The Nashville Predators (32-23-9) never do anything the easy way. After missing a point on Tuesday against Edmonton, they now have to try to pick up at least a point against Vancouver (40-15-9) tonight to make up for Tuesday's loss.
It will not be an easy task as the Canucks are 23-6-5 at Rogers Arena this year. The Preds have split in Vancouver every year since the lockout.
Last time the Preds were in Vancouver on January 22, two third period Canuck goals sunk the Preds in a 2-1 loss. Last month in Nashville on February 17, the Predators played one of their best games of the year, besting the Canucks 3-1.
It will again be a match of top Western Conference goalies with Pekka Rinne (22-18-7, 2.13, .928) going for Nashville and Roberto Luongo (29-12-7, 2.24, .925) going for Vancouver.
After playing light's out hockey for most of the season, the Canucks cooled off recently. They have alternated wins and losses since February 9, going 5-5-0 during the stretch. Preds fans hope the trend continues since they won their last game against Columbus in a shootout on Tuesday.
The Preds dropped back into tenth last night when Anaheim beat Detroit and moved to 73 points with Nashville. In spite of average play lately, the Preds are still only three points out of fourth.
After tonight's game, the Predators do not get another opportunity for points until Sunday at Calgary.
Other Previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Sam Page, The Tennessean, Predatorial, and Predators.com.
Previews from Vancouver can be found at The Province, Vancouver Sun, Nucks Misconduct, Kurtenblog, The Canucks Way, and Canucks Hockey Blog.
Ryan Porth's RLD Radio with special guest Dave Lozo that initially aired yesterday was an excellent show. We had an interesting discussion about the winners and losers at the trade deadline, how Twitter has changed following the trades, and the recent Heritage classic. Click on the following player to listen to or download the podcast.
In Pred Nation...
Predlines takes a look at Shane O'Briens chip on his shoulder against the Canucks.
Josh Cooper looks at Cody Franson and Jon Blum's ties to Vancouver and has a notes column that has details of the bus breakdown and Barry Trotz saying Pekka may start the rest of the games.
David Boclair has more detail about the plans for Rinne for the remainder of the year.
Predators.com has the impact of Jon Blum's and Blake Geoffrion's first goals.
Colin Wilson has his weekly blog with the report of the transportation fiasco after the game on Tuesday.
Robby at HNIN has a piece on what Colin Wilson brings to the table.
Blake Geoffrion also has a journal now. Josh Cooper has gotten good at getting the players to do post for him.
Dirk Hoag has the audio clip of Danny Geoffrion on 560 yesterday.
Prospect Austin Watson has picked up the pace of his play recently after a slow start.
Mark Willoughby has interesting points about what the Predators need to do at this point as far as room management is concerned.
The Canadian media can't get enough about the Preds with the Province doing a story on Jon Blum.
Derren Dreger indicates that Nashville may be replacing it's "seamless" glass in the offseason with a safer version.
Predators.com is having a Limerick contest for kids. Check it out.
The Milwaukee Admirals lost in overtime 5-4 to Hamilton when the Bulldogs scored with four seconds left last night.
Around the NHL...
The Isles did the Preds a favor by beating Minnesota 4-1 but in his first game back after missing nine games due to a suspension, Trevor Gillies put a hit from behind on Cal Clutterbuck that will earn him a few more games in the press box.
Ryan Porth looks at the Blackhawk's rebirth and has the latest version of The Stretch Run.
One of the things we discussed yesterday on RLD Radio were the positive moves of the Florida Panthers at the deadline. Litter Box Cats has the facts to back it up.
Zach Parise will begin skating lightly again. It will be interesting to see if he makes it back for any games this season.
Steve Lapore explains that more NHL Network programming may start to be seen on Versus.
Odds and Ends...
According to the Mavericks web site, this year's event has been canceled.
The Bridge Church website has the most information on the planned Spring Hill theme park. After a little bit of research, I can assure everyone that this will never happen. Nashville Business Journal found what I found.
Anyone who saw the support group crashers in Fight Club probably never envisioned that it would become a problem on internet support groups. The practice is called Münchausen by Internet.
You rarely hear about a positive merger experience but Coca-Cola seems to have pulled it off as it merged with its bottling company.
Here is a educational program about a "virtual roach." When I was in college we had plenty of real roaches.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass