The Nashville Predators (27-17-7) are in Philadelphia with their dads in tow for the annual Father's trip. It is a rare visit to the city of Brotherly love for tonight's game with the Flyers (33-13-5) at the Wells Fargo Center at 6 p.m. Central.
After losing three in a row, the Predators will have a tough foe in the Eastern Conference leading Flyers. This will be a statement game for Philadelphia who are not happy after losing three in a row including a 4-0 loss to the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia crowd will be in top form as there will be a ceremony honoring Flyers legend Bobby Clark before the game when he will be predsented his banner from the old Spectrum.
This will only be the third meeting in four years between the Preds and Flyers and the first in Philadelphia since March 7, 2009 when the Preds lost 4-1. In their only meeting last season the Preds won 4-3 in a shoot out near the end of the regular season.
It will be an odd match-up with the Flyers having the league's second highest goals per game (3.39) and the Preds having the fourth best goals against (2.33).
Pekka Rinne (17-13-5, 2.10, .929) is expected to be in goal for the Predators. The Flyers leading goalie has been rookie surprise Sergei Bobrovsky (21-7-3, 2.49, .917) but they could also go with Brian Boucher (11-6-2, 2.37, .916) since it is a non-conference contest.
Updated: Anders Lindback will start in goal for the Preds.
The Predators will return home after the game to prepare for Saturday's division match with Detroit set for 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena.
Other previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, The Tennessean, and Predators.com.
From Philly comes previews from Broad Street Hockey, Philly.com, Philly Burbs, Courrier Post, and CSN Philly.
I was a guest host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio yesterday where Dan Rosen from NHL.com was the only guest. There was plenty of talk about the All-Star weekend and the season going forward. You can listen with the following player.
In Pred Nation...
Launy "The" Schwartz gets Shea Weber to do sonething rarely seen in Nashville media circles. Check out the video at Hockey 54.
Here is the audio from Pekka Rinne's visit to NHL Live yesterday. Peks was in good spirts and was very entertaining.
Dirk Hoag proves with facts that preferential treatment for the original six teams is not a conspiracy theory. Congrats to Dirk and the OTF gang for their millionth visitor. They are also planning an OTF viewing party for next week with Dan Bradley leading the charge.
David Boclair talked to Steve Sullivan who feels that he will return within a week or so.
Shea Weber was named the NHLPA Player of the week yesterday at the PA's website.
Josh Cooper spoke with BlakeGeoffrion after he was named the AHL Player of the Week.
Colin Wilson blogs about his all-star break and conserving energy.
Bryan Mullen discusses the recent success of Marty Erat.
Chris Burton has a breakdown of the defensive lapse that allowed Calgary to tie the Preds 2-2 in the third period of Tuesday's game. It's even uglier here.
Tyler Davis has his latest Predator update at NHL Hot Stove.
Patten Fuqua has all the news from the AHL All-Star game that he covered on Monday night.
Federal officials raided the home of ex-arena naming rights principle Brian Whitfield on Tuesday with the intent to seize property to help satisfy an outstanding judgment. Whitfield's wife, Marsha filed bankruptcy which slowed the process.
Around the NHL...
Oddities in the NHL last night included Brent Johnson and Rick DiPietro in a goalie fight (if you can call it a fight) and Johan Franzen scoring five goals in the Wings 7-5 win over the Sens.
Roger Millions checks in after the Flames beat the Preds with a question of whether Calgary has what it takes to make a run at the playoffs.
Ryan Porth also looks at the Flames' charge into the playoff picture.
Our friend Dannielle Browne has a new endeavor with the creation of Straight Jackets to follow her Columbus Blue Jackets. She is part of the G9 network of female writers in all sports.
Jef Blay has the top ten late round picks in the last ten years. Three Predators are included but I'm sure most folks will be astounded by the order.
The daily Peter Forsberg update from Adrian Dater comes complete with video.
The Lightning waived Mike Smith in somewhat of a surprise move yesterday. It will be interesting to see if there are any takers when the period ends at 11 a.m. today.
The new darling of the NHL, Jeff Skinner won the Rookie of the Month for January.
Lou Lamoriello is denying that the potential sale of the Devils will affect hockey operations. Is this like sticking your head in the sand?
Odds and Ends...
It's good to see that the Metro Council finally decided not to raze the historic Nashville Speedways at the Fairgrounds. Tearing it down would be as stupid as closing Opryland to build a mall that now appears may never reopen. What about tearing down Opry Mills and putting in a theme park?
The Nashville RollerGirls are looking for sponsors for the upcoming season.
The new Android Market web site is live and is useful to find stuff you may be looking for that doesn't jump out at you on your phone.
A new study shows that it costs marketers $1.07 to get someone to be a fan of their product. I'll cut out the middleman and become a fan of anything if they send me a tax free dollar bill.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass