14 all-time meetings, but only 2-4-0 in Nashville.

My best memory of a Preds-Rangers game was from February 15, 1999, in the Preds' first season when Wayne Gretzky made his only Nashville appearance and had five assists in a 7-4 Rangers win. One of the main things that I remember is that "The Great One" had 999 career goals coming into the game and we wanted to see the 1000th but got the Bridgestone Arena record for assists instead.

The Predators' next game will be at home against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.

Other game previews come from Bryan Mullen, Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton Preds.com, and the Tennessean.

From the other side of the fence previews come from the New York Post, News Day, North Jersey, BlueShirt Banter, SYNRangers Blog, Ranger's Report, Ranger Rants, Ranger's Review, Ranger's Tribute, and BlueShirts Blog.

Preds-Wild Round-Up...

Here is our game story from yesterday afternoon.

Josh Cooper had his game story, notes, postgame ponderings, and quotes.

David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, What the Puck, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

Jordin Tootoo's fight with Clayton Stoner is up for voting at HockeyFights.com.

The winning side of the story comes from the Minnesota Star Tribune and Hockey Wilderness,

In Pred Nation...

Amanda DiPaolo has a story about the Preds needing to stick to "Predator Hockey."

Dirk Hoag has hiw weekend links round-up including some interesting stuff on the MSM-Blogger debate with Tyler Dellow.

Jay Levin sat down with Tom Cigarran for an interview as the third year anniversary of their ownership is a little over a week away.

Before yesterday's game, Josh Cooper wrote about Pekka Rinne and Niklas Backstrom's friendship.

Jas Faulkner has a great piece about the Predators ceremony honoring Andrea Conte at the Governor's mansion earlier this week. This isi one of the more interesting things that has happened in Predland lately.

Admirals Roundtable asks the question "should Colin Wilson be sent to Milwaukee?" I've been saying that it could help him for a week or so now. He's obviously not earning playing time in Nashville so a few games of close to 20 minutes would have to help.

Shane O'Brien gets interviewed by his hometown paper at Northumberland Today.

The Milwaukee Admirals broke their four game losing streak and Mark Dekanich got another shutout in a 1-0 win over the Texas Stars last night.

Around the NHL..

Mike Modano will be out indefinitely for Detroit after having wrist surgery this morning for an injury suffered last night against Columbus.

Ryan Porth sat down for a conversation with Erik Johnson when he was in town on Wednesday. THe guys at RLD also have a Saturday Face Off debating the first quarter MVP.

Su Ring has the US team round-up from the WHL at On The Rink.

Ex-Pred Ryan Parent is off IR and has been sent to the Manitoba Moose for conditioning. Hearing this make you really appreciate the Shane O/Brien trade.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wild Jump to Early Lead, Beat Predators 5-2

The Minnesota Wild soundly defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2 in a game where the Preds had plenty of chances but could not convert them into goals on the scoreboard.

The 3-0 first period Minnesota lead appeared insurmountable for a Predator team that had scored only three goals in their last three games.

The Wild received two goals from Martin Havlet, and single goals from Nick Schultz and ex-Preds Andrew Brunette and Marek Zidlicky.

The Predators had two power play goals in a game for the first time since October 13, in their third game of the season against the Blues. Steve Sullivan and Martin Erat got the markers for the Preds.

Jose Theodore stopped 32 of 34 Predator shots, claiming his third win of the season. Pekka Rinne started for the Preds and stopped six of nine shots before being pulled at the end of the first period. Anders Lindback stopped twelve of fourteen shots in mop-up duty.

The game started with several chances for both teams early. The Wild had one play where Shea Weber rescued the puck from behind Rinne. Steve Sullivan came close on a shot, hitting the post at 4:38.

Zidlicky was called for tripping Marty Erat at 5:54 and the Preds continued their anemia on the power play with two shots but no score.

Minnesota struck first at 12:22 on an odd play where Zidlicky skated out of the corner and shot the puck into the left side of the Preds' net, corralled his own rebound, and then slid it under Rinne's skate to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

The Wild made it 2-0 at 15:57 when Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were unable to contain Brunette in front of the crease. Rinne had gone down early on the first shot and Brunett followed with one over Rinne's shoulder.

A minute later, John Madden hit the pipe in an near goal that would have pretty much put the game out of reach for the offensively challenged Preds. At 18:12, they did get the third goal when Havlet skated from the blueline to the net and plowed over Rinne to make it 3-0.

The Wild out shot the Preds 9-6 in the first period and led the Corsi 18-12.

The Predators sent Anders Lindback into the game to start the second and he managed to give up a goal 48 second into the period to put the Wild ahead 4-0. Havlet picked up a turnover and shot as he entered the Preds zone. A big rebound went to the opposite side and Schultz made a good shot on Lindback who had actually squared up well.

Jordin Tootoo put the Wild on their first power play at 3:12 after an unsportsmanlike conduct call. The Wild had no shots but the Preds managed two shorthanded shots.

At 12:06, Shea Weber gave the Wild another man advantage when he was called for holding Madden who was on a breakaway. The Wild managed a shot but mercifully did not get a goal.

For the second period, the Preds out shot the Wild 14-7 and were shooting from everywhere as indicated by the 24-12 Corsi advantage.

The Predators got their first power play goal in six games at 3:55 in the third period when Sullivan picked up a rebound and slipped it past Theodore to get the Preds on the board and made the score 4-1.

Jordin Tootoo managed to draw a cross checking penalty at 9:43 when he lured Eric Nystrom. With 1:18 left in the penalty, Zidlicky was called for tripping to give the Preds a five on three advantage. The Preds managed three shots during the two penalty combination but gave the Wild several opportunities for a short handed goal at the other end.

Minnesota got retribution on Tootoo at 13:53 when Clayton Stoner had a go with Tootoo after a solid check that sent both of them to the box with fighting majors.

Matt Cullen made a perfect pass to Havlet at 14:02 that gave him a free shot at the left side of the net for an easy goal to put the Wild back up by four, 5-1.

As the game wound down at 18:40, Kyle Brodziak was called for tripping Patric Hornqvist. Amazingly, with 8.5 seconds left in the game, Erat wristed a shot from circle that was screened by Marcel Goc and made it into the net for the Preds second power play goal of the game, making the final score 5-2.

In the final period, the desparate Predators out shot the Wild 14-7 and led the Corsi 23-12.

The Predators continue their series of losses where they find different ways to lose each time. In this game, the power play actually worked, while the defense allowed the opponent to jump ahead early making a come back virtually impossible.

Nashville returned home immediately after the game and will face the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. on Saturday with hopes of breaking the current three game losing streak.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators-Wild Preview and Friday Findings

The Nashville Predators (9-7-4) left 70 degree weather yesterday and traveled to Minnesota to take on the Wild (10-8-2) to battle it out for twelfth place in the Western Conference today in a 1 p.m. clash on the frozen tundra of the northern Midwest.

Both teams have 22 points but the Wild have more wins so they have the nod for twelfth in the air tight Western Conference at this point. Both teams are only two points out of a playoff position as the Sharks are in eight with 24 points.

This will be the first meeting of the year between the two teams. Last season, the Preds and Wild split their season series and were each 1-1 on home turf. The Wild are 16-15-5 all time against the Preds including 10-5-3 on home ice. The Wild have a Black Friday tradition of matinee games and are 6-2-1 in the day after Thanksgiving contests.

The game should be a low scoring affair as both teams have been anemic in goal production this season with the Preds averaging 2.3 goals a game and the Wild at 2.4. The Preds are more active shooters 29.1 to 24.6.

The Wild have huge advantages on special teams as they are 2nd (25.3%) in the league on the power play and seventh (85.2) on the penalty kill. The Preds are 29th on the PP and 17th (82.1) on the PK (9.6). After going 0-3 on the man advantage on Wednesday the Preds are now 3 of their last 60 after going 4-13 in their first 3 games of the season.

It is unclear who will be in net for either team as both are playing back to back games. For the Preds, I would be surprised if Anders Lindback (3-1-1, 2.76, .917) did not start one of the two weekend games with Pekka Rinne (6-6-3, 2.46, .916) starting the other.

Minnesota could go with Niklas Backstrom (8-6-2, 2.35, .924) or Jose Theodore. (2-2-0, 2.97, .916).

The Wild are much more banged up with injuries to Josh Harding, James Sheppard, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Chuck Kobasew, ex-Pred Marek Zidlicky, and Guillaume Latendresse. The Preds are still without David Legwand and Matthew Lombardi.

After today's, the Predators return home for dinner and a match with the New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Other Previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, Paul McCann, Preds.com, and The Tennessean.

The other side of the story comes from the Minnesota Star Tribune and Hockey Wilderness,

Preds-Blues Round-Up...

Here is our game story from Wednesday night.

Josh Cooper had his game story, a second story, and and postgame ponderings.

David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.

From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, Jeremy Gover, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

The winning side of the story comes from the Post-Dispatch, BlueNote Zone, Frozen Notes, and St. Louis Game Time.

In Pred Nation...

Ryan Porth has a new story on Pekka Rinne's great run that has gone completely undercover due to lack of offense from the team.

Matt Lombardi spoke with Josh Cooper on Wednesday and there is no timetable set for his return. In more non-breaking news, Ryan Suter did not name his child Brooks after Herb Brooks.

Josh also spoke with Barry Trotz about Colin Wilson's lack of production this season. A few of us discussed that Wilson could have a trip to Milwaukee in his future if he doesn't start playing the game Trotz wants to see. He also has a post this morning on the amazing scoring surge of Jerred Smithson.

Mark Willoughby has his travelogue from his trip to Carolina and Columbus. One picture has him hanging out with a few shady Nashvillians while tailgating in Raleigh.

Pekka Rinne's jersey's flight into space aboard the space shuttle discover has been delayed again to "no earlier than December 17" due to cracks in brackets supporting the fuel tank.

Mike MacDonald gives the Preds a C+ for his first quarter evaluation at Bleacher Report.

Rachel from What the Puck shares her Thanksgiving thoughts.

Around the NHL...

Ryan Porth celebrates his annual list of the top five Turkeys of the last 365 days. My suggestion was number two on the list with my personal opinion that the fan was a bigger turkey than Rick Rypien since he wanted to take legal action.

RLD Hockey has the Quarter-Pole Review with updated team projections, trophy winners, and individual performance leaders for each team. Dan Rosen looks at the Hart at the quarter. Ryan Dixon has another view at the quarter pole at The Hockey News.

Last week Adrian Dater had the five best franchises, now he has the Five Flunking Franchises.

The Toronto Star has the statistics going back to 1993 to see how many teams that were in the top eight in each division on American Thanksgiving actually made the playoffs in each year. Overall, only 22.5% of the eventual playoff teams were out of it at the holiday check point.

Down Goes Brown has the decision making flowchart that Gary Bettman uses and any NHL scandals.

Dennis Kane has a second story on childhood hockey treasures that he owns. Snail Mail was king as he communicated with Rocket Richard.

Able to Yzerman says that Wings fans want respect from others. I've always appreciated the greatness of the Wings and at the risk of losing a few readers I will admit that I don't "hate" the Wings.

Puck Daddy looked at the Phoenix situation as they lead the Pacific Division. Folks really should be showing up to see a well coached team make a run for the playoffs again.

Josh Baily was "loaned" to Bridgeport of the AHL. Chris Botta explains the move.

Pat Hoffman explains why the Coyotes are making such a big run.

There was a shootout in Germany that went through 43 attempts to get a winner. It is believed to be the world record.

Odds and Ends...

Not everyone dislikes the new TSA pat down procedure. This guy found true love and wants to connect. Apparently, this TSA worker likes the procedure so much that he got arrested.

For Kelly Slater fans, here is an extended audio interview that covers a wide range of topics.

Facebook is shooting to get users to have them set their site as their home page.

The Mavericks Surf Contest has an Android App to keep you up to date on current conditions and when the contest will be held.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blues Frustrate Predators in 2-1 Shoot Out Win

For the first time this season, the Nashville Predators forced a game to a shootout and came out on the losing end. The 2-1 win by the St. Louis Blues was a particularly heartbreaking loss for a Predator team that dominated play on both ends of the ice for most of the game struggeled to get the puck into the net.

The Predators out shot the Blues 30-15 and played one of their best defensive games of the season. "Defensively, they did a really good job," said Coach Barry Trotz.

Andy McDonald had all the offense for the Blues in the game. He had the only regulation goal as well as the game winner in the fifth round of a scoreless shoot out for the Blues.

Jerred Smithson was the lone scorer for the Predators and was the team's best player for the evening. Trotz had high praise for his work, "A lot of the guys who have been in the third and fourth line roles really drive as forwards. They really brings the high work ethic, the Nichols, the Fiddlers, and Smitty goes in that class too. He is contagious to that line and Toots and Wardo get chances and they're hard to play against."

Both Pekka Rinne and Jaroslav Halak had outstanding games. Halak was much more active as he stopped 29 of 30 shots while Rinne stopped 14.

Rinne seemed particularly disappointed in the loss after the game, "Every game you want to win and it's disappointing when you lose division games. It's tough to get wins in this league and disappointing when you lose."

St. Louis got off to a perfect start in the game when nine seconds after the opening face off David Backes fed a pass to Andy McDonald who skated into the Predators slot and put a shot past Kevin Klein who and goalie Pekka Rinne to give the Blues a quick 1-0 lead.

"It was a bit of an unfortunate goal," Trotz related. "Their guy got it, shot it and it went off Klein's stick and ended up in the net."

Klein then received the first penalty of the game at 6:13 when he was called for interference as he checked Brad Boyes who was away from the puck on a breakout in the Preds defensive zone. The Preds killed the penalty, giving up three shots.

The Blues had their second man advantage at 10:15 when Marty Erat got a high stick on Nikita Nikitin but were unable to get off any shots.

The Predators got their first man advantage at 14:54 when Patrik Berglund tripped Jordin Tootoo and sent him fling into the side boards. The Preds mounted a good effort on the power play, getting off three shots.

Shea Weber commented on the power play, "I think we've been too stagnent. We're getting chances. We need a bounce and to get more pucks there. We need a goal to open things up and get some confidence."

The period ended with the Preds leading in shots 8-5 and tied in the Corsi at 14. After appearing out of sync at the start of the period, Nashville mounted a better attack as the period closed.

The second period started much better for the Preds when at 22 seconds Joel Ward skated the puck down the left side of the ice and fired a shot at Halak that rebounded directly to Smithson in the slot where he drilled it straight into the net for his second goal in two games to tie the game 1-1.

"It was a great play by Wardo, driving wide and just getting the puck on net. We work on that in practice, shooting rebounds. I was just coming down and it came out to my stick and I just popped it in," Smithson explained.

The Blues returned to the power play at 10:20 in the second when Shane O'Brien was called for holding the stick. The Blues managed two shots which including their first shot in 22:32 of play as the Pred's defense was effective in taking away the space in front of the net.

Shots for the second period were 10-4 in favor of the Preds who also led the Corsi 17-13.

The Predators appeared to get a break at 3:20 in the third when Smithson pushed Vladimir Sobotka into Rinne for a goaltender interference call. The Preds managed a shot but no real pressure.

Anotther power play opportunity came at 8:34 when Barret Jackman slashed Sergei Kostitsyn as he skated toward the crease with the puck. Again, the Preds came up empty with no shots.

The save of the game came at 11:50 when a shot from Matt D'Agostini slipped through Rinne's five hole and he had the presence to lay back on it to keep the onrushing Blues away from a second chance. Rinne explained the stop, "It's just one of those things you kind of know that it's behind you and you try to find it."

In the third period the Predators continued their shot dominance by with a 12-4 margin.

The overtime period was fast paced with only two stoppages. The Blues were credited with the only two shots in the extra session.

The only goal scored on ten attempts in the shootout was by McDonald. Sergei Kostitsyn was the Predators' final shoot but hit the post in his chance to send the shoot out into the sixth round.

Trotz was reflective on the loss, "There's going to be games where you deserve to win and then there's going to be games you sort of steal. This one I thought we deserved to win and they're leaving here with the extra point. As I say, the hockey gods even those out."

The game was played in front of a Bridgestone Arena crowd of 16,603 and was televised nationwide on the Versus Network.

After the Predators eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day, they will head to Minnesota where they will face the Wild on Friday in a matinee game that starts at 1:00 p.m. Central. The Preds then return home for a date with the New York Rangers on Saturday at 7 p.m.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Preds Finish Home Series With Blues and Wednesday Wrap-Up

The St. Louis Blues (11-5-3) make their final regular season visit to Bridgestone Arena tonight at 7 p.m. to play the Nashville Predators (9-7-3) in a nationally televised game on the Versus Network.

The teams have played twice in Nashville and once in St. Louis so far this season. The Preds won the first meeting in Nashville 4-3 on October 14. Two weeks later the Blues blanked the Preds at the Bridgestone arena 3-0 in a game that started the Preds five game losing streak.

In the only contest in St. Louis, The Preds ended the losing streak with a 3-2 shoot-out win that marked the start of a period of improved play for the Predators.

St. Louis started the year as one of the NHL's hottest teams, going 9-1-2 in their first 12 games. Since then, as the injuries mounted, the Blues have gone 2-5-1, with the two wins coming against Ottawa and New Jersey over the weekend.

The Predators have played better lately winning four of their last six contests. They did lose on Monday to the Blue Jackets who played a near perfect game. I doubt that anyone could have beaten Columbus the way they played on that particular night.

It is expected that Pekka Rinne (6-6-2, 2.59, .916) will start for the Predators and Jaroslav Halak (9-4-2, 2.45, .910) will go for the Blues.

Both teams have injuries to key people. St. Louis is without David Perron, T.J. Oshie, and Roman Polak while defenseman Barret Jackman is expected to return tonight or on Friday.

The Predators remain without Matthew Lombardi, who has no timetable for a return. Ryan Suter and David Legwand are "day to day" with some thought that Legwand could return tonight.

One thing to look for in tonight's game is several penalties from the Blues who are last in the league, averaging 19.3 minutes per game in contrast to the Preds' 10.8 minutes. The Preds power play is 29th in the league with a 10% conversion rate and are three for 57 since the Preds first meeting with the Blues.

There should be a capacity crowd on had tonight, so if you don't have tickets, you may want to plan in advance this morning.

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

For previews from enemy territory, check out the Post-Dispatch, BlueNote Zone, Frozen Notes, and St. Louis Game Time for Blues news.

Programming Note...

I was a co-host on a special nighttime edition of RLD Hockey Radio last night that featured Jeff Marek from Hockey Night in Canada who discussed the Habs, Leafs, Flames and the situation on Long Island. Inside Hockey's Tim Rosenthal also joined with a preview of his upcoming Rosie Awards. Here is the full list at IH.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

In Pred Nation...

AJ has all the dirt from the SlapShot Radio road trip including detail of Jackson and my misbehaving on the way home.

J.R. Lind has big news from the Predators at the Nashville Sports Authority's meeting yesterday. The Preds submitted their 2009 net worth statement and indicated that they would pursue the Frozen Four when the next bid process begins. They also indicated a new owner would be on board soon. You would have to speculate that it would be W. Brett Wilson.

Amanda Dipaolo has a complete look at what Shane O'Brien has meant to this team in the first quarter of the season.

Josh Cooper called Preds' prospect, Austin Watson for an update. Here's the result. Josh also looks at the Preds needing to improve on the power play.

Mark Willoughby missed yesterday AM's deadline with his Preds-Jackets story because he was late getting back from the game.

David Boclair is confounded by the lack of goals from the Predator's goal scorers.

Chris Burton breaks down Rick Nash's goal from Monday night.

From @SLakePreds: Dan Gendur (the placeholder/throw-in in the O'Brien deal) has actually be recalled to Milwaukee! He has 2g, 6a in 10 CHL games this season.

Seth Lake also found an interview at Hockey Spy with Charles-Oliver Roussel.

Bird Watchers Anonymous breaks down the strength of schedule for all teams and the Preds lead the way. It's an interesting list to ponder.

Admirals Roundtable has the story of the Admirals 4-1 loss to Oklahoma City last night.

Predators.com also has the weekly Admirals update.

If anyone is looking for pictures of Alexander Radulov, Hotice Magazine from Russia has quite a few. I'm sure Pred fans could put them on their dart boards.

Around the NHL...

The first round of votes are in for the NHL All-Star game and Steven Stamkos is not in the top three forwards. It must be a bummer to be the best player of the year so far and not have the local fan support to get you to the top of the pack. On an obviously slow day, Puck Daddy looks inside the numbers of votes cast.

Ryan Porth looks at six teams that have been surprises and rates them as contenders or pretenders.

Hockey 54 has a new video featuring Tyler Meyers and Steven Stamkos.

Matt Reitz takes an in depth look at what the NHL needs to do to move back into the big four in the sports world.

Demolition on the Spectrum in Philadelphia began yesterday. Here is a slide show of screen shots from the ceremony. Several former NHL players and others were in attendance.

With the Spectrum now gone, TSN asks what was you all time favorite arena.

AZ Vibe Sports gives the hard sell to the locals to go out and watch a winning Phoenix sports team.

Odds and Ends...

This is an unbelievable video of some folks that sent a camera 20 miles high with a weather balloon and recovered it. Jackson liked this.

This is interesting that a man ordering 178 pizzas in Amherst in the middle of the night did not raise any eyebrows. I hope they gave them to the homeless shelters.

A good thing about getting groped in an airport this weekend is the chance to pick up a new foursquare badge.

Fortune Magazine has an interesting post about Reed Hastings, the top guy at Netflix. The guy lives in Santa Cruz, California so you know he's done something right.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is Columbus a Playoff Team, Game Wrap, and Tuesday Round-Up

Last night's Predators game may have been an example of what happens to a decent Western Conference team that plays three teams from the much weaker Eastern Conference and gets lulled into playing a different style of game that doesn't hold up in the West.

Amanda DiPaolo lays out the argument for Western Conference dominance in an article yesterday that clearly shows that top to bottom the West teams are better as a whole.

Columbus is on a hot streak and Rick Nash is playing the best hockey of his career, winning the NHL Player of the week honor yesterday.

I have been a non-believer of Columbus being a potential playoff team until now. I'm not fully ready to jump on their bandwagon but could possibly change my mind prior to New Years if they don't go into an extended swoon in the next thirty days.

For now, I will admit that Columbus played the best game against the Predators that we have seen this year. The Predators were not bad last night. Columbus was very good which caused the Preds to be unable to do much of what they have been doing in their recent improved play.

Preds-Jackets Round-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

The Tennessean has the AP Story and Josh Cooper has his postgame ponderings.

Jim Diamond was at the game in Columbus and was also impressed with the Jacket's play. Jim also found a little trash talk among dads.

David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), What the Puck, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

The other side of the story comes from the Columbus Dispatch, The Dark Blue Jacket, and The Cannon.

In Pred Nation...

Jim Diamond was in Columbus for the game but has an interesting note at the end of this post about a rumored relocation to Quebec for a number of teams. I would not categorize this to be anything serious at this point. Jim also has a story about Columbus coach Scott Arneil discussing the development of Cal O'Reilly.

Congrats to the Section 303 gang as their 303:30 podcast won the A.I.R Award for Best Locally Produced Podcast.

On The Forecheck has the weekly fantasy update for the Preds.

The news we've been waiting for comes from @kcwilson: Congrats to Ryan Suter on the birth of his first child, Brooks William - 8 pounds, 13 ounces - on Sunday.

George Scoville, who we saw in Raleigh, is the winner of What the Pucks donation to Movember this week.

Around the NHL...

Down Goes Brown reveals The Code that allegedly doesn't exist in hockey.

We've been hearing that Alex Kovlev was on the verge of getting his 1000th point for what seems like forever. He finally got it in last night's 3-2 Sens win over the Kings. There was a horrible call against the Kings with three seconds left when a goal was ruled to have been tipped with a high stick.

Puck Daddy has another one for the Islander's media hit list as TV announcer Howie Rose had a little gaff on Sunday during a break in the action of the Isles-Thrashers game. Losing 13 in a row is tough on everyone.

Amanda DiPaolo discusses faces of the East and the teams of the West at Too Many Men on the Site. She also has her weekly Central Division Shakedown at Predlines.

I missed the preview of 24/7 since I was in Raleigh but now my next road trip will be to the Winter Classic so this makes this a little more interesting.

Kent Wilson has a good analysis of new media and the MSM and ties it to the Chris Botta situation. This is a good read.

ESPN has the latest speculation on Stamkos and Doughty contracts and Iginla rumors.

Pat Hoffman at RLD looks at where Chris Drury fits in among Ranger Captains.

XM Home Ice has an interview done by Scott Laughlin with Pat Burns from March of 2009 where he reflects on his career.

Dee Karl, the Isles seventh woman, remains hopeful on the Island. It's good to see that.

B.D. Gallof offers seven suggestions for the Islanders to clean up their act.

Odds and Ends...

For fans of The Office, this site catalogs almost any quote you would ever want to find.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, November 22, 2010

Columbus Beats Nashville 2-0 in Near Perfect Game

The Nashville Predators went in to Nationwide Arena on Monday night and ran into one of the NHL's hottest teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets had just completed a west coast sweep of Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose and added win number four to their streak with a 2-0 victory.

The Blue Jackets played a near perfect game and kept the Predators away from goalie Steve Mason who stopped all 27 Predator shots in the shutout. Mason played the best game that he has against the Predators in two years.

The Jackets' two goals were scored by Mike Commodore and Rick Nash, who was named the NHL first star of the week earlier in the day.

Columbus was able to take advantage of getting ahead of the Predators on the rush for both of their goals. The Predators seemed frustrated by getting out positioned by a team that they have dominated over the last four seasons.

The Predators managed plenty of shots but they were not of the quality needed to force Mason into making a mistake.

Pekka Rinne stopped 28 of 30 Columbus shots but was victimized by having an open player on the opposite side of the rush on both Blue Jacket goals.

The game started with both teams skating hard and playing very active defense. Columbus got on the scoreboard early at 8:37 when all of the skaters broke down the right side of the ice while Commodore went down the left side by himself. R.J. Umberger fired a cross ice pass to Commodore who put it past Rinne to put the Jackets up 1-0.

Chris Clark was called for hooking Alexander Sulzer at 11:09 to give the Preds a man advantage, They managed three shots but could not convert. Then at 14:30, Steve Sullivan hooked Umberger and the Jackets were also unable to score on a pair of shots.

As the period ended on a delayed call, Marty Erat was called for holding the stick as he skated past Commodore toward the net. As a result, the Jackets would start the second period on the power play.

For the first period, Columbus out shot the Preds 1-9 while Nashville led the Corsi 18-17.

The Jackets' carryover man advantage lasteduntil 1:22 when Antoine Vermette was called for tripping Marcel Goc to take it to four on four. Neither team was able to take advantage of the odd man situations.

Nashville was called for too many men on the ice at 9:20. The Jackets were credited with two shots on their power play.

The Predators got caught on the wrong end of a four on two rush at 14:14 and Jakub Voracek fired a cross ice pass to Nash who was in the clear on Rinne's left side and he was able to put it in the open side of the goal to give the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

Almost immediately, the Preds went on the power play at 14:28 as a result of Jan Hejda interfering with Patric Hornqvist. The Preds had one shot but no goals.

Again, Columbus out shot Nashville for the period, 8-6. The Corsi was tied at 11 in a more defensive minded period.

The third period did not begin any better for the Predators. Jerred Smithson was called for hooking Nikata Filatov at 1:24 to put the Jackets back on the power play where they got one shot.

Columbus continued to out work the Predators and played stifling defense. The Preds got their first break at 15:53 when Commodore was called for holding Smithson. The Preds again got a shot but did not find the net.

Pekka Rinne was pulled with 1:27 left which lasted only eleven seconds until Shane O'Brien took down Voracek who was headed for the empty net at center ice. The game ended quietly as the Jackets played out the clock.

In the final period, the Preds out shot Columbus 12-10 as they scrambled to get on the scoreboard. In the Corsi, the Preds led 18-15.

After the game, the Predators headed back to Nashville where they will practice on Tuesday in preparations for the last home game with St. Louis on Wednesday which will be a national telecast on the Versus Network at 7 p.m. Central.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass