The Nashville Predators were fortunate to catch the Chicago Blackhawks during a bit of a lull in the great run that they were on when they surged to the top of the Western Conference. Without Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp they are not nearly as daunting an opponent.
Conversely, the Predators may be playing the best hockey in franchise history. Certainly, Pekka Rinne's 18-2-0 run is unprecedented. Barry Trotz indicated that the All-Star break could not be coming at a better time. Despite the current momentum, he indicated that all were looking forward to the time off.
The primary complaint that pundits expressed in the preseason was that the Predators did not have enough scoring. Currently, only Vancouver, Detroit and Chicago have more goals per game than the Preds in the Western Conference.
The Predators have balanced scoring across all four lines and that has been a strength in that they have been able to frustrate opponents who have not been able to match defensive pairings effectively.
You have to go all the way down to #77 in the goals ranking to find the Preds top goal scorer in Patrick Hornqvist, but they are one of only two teams (Flyers are the other) that have nine players with ten or more goals.
It is hard to imagine that the Predators will continue at the same pace after the break as they have last six weeks but they are in perfect position to continue to move upward in the Western Conference standings.
Here is our game story from last night with the comments from the couch. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...
Main Stream Media...
Josh Cooper: (The Tennessean) Game story - Notes - Postgame Ponderings
David Boclair (The City Paper)
Diamond's Gem's (Preds.com)
Jim Diamond (The Examiner)
Ryan Porth (Smashville 24/7)
Amanda DiPaolo (Inside Smashville)
Mark Willoughby (The View from 111)
Robby Stanley (Hockey Night in Nashville)
Jeremy Gover (Section 303) Game Story - LeftGovers
Patten Fuqua (Puck Scene)
Sam Page (On The Forecheck)
Paul McCann (HockeyBuzz)
Kris Martel (Predatorial)
Laura Hutchings (Lady Preds)
Second City Hockey
The Sun Times
The Daily Herald
Audio from the Predators comes from....
Postgame Radio from 102.5 featuring Patric Hornqvist and Brandon Yip.
From Chicago, we hear from...
Three Stars of the Game...
1. Pekka Rinne
2. Dave Bolland
3. Mike Fisher
Here is the video of the Brandon Yip vs Steve Montador scuffle from last night...
Highlights come from NHL.com....
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass