The is nothing like a six game winning streak in the midst of a slew of injuries to make a coach happy. Barry Trotz was particularly funny in the post game last night as the video will attest.
Then he describes Nick Spaling's second goal as being "like wolverines." It just doesn't get better than that; to get a huge win and a new Trotz-ism.
There were many heroes in the game but none bigger than Spaling who Trotz lavished praise upon after the game. As much as Trotz loved Spaling last season, I was astounded that he did not make the team out of camp.
Spaling has been the glue that pulled the penalty kill together after a slow start and has moved it into the top five in the league. With Spaling's aggressive style, going to the hard areas, he is also starting to contribute offensively.
Having now won six in a row, the Predators stand as the leagues hottest team and are alone in fourth place in the tough Western Conference.
The crowd of 15, 311 was encouraging last night considering the dire weather forecasts of black ice and stay at home conditions.
The Preds travel to Florida on Thursday and then return home on Saturday for the final game at the Bridgestone Arena in the month of January.
The Preds finish the month with a six game road trip before the all-star break and then the schedule turns in their favor. After the break, they will have 21 of the final 32 games in the friendly confines of the Bridgestone Arena where they are 10-4-5 so far this season.
So as the old NHL ad campaign said, "Will this be the year?"
Here is our game story from last night that included post game video.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond had his game story and give props to Joel Ward who had the game winner.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper and says that the Preds made it look easy..
From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, and Hands like Cement.
The sad news from the Wild side comes from the Minnesota Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and Hockey Wilderness.
Audio from the Predators last night includes Nick Spaling, Pekka Rinne, Joel Ward and Jerred Smithson. From the Wild comes Coach Todd Richards, Matt Cullen, and Jose Theodore.
Yesterday I was a guest host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio. Ryan's guests included Russ Cohen from Sportsology and XM Radio, Joe Yerdon from ProHockeyTalk, and Yahoo Sports' Nick Cotsonika. Click on the following player to listen.
In Pred Nation...
David Boclair writes of the Predators' disappointment at having only one player selected to the All-Star game.
Jim Diamond has the story of Preds' prospect Craig Smith from Wisconsin being named the WCHA offensive player of the week. He has 13 goals and 18 assists this year and ranks fourth among NCAA Division one scorers.
Mark Dekanich and Linus Klasen of the Milwaukee Admirals were named to the AHL All-Star team that will be held on January 31 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
For what it's worth, the Predators' Guardian was revealed yesterday after defeating St. Louis in fan voting. I guess I'm old, but I still don't get it.
Ex-naming rights holder Sommet Group has been ordered to pay millions by the bankruptcy court.
Around the NHL...
The final rosters of the All-Star team and rookies were announced. Weber went as expected. The big surprise was that no rookie goalies we picked for the skills portion of the event. I would say not picking any from the group of Bobrovsky, Neuvirth, Lindback and Crawford is really disappointing.
Puck Daddy has the 10 most fascinating things about the all-star team breakdown.
Craig Custance looks at a few snubs.
Pictures of the jerseys that will be used in the All-Star game were also revealed. I like the blue jersey, but the red one is rather plain.
The Mighty Toronto Maple Leafs are ripping up the California teams. A night after beating the Kings, they took down the Sharks 4-2 to give San Jose a five game losing streak. The biggest loss for the Sharks was having Logan Couture on an alleged dirty hit from Colton Orr. It was Toronto coach Ron Wilson's 600 career win.
Rumors of Kyle Wellwood going to the Blues brought many folks to the fore front wanting the Preds to jump on this waiver claim too as the did with Svatos. It can't happen this time as the Preds are above the Blues in the standings.
Steve Lapore has the unbelievable story of NBC planning six hours of coverage on Hockey Day in America on February 20.
So what is up with the Kings? Brian Kennedy accesses the situation after their loss to the lowly Leafs.
Puck Daddy had mid-season MVPs for all 30 NHL teams. I can't argue with his selection of Ryan Suter for the Predators.
Big news out of Canada is that TSN may start their own radio network to challenge The Fan 590 in Toronto and other stations across the country.
Odds and Ends...
So now that Verizon has the iPhone, why would anyone chose it over the Android? I disagree with this report that says Android sales may dip when the iPhone is available. In a side by side comparison, there is little choice but a Droid.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass