Note: No POTG Radio Tonight
The two Predator games against the Chicago Blackhawks over the weekend were interesting in their comparisons and contrasts between the two teams. Both were played to sellout crowds that were loud an boisterous. Both featured third period comebacks/collapses where the home team won.
On the other side of the coin, the Blackhawks are the defensing Stanley Cup Champions loaded with stars, while the Preds have yet to win a first round playoff series and are loaded mostly with players that the average NHL fan has never hear of before.
At the end of the day on Sunday, the bottom line is that a split is probably what both teams were hoping for heading into the weekend. The teams are now tied with 54 points with the Preds owning fifth place in the Western Conference due to having played two less games than the Hawks.
For the season, the Preds have stood toe to toe with Chicago and have a 3-2 series lead with one game remaining in Nashville next month.
The injury to Frankie Bouillon is worrisome because it appears that he could have hit his head on the glass and Predator fans do not even want to think of another player suffering a concussion. It will be good to hear a diagnosis at some point today.
Matt Halischuk played his first game as a Predator and committed no grievous errors in his 9:48 minutes on the ice. He was actually a plus one for the night.
Shea Weber extended his point streak to nine games on his assist on the first Dumont goal. Chris Mueller got his first NHL point in the effort too.
So now it's time to forget about the weekend games and head to Glendale where the Predators can pass the Coyotes and move into fourth place with a win. That will be no small task as Phoenix has won four in a row and are 7-1-2 in their last ten games.
Sunday's Preds-Hawks Round-Up...
Here is our game story from last night and also news of the Thuresson- Halischuk swap.
The Tennessean used the AP story from last night but Josh Cooper picked up some quotes from Chicago.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, and Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats).
From the Windy City comes previews from Second City Hockey, The Sun Times, The Daily Herald, and the Chicago Tribune.
Saturday's Preds-Hawks Round-Up...
Here is our game story from Saturday night with post game video. I also had an addendum yesterday with three other thoughts.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond has the odd story of Joel Ward having Corey Crawfords stick stuck in his skates.
David Boclair had his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
The Predators released audio from Pekka Rinne (Part one and two), Jerred Smithson, and Joel Ward. From Chicago, the spoke with Corey Crawford, Jonathan Toews, and Joel Quenneville.
From Chicago game stories can be found at Second City Hockey, The Sun Times, The Daily Herald, and the Chicago Tribune.
In Pred Nation...
The Buffalo News has a really nice feature story about Chris Mueller who got his first NHL point last night with an assist on J P Dumont's second goal.
David Boclair has a story about two original Predators who got their NHL break with the expansion Nashville Predators in 1998..
Dirk Hoag moves a reader post to the front page that verifies my thoughts on the Preds being an incredibly streaky team. This is really well done.
Jay Levin hands out the first half awards for the Predators.
Amanda DiPaolo takes a look at the return of Marty Erat after missing nine games with an upper body injury.
On Saturday, the Preds had a "limited edition" jersey up for bid at the auction table. Icethetics speculated that it may be next year's road jersey. A second story has a note from a Reebok catalog that indicates changes are in store for the Preds next year.
Around the NHL...
Teemu Selanne picked up two goals in Anaheim's 3-2 win over the Oilers and surpassed the 1300 point mark for his career.
It looks like the 2011 NHL Premiere Games will be held in six different European cities and will involve the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.
Tim Chipp has the mid season awards VFMS-style.
Steve Kendall has a crystal ball at The Hockey Writers and looks at the season's second half.
The Toronto Maple Leafs' rebuilding effort is in a tough position as explained by John Grigg,
Finally, I didn't realize that Mennonites played hockey.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass