Predator fans are fit to be tied as the hours count down to the Nashville Predators (27-18-7) game with the Detroit Red Wings (31-14-6) tonight at the Bridgestone Arena At 7 p.m.
This will be the first time Detroit has played in Nashville this season. The Preds fell to the Wings 5-2 on October 30th at Joe Louis Arena in a game that had the Preds basically playing with 17 skaters. On December 8, the Preds beat the Wings 3-2 in a game featuring strong defense and goaltending.
Steve Sullivan is slated to return to the ice for the Preds who need an offensive shot in the arm after losing four straight games and getting only six goals in the process. Sullivan has not played since December 23 so he may be a little rusty but his presence should inspire others.
In a warm up for tonight's game, the Wings were shutout by Steve Mason as they fell to Columbus 3-0 in Detroit last night.
The Predators trail Detroit by seven points in the Central Division and fell to fifth in the Western Conference today as San Jose passed them with a win over Boston in an early contest.
Pekka Rinne (17-13-5, 2.10, .929), who has not yet faced Detroit this year, will be in net for the Predators. Joey McDonald (1-2-1, 2.53, .903) will be in net for the Wings since Jimmy Howard played last night.
The Predators will get little rest after the game as they play Edmonton at home on Monday and then travel to Detroit for a return engagement with the Wings on Wednesday.
Other Predator previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, The Tennessean, Hockey Night in Nashville, and Predators.com. Jeremy Gover also provides an updated chant list for tonight's contest.
For previews from the Motor City, check out MLive, the Detroit Free Press, Winging It in Motown, and the Detroit News.
In Pred Nation...
Sam at Predsblog debuts an "Inception" video to get folks in the mood for tonight's game.
Probably, one of the highlights of Thursday's loss to Philadelphia was Kevin Klein standing up to tough guy., Dan Carcillo. Jim Diamond had the positive reaction from Barry Trotz.
Josh Cooper has the latest on Matt Lombardi's baby steps. He also explains that Barry Trotz's goal for each game is three goals. Josh spoke to David Poile about the injury dilemma leading up to the trade deadline.
David Singleton looks at the Predators as they approach the trade deadline.
Dirk Hoag looks at Centers that the Predators may be interested in at the trade deadline.
Rachel at What the Puck has the Colin Wilson video from the Jumbotron on Tuesday.
Mark Willoughby is back from Philadelphia with his weekly "My View."
Blueshirt Banter confirms Shea Weber is not an option for the Rangers. I'm glad we got that out of the way.
The Cannon seems to think that we need to pick up Steven Weiss at the trade deadline.
The Predators 2004 eighth round pick, Denis Kulyash set the world record for the hardest shot at 110.3 at the KHL All-Star game. Dirk Hoag has a video.
Blake Geoffrion had one goal and three helpers in an Admirals 4-2 win over Rockford. In a night where the team was wearing red on "wear red" day they also gave away bobble-heads in Geoffrion's likeness.
Around the NHL...
Two goals in a game is special. Drew Doughty got credit for his first multi-goal game a day after the contest while Ryan Smythe lost the pair.
Patrick Hoffman reviews the Kovalchuk trade a year after the fact and sees Atlanta getting the better deal.
Rick DiPietro is out 4-6 weeks with a facial fracture and knee swelling. Intent to Blow has the real story.
Daniel Paille received a four game suspension for his blindside hit on Ray Sawada on Thursday night.
Craig Conroy announced his retirement yesterday and will move directly in to the Flames front office.
The latest from Phoenix is that the sale to Matthew Hulsizer will probably get done this month.
Adrian Dater has the daily look at Peter Forsberg with video.
Mayor's Manor had a podcast with Kerry Fraser as a guest.
Ryan Kennedy makes the case for fighting after a clean hit.
Down Goes Brown has a hockey fan's guide to the Super Bowl.
Odds and Ends...
The feds raided an ex space shuttle worker's house to investigate his allegedly selling used tiles on EBay. That sounds like a great souvenir. There are a bunch listed on EBay but some seem a bit bogus.
In other space news, it is a long shot but the private United Space Alliance wants to continue to fly the space shuttle after NASA finishes it's final three flights this year.
As we wait for this year's Maverick's event, Surfline looks back at last year's contest.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass