Through 44 games, J. P. Dumont had a grand total of four goals and seven assists and appeared headed to his worst offensive output since his sophomore season in 1999-2000 when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Dumont had previous had three hat tricks in his career but none since November 12, 2001. He has been relegated to third and fourth line duty and his minutes have been down as Barry Trotz has not been pleased with his play.
Nothing on the horizon has indicated that he was ready to have a five goal in two game spurt, including last night's hattie. He appears to have found new life, pairing with Matt Halischuk and Chris Mueller who were good offensive players at Milwaukee at times this year.
After a down year last year, Dumont reported to preseason camp in the best shape in several years. On opening day of camp, Trotz made a point of giving J.P. credit for working hard in the off season and doing what needed to be done to get back into a key position in the Preds' offense.
I was even boasting to fantasy expert Rob Higgins that J.P. was one to watch as a sleeper pick. The season started but Dumont didn't and had little to show in the first half of the year. Higgy has since called me out for the bad fantasy advice.
More than likely, Dumont's five goals will be an anomaly, but with the Predators lack of offense and Shea Weber leading the offense with a mere 28 points, the Preds have to be happy with whatever they can get on a given night.
Hopefully, Dumont will regain confidence and return to form going forward because the Predators could really use his contributions.
It seems like every game lately has been a head to head battle for a position in the Western Conference race. Tomorrow night's game with Colorado will again be a battle for fourth pace as the Avs are at 54 points, two behind the Predators.
Here is our game story from last night.
The Tennessean had the AP story and Josh Cooper had quotes from the locker room.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
For the view of the game from the other side check out Arizona Vibe, Five for Howling, Coyotes Examiner, the Arizona Republic, and the Coyotes Aggregator.
I was a guest host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio yesterday that featured Tampa Bay Lightning play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham and Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period who talked about the Kings, Ducks and Sharks. It was a fun discussion of the Lightning as well as the three California teams.
In Preds Nation...
From our friend Anthony Perez comes this tidbit RT @Yotes_Examiner: Sen. John McCain spent some time around the Preds dressing room after the game, that was fun 2 see
Robby and Phillip have differing opinions on the value of David Legwand at Hockey Night in Nashville.
Predsblog hands out some mid-season grades, starting with the wingers.
After last week's college games at the Bridgestone Arena, the Predators, in conjunction with the Nashville Sports Council, plan to make a bid for the 2015 or 2016 NCAA "Frozen Four" hockey championships.
Around the NHL...
Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom were named captains of the All-Star teams yesterday and Puck Daddy talked to Brendan Shanahan about the finer points of the "fantasy draft."
Chris Johnston has an explanation on how the two captains were chosen.
Here are the official All-Star jerseys with Team Staal in while and Team Lidstrom in Blue.
Down Goes Brown offers advice on drafting the All-Star squads.
Ken Campbell thinks if the league is going to micromanage Ron Wilson's $600 tacked to the wall then they should also go after all-star avoiders like they did a couple of years ago.
St. Louis can't win for losing in attempts to sign KHL players. First they lost Marek Svatos on waivers to the Preds and now they lost Kyle Wellwood to the Sharks.
On the ice, the Blues got T J Oshie back after he missed 31 games and they continued the Kings' woes with a 2-1 win.
The Sharks also acquired Ben Eager from Atlanta in exchange for a fifth round pick. Eager is coming off a four game suspension for sucker punching Colby Armstrong on January 7.
Ryan Porth discusses the virtues of the Penguins deep and talented blueline.
Matt Reitz has an extended look at the shift in the Buffalo Sabres since they fired their scouting division and went with video scouting.
Gann Matsuda discusses the chances of a Winter Classic coming to Southern California. I'd be in favor of one there or in Las Vegas.
Adrian Dater polls the Twitterverse and then comes up with the five most disappointing players of the year so far.
The Flyers gave Paul Holmgren a three year contract extension.
Ex-Pred Scotty Nichol received a four game suspension for hitting David Schlemko in the head on Monday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass