Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Predators Stun Wild in 5-4 Miracle Victory

The Nashville Predators struck with their most unbelievable comeback victory of the year with a 5-4 win where the Preds came back from two three-goal deficits including finding the net three times in the last 3:21 of the game.

The Preds scored four times in the final period with two goals from Mike Fisher, including the game-tying goal and the game winner, and single goals from Patric Hornqvist and Brandon Yip. Matt Halischuk had the other Predator goal in the second period when the team was down 3-1.

Pekka Rinne did not have his best game but held firm when it counted stopping 21 of 25 Wild shots to pick up his tenth win in a row. Josh Harding was the hard luck loser for the Wild, giving up five goals on 30 shots.

Dany Heatley had two goals in the losing effort and Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak added single goals in what appeared to be an easy win for the Wild.

The victory moved the Predators to 66 points and fourth place in the Western Conference, a point behind Detroit, who was playing at Calgary.

Make the jump for more details and a few comments from the couch...

Fifty Years of Nashville Hockey Documentary to Air on FS TN

The recently completed documentary entitled "Gold Record: 50 Years of Hockey History in Music City" will debut on Fox Sports Tennessee next Tuesday, February 7, at 6 p.m. just prior to the Vancouver Canucks at Nashville game.

It is a great historical piece that brings to light the long history of hockey in Nashville and features many local folks that you know relating their experiences.

Make the Jump for details as well as future airing dates...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Odds Update On Goalie Wins and Leading Goal Scorer in NHL

A couple of the more interesting proposition bets on the board in at the Harvey's SportsBook in Lake Tahoe were for regular season goalie wins and the leading goal scorer (Rocket Richard Trophy Winner).

Here are the latest odds with he current numbers in parenthesis...

Bridgestone Arena Nominated for 2011 ACM Venue of the Year

Nashville's Bridgestone Arena was nominated for the 2011 Academy of Country Music Venue of the Year. The awards continue to roll in for the folks at 501 Broadway. Make the jump for the full release from Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators...

Pekka Rinne Named NHL Second Star of the Week

Not unexpectedly, Pekka Rinne was named the NHL's second star of the week for last week as he extended his winning streak to nine games with two wins in two days before the All-Star break.

Make the jump for the full story from the NHL...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An All-Star Weekend Look Back: Stanley Cup Winner and NHL Awards

On Thursday, we took a look at our preseason picks in the Eastern Conference and yesterday we looked at how we were faring in the Western Conference.

To wrap up the three part series, we will look at how we are faring with our playoff picks as well as our NHL Award winners.

Here's what we had to say in the East...

The Odds Finally Went Up on the Board in Lake Tahoe

I will reveal my pick on Sunday before the game.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, January 27, 2012

Updated Odds for the NHL Stanley Cup from Lake Tahoe

This morning, we were somewhat surprised that the odds were yet to be posted for Sunday's NHL All-Star Game. The excuse given was they did not like the selection method for the teams.

In the meantime, here are the latest odds to win the 2012 Stanley Cup straight off the big boards at Harvey's Sportsbook in Lake Tahoe.

New York Rangers          4/1
Boston Bruins                 5/1
Chicago Blackhawks 11/2
Vancouver Canucks          6/1
St. Louis Blues                 6/1
San Jose Sharks                9/1
Detroit Red Wings           10/1
Washington Capitals        15/1
Pittsburgh Penguins          18/1
Philadelphis Flyers           18/1
Los Angeles Kings          20/1
Colorado Avalanche        25/1
Nashville Predators          28/1
New Jersey Devils           30/1
Ottawa Senators              30/1
Toronto Maple Leafs       35/1
Minnesota Wild 35/1
Florida Panthers              40/1
Calgary Flames              60/1
Dallas Stars                    60/1
Phoenix Coyotes 70/1
Tampa Bay Lightning       75/1
Winnipeg Jets                 75/1
Montreal Canadiens        75/1
Buffalo Sabres               75/1
Anaheim Ducks 100/1
Edmonton Oilers 200/1
New York Islanders      200/1
Carolina Hurricanes       275/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 500/1

Well have more later with some the odds on goalies to lead in wins, goal leaders, and hopefully, the line on Sunday's All-Star Game.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

An All-Star Weekend Look Back: Western Conference

Yesterday, we looked back at our preseason predictions for the Eastern Conference and today we head to the Western Conference where we should have been able to do a better job due to familiarity with the Predators' opponents.

This has been an odd year in the West, where no one would have predicted that four of the top five records in the West and four of the top seven in the NHL at the break would come out of the Central Division. The potential was there but the reality is still hard to digest.

1.Detroit Red Wings (6) In spite of our lowly preseason predictions no one could doubt the Wings chances to win the Western Conference. The Wings' 20-2-1 record at home is phenomenal but will not be repeated down the stretch. It is still anyone's guess as to who will win the Central and the West.

2. Vancouver Canucks (1) As it turns out, the Nucks have little competition in the Northwest and the Wild are dropping like a rock. Unless Colorado makes a run, it is possible that Vancouver is the only playoff team out of the division.

3. San Jose Sharks (4) I expected great things out of the Kings that have not happened (yet) but also felt that the Sharks would push for the top spot in the Pacific Division. San Jose has the best road records in the league and could win the division if they improve their play on home ice, where they have excelled in the past.

4. St. Louis Blues (8) The Blues were not bad under Davis Payne but have been unbelievable under Ken Hitchcock. It is one of the biggest turn-rounds in the NHL in recent history.  The team had all the pieces in place at the start of the year but Hitchcock has been masterful in making the team click.

5. Nashville Predators (3) Anything that I would say at this point would raise allegations of bias but I predicted that the Preds would win the division and I will stand by that. Pekka Rinne is hitting his (career) stride, going 18-2-0 in his last 20 decisions. The team has balanced scoring with nine players with ten or more goals. David Poile promised a better second half so the Western Conference title and the President's Trophy is not out of reach. Ryan Suter will stay with the team and more assets will be added before the trade deadline.

6. Chicago Blackhawks (5) The Hawks have a fantastic team and have rebounded from their Stanley Cup hangover season. They have all the pieces in place to go deep in the playoffs. They currently are experiencing the injury bug but will be back to full strength in the near future.

7. Los Angeles Kings (2) The Kings are my most disappointing team in the West for the second year in a row. I have been predicting greatness for this team that is yet to occur. They are only two points behind the Sharks and have played well on the road. I maintain that they will win the Pacific ang grab the third seed.

8. Minnesota Wild (12) The Wild were an early season sensation but are 3-6-1 in their last ten and are suffering from the injury bug. I maintain that my preseason slot is close to where they will end up. The next couple of weeks will determine if they are buyers or sellers at the deadline.

9. Colorado Avalanche (15) The Avs have exceeded expectations but are still a ways away from a playoff berth. They have plenty of young talent and will not finish last in the West as I predicted but will not make the playoffs. It will be interesting to see what they do at the deadline as far as acquiring additional talent to build for the future. I hope they send Shane O'Brien back to the Predators.

10. Dallas Stars (11) In spite of a great run early in the year, the Stars are headed for a position more in line with the talent that they have. In the long run, they are a team that should improve in the future but it will not be in the second half of this season.

11. Calgary Flames (9) Of all the teams currently on the outside looking in, the Flames may be the one team that makes a move late in the year for a playoff position. Playing in the Northwest, I would put them as the second team in if they can finish in front of Dallas and Phoenix. Much will depend on what moves they make at the deadline.

12. Phoenix Coyotes (10) I felt that the Yotes would miss the playoffs for the first time in three years and still do but for different reasons. The long-time ordeal of ownership in the desert may finally be starting to take it's toll on the players since it appears that they will be on the move to Seattle, Las Vegas, or who knows where. The fans in Phoenix are the real losers but credit Gary Bettman for doing everything possible to keep the team in Glendale.

13. Anaheim Ducks (7) The mystery team in the West has to be the Ducks. After finishing fourth last season, they finished flat on their face coming out of the gates and managed to pick up Bruce Boudreau as the new skipper after Randy Carlilse was fired. The team is finally playing well and should finish strong. They are 12 points out of a playoff spot so it would take an incredible run to get in but my bet is that they will come close but not make it in.

14. Edmonton Oilers (14) The Oil are where they we expected them to be in spite of a strong start and a good early run by Nikolai Khabibulin. They have plenty of young talent but appear destined for another high draft pick.

15. Columbus Blue Jackets (13) The BJ's have proven to be the doormat of the NHL and despite spending up to the cap in the offseason they have less to show for it than any of the other 29 teams. The Jacket fans are planning a rally on Saturday to protest and they should.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weber and Suter to Face Each Other in 2012 NHL All-Star Game

When the puck drops on Sunday's 2012 NHL All-Star Game, Nashville Predators Captain Shea Weber and Alternate Captain Ryan Suter will be on opposing teams for the first time in an official competition since the 2010 Winter Olympics Gold Medal game.

Weber and Suter were back to back picks on Thursday night at the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. Shea Weber was taken in the eighth round by Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara countered with the next pick in the ninth round grabbing Suter.

Chara had the first pick in the draft and took Pavel Datsyuk while Alfredsson took his teammate and hometown favorite Erik Karlsson.

I am at the Harvey's Casino Sportsbook in Lake Tahoe and they have yet to post the odds on the game but if I was handicapping, I would say that Chara has a better squad but with Alfredson grabbing  all of his hometown players, there will be a distinct home ice advantage for the Ottawans. I'm thinking that they will be a slight favorite.

Predator Craig Smith who will participate in the rookie skills competition on Saturday was chosen by Team Alfredsson.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

An All-Star Weekend Look Back: Eastern Conference

Today we begin our annual All-Star Weekend look back at our preseason predictions to see how we have fared with our guesswork. We will start today with the Eastern Conference, then take on the Western Conference on Friday, and then look at our playoff and award prognostications on the weekend.

We will take the teams in order of the current standings at the break and put our prediction in parenthesis.

1. New York Rangers (5) In the preseason we said “This could be the year that the Rangers move from being a borderline playoff team to a contender.” The Rangers have remained healthy and have gotten a good array of scoring, with Marion Gaborik leading the pack with 25 goals.  Martin Biron has been great as the backup to Henrik Lundqvist, allowing him to take a few more games off to conserve energy. The Rangers will have their work cut out for them to remain at the top of the Atlantic Division for the rest of the year.

2. Boston Bruins (3) The expectation was for the Bruins to repeat as Northeast Division Champs and at this point they appear to be well on their way to doing so. After a slow start, they have played as well as anyone in the NHL and should cruise to a top seed in the playoffs. Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask have actually played better than their record setting season last year.

3. Washington Capitals (1) I really expected that this would be the year for the Caps and could never have expected the turmoil that led to Bruce Boudreau's firing.  The team appears to have righted their ship and should win the Southeast Division rather handily. It is unfortunate that Mike Green will probably not see much action for the as he was an important cog in their defense and would help them go further in the playoffs.

4. Philadelphia Flyers (4) Even without Chris Pronger, the Flyers have performed about as we expected. We had concerns about Ilya Bryzgalov “falling into the black hole” that seems to engulf netminders in Philadelphia and while he has not fallen completely in, he has danced around the edge. Sergei Bobrowski has been a lifesaver for the Flyers at times.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (2) Sidney Crosby was a point and a half per game player when he played but unfortunately, he only made the lineup eight times.  Evgeni Malkin is making a strong push for the Hart Trophy as he has been carrying the team on his back in recent weeks. James Neal was a great addition last season and is paying full dividends even without Crosby. The team should make the playoffs but their ability to go deep will rest on Crosby's return.

6. Ottawa Senators (15) “Little hope to escape the cellar in the East” was my preseason prediction for the Sens. They have had a great run but I'm still not convinced that they are a playoff team. Craig Anderson has been great as have their cast of “All-Star” performers. I doubt that the team will do as well down the stretch and put their chance for the postseason at 50-50.

7. Florida Panthers (14) The Cats are the other big surprise of the year and I will firmly predict that they will not make the playoffs unless they have a big injection of talent at the trade deadline. Kevin Dineen has performed miracles by bringing all the imported players together to make a team that performed well for a while but the smoke and mirrors that they have used so far will cease to work when the playoff push gets serious.

8. New Jersey Devils (9) The biggest challenge facing the Devils down the stretch will be their divisional opponents. However, like the Central Division in the West, I do expect the Atlantic to sneak four teams into the playoffs with the Devils bringing up the rear. Johan Hedberg has been a lifesaver, playing well enough to give Marty Brodeur a few games off to save himself for later in the year.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (10) At this point, I predict that the Leafs will be the team to move into the top eight and  bump out the Panthers or the Sens. They have been a marginally competitive team so far but I don't expect Brian Burke to be sitting on his hands at the deadline. I predict that Toronto will be one of the more active trade partners in the next five weeks for better or worse.

10. Winnipeg Jets (12) The Peggers have been great at home and have been one of the fun stories of the season but are horrible on the road, winning only seven games so far. As the season wears on, the travel will wear on them as well. It is too bad that the re-alignment has been delayed, returning them to Southeast Division purgatory for another year next season.

11. Tampa Bay Lightning (6) The Bolts have been one of the bigger disappointments of the year in the NHL. They have played well at home but have been miserable on the road. Their reliance on the aging Dwayne Roloson as the number one goalie caught up with them and Mathieu Garon is a quality backup but cannot lead them to the promised land this season. Picking up a goalie at the trade deadline will help the future but will be too little, too late, this season.

12. Montreal Canadiens (8) The Habs have had an unexpected fall from grace and it has truly been a team effort. I had predicted that they were the best of a group below the top seven in the East and I was way off base. Little has gone right for the team and the fans have turned on them. They will be sellers at the deadline and hopefully will be able to pick up a few assets for the future.

13. New York Islanders (13) The Isles are exactly where I predicted them to be but have made strides lately with Evgeni Nabokov in net. Despite being in a tough division, I think that they will finish higher than their current position at season's end.

14. Buffalo Sabres (7) I predicted that “Lindy Ruff may have his toughest test yet” before the year started and was not a believer in buying a team, but I had no idea that things could go this wrong. Ever since Milan Lucic nailed Ryan Miller the Sabres have been in a tailspin and I don't see a soft landing. They will be sellers at the deadline and Ruff will survive the fall and be back next year.

15. Carolina Hurricanes (11) The Canes have been worse than expected and after seeing them in person, I can honestly say that they are indeed not very good. Injuries have not helped their situation and hopefully they can pick up a few assets at the deadline.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 3, Blackhawks 1

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...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Predators Move into Third in the Central with 3-1 Win over Hawks

The Nashville Predators bent but did not break as the Chicago Blackhawks did everything they could to try to come back and beat the Nashville Predators with a big third period push at the United Center on Tuesday night.

Nashville survived the pressure and came away with a 3-1 win that moved them ahead of the Blackhawks into third place with 64 points in the highly contested Central Division. The Predators entered the All-Star break just three points behind division leading Detroit and a point behind the St. Louis Blues, who picked up a point earlier in the evening in a shoot-out loss to Pittsburgh.

Nashville got first period goals from Craig Smith and Mike Fisher and carried the 2-0 lead into the final period. Dave Bolland cut the lead in half at 7:20 in the third and the Hawks were like sharks smelling blood for the remainder of the contest.

Colin Wilson's empty net power play goal with 13 seconds remaining sealed the victory.

The real hero of the game was Pekka Rinne, who stopped 24 of 25 Hawk shots and withstood many other scoring chances. Corey Crawford was much better than he was last Saturday in Nashville as he stopped all but two of the Predators 26 shots.

Rinne extended his own team record of eight wins in a row and is now 18-2-0 in his last 20 decisions.

With the exception of All-Stars Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, and Craig Smith, the rest of the team will have some much needed time off before they regroup at Centennial Sportsplex next Monday to prepare for Tuesday's game in Minnesota.

Make the jump for more details and comments from the couch...

Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks: Pre-Game Primer


7:30 p.m. CST   TV: Fox Sports Tennessee.  Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

The Predators continue on their amazing run and make one last pit stop on the road in Chicago to play the Blackhawks before getting some deserved time off over the All-Star break. The Predators are 9-2-0 in January while Chicago has cooled slightly and are 5-4-2 for the month. With a regulation win, the Preds could move past the Hawks in the standings and into third place in the Central Division.

Make the jump for everything else...

The Morning After Round-Up: Nashville 4, Columbus 1

Last night's Predators' game with Columbus ended the season series with the Blue Jackets with Nashville picking up 11 of a possible 12 points against their divisional rivals with the only blemish being an overtime loss where the 17 game home winning streak against the Jackets was snapped.

The Predators played well in the first and last period against Columbus with a loss of intensity in the middle period that was revived with 29 seconds left with Mike Fisher's second goal on the power play.

Matt Halischuk and Ryan Suter played well in their returns and Suter appeared to be at 100%. Pekka Rinne was outstanding as usual as he has now gone 17-2 in his last 19 starts.

The Predators just completed a critical stretch with 14 home games since December 10 and re-established home ice dominance with a 12-2 run after going 4-5-3 at home to star the season.

Nashville remains in the thick of the Central Division race but are still five points behind Detroit, who like the Preds, are 8-2-0 in their last ten games. As of this morning, four of the top seven records in the league are held by Central Division teams.

The Preds will have a chance to pull ahead of the Blackhawks with a win in Chicago tonight.

Here is our Goo-Goo game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Goo-Goo Game Winner by Mike Fisher Leads Predators to 4-1 Win

For 25 home contests, fans in Smashville flocked, in record numbers, to Bridgestone Arena with the anticipation that the Nashville Predators would score in the last minute of the second period and that everyone in the building would receive a free Goo-Goo Cluster.

Twenty-five times, fans went home without the scrumptious treat that is made with "real milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts and marshmallow nougat."

All that changed on Monday night in the Predators 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mike Fisher picked up a rebound off of a Shea Weber slap shot and slipped it past goalie Steve Mason for a power play goal with 29 seconds remaining in the second period to reward the 14,310 folks in attendance with the long awaited Goo-Goo Goal.

The higher probability for the deed was set in motion with two minutes remaining in the period when Columbus was called for two many men on the ice giving the Predators the man advantage for the remainder of the period.

Anticipation was building as the clock ticked toward the one minute mark. Hearts stopped when Marty Erat banged a shot off the crossbar as the one minute mark was approaching. Many thought that the puck had crossed the red line and that the goal would come prematurely, before the magical 60 second mark.

Barry Trotz Speaks after Nashville's 4-1 Win over Columbus

  To be continued... More Goo-Goo goodness to come.

 More Later...

 Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Monday, January 23, 2012

Columbus Blue Jackets an Nashville Predators: Pre-Game Primer

Tonight's game between the Predators and the Blue Jackets is "Service Industry Night" anyone can get half price tickets by going here and use the offer code "service". For additional information, go here.


7:00 p.m. CST   TV: Fox Sports Tennessee.  Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

For the second time in a week, the Predators are playing the Columbus Blue Jackets, this time in Music City. Were it not for the intensity of of the Western Conference race, this could be considered somewhat of a "trap" game but I do believe that Barry Trotz has the attention of the entire team that there will not be any evenings off for the rest of the season. Expect the Blue Jackets to make a valiant effort but the Predators depth should prevail in the end.

Make the jump for everything else...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 5, Blackhawks 2

Saturday night's 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks was a big win for the Predators who are trying to run with the pack in the unbelievable Central Division that is dominating the NHL this season. The fact that they improved their intra-division record to 9-2-2 is astounding.

The Blackhawks were at a distinct disadvantage coming into the game having played the night before and then running in to trouble getting out of Chicago after the game. However, the Predators did play a solid sixty minute game and held the Hawks to only two shots in the opening period.

The game was tied heading into the second period but an odd dump in goal by Kevin Klein at 5:15 in the middle stanza seemed to break the spirit of Hawks goalie Corey Crawford and he continued to look shaky until he was pulled after Sergei Kostitsyn's goal at 16:03 that extended the Preds lead to 4-1.

Pekka Rinne continued his stellar play and is now 16-2-0 since December 8.

The Predators have Sunday off and then complete their pre-All-Star game slate with Columbus at the Bridgestone on Monday and then a trip to play the Hawks again in Chicago on Tuesday.

Here is our game story from last night, Barry Trotz's postgame presser, and a video and comment from Kostitsyn on his highlight reel shot.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Sergei Kostitsyn Comments on His Highlight Reel Goal in Preds' Win

The play of the game in Nashville's 5-2 win over Chicago came late in the second period when Mike Fisher sent a pass to Sergei Kostitsyn who drove in one on one against Blackhawks' goalie, Corey Crawford.

Kostitsyn showed great patience by waiting for Crawford to commit and then shooting at an almost open net  from a sharp angle to put the Preds up 4-1. Crawford was replaced by Ray Emery after the goal.

Kostitsyn gave full credit to Preds' goalie coach Mich Korn. "Our goalie coach showed us video before the game so I kind of know what he's going to do, so I tried to do what other people that scored on him did."

Kostitsyn also had an assist on Craig Smith's power play goal in the opening period. He also connected on another goal earlier in the contest that was disallowed due to having been played with a high stick.

Kostitsyn has now scored seven goals on ten shots during the month of January and has 12 goals and 14 assists for the season.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Predators Take Advantage of Tired Blackhawks with Balanced Attack in 5-2 Win

The Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 to improve their record against Central Division teams to 9-2-2 for the season.

Chicago was noticeably tired as they beat Florida 3-1 on Friday night and were delayed getting to Nashville due to the snowstorm that pummeled the Midwest.

There was a playoff-like atmosphere at Bridgestone Arena with a huge contingent of Chicago fans that were raucous before the game started with their traditional cheering during the national anthem .

Coach Barry Trotz appeared to enjoy the visitor's presence. "I don’t know if we came out with more intensity but the building was ramped up from the get go and that doesn’t hurt the home team. I know that. It means this is a good rivalry and Nashville is a great destination to come to."

Barry Trotz Speaks After Nashville's 5-2 Win over Chicago

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, January 20, 2012

Adam Jahns Previews the Preds-Hawks Game on Smashville on the Glass Radio (Podcast)

This week on Smashville on the Glass Radio we had Adam Jahns, Blackhawk's beat writer for the Chicago Sum-Time on as our special guest to give us all the information we need to know about the Hawks as we head into tomorrow's big game at Bridgestone Arena.

Adam talked about this year's team and how they have come back from last year's post Stanley Cup letdown to be of the top teams in the league once again this season. We talked about their new players and what we should expect to see tomorrow night.

We also had Amanda DiPaolo as our special co-host since Ryan Port was on assignment. Amanda and I discussed a wide variety of Predator related issue that you will find interesting.

Listen in the following player or go to Blog Talk Radio or iTunes to download...

Listen to internet radio with SmashvilleOnTheGlass on Blog Talk Radio

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Morning Alter Round-Up: Predators 3, Jackets 0

The Nashville Predators beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 at Nationwide Arena last night with a very workman-like effort from the opening puck drop until the clock wound down at the end of play.

Pekka Rinne was outstanding as he stopped all 38 Columbus shots. It was Rinne's fourth shut out of the season and the 24th of his career. He is 15-2-0 since December 8 when his run started in the tremendous comeback in Columbus.

When the Predators scored in the second period, they had gone in excess of six periods without a goal since Ryan Suter left Monday's game against the Islanders.

The Predators are scheduled for practice this morning at Centenial Sportsplex at 11 a.m. You may want to check Twitter for updates before you trek downtown as it seems like one that could become optional.

Here is our game story from last night and 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)
Jim Diamond (Preds.com)

Digital Media...

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)
Dirk Hoag (On The Forecheck)
Kris Martel (Predatorial)

Columbus Media...

Columbus Dispatch
The Dark Blue Jacket
The Cannon

Audio from the Predators comes from....

Coach Barry Trotz
Mike Fisher
Marty Erat

From  Columbus, we hear from...

Coach Todd Richards
Derick Brassard
Antoine Vermette
Ryan Johansen

Three Stars of the Game...

1. Pekka Rinne
2. Marty Erat
3. Antoine Vermette

Highlights come from NHL.com....

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rinne Holds Firm and Throws a 3-0 Shutout at The Blue Jackets

Despite a 38 shot Columbus barrage, including 18 in the final period, Pekka Rinne stopped everything that came his way as he picked up his fourth shutout of the year as he led the Nashville Predators to a 3-0 victory at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night.

Marty Erat and Mike Fisher scored second period goals that would have been plenty but as time was ticking down and the Preds were on the penalty kill, Shea Weber launched a shot 160 feet into the Jackets empty net to rub salt into the open Columbus wound.

Columbus played as well as they have in any of the games against the Predators this season and put pressure on Rinne and the Preds' defense all evening. Rinne made save after save all evening on plenty of Jacket scoring chances.

Steve Mason was the hard luck loser for the Jackets as there was little he could do with either of the two shots that found his net as he stopped 23 of 25 Nashville shots.

When the game ended, Nashville had 58 points and were still in sixth place but had pulled within four points of the Western Conference leading Blackhawks.

The Predators returned home immediately after the game and will play the Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

Postgame Audio from the Columbus PR Department comes from Barry Trotz, Mike Fisher, and Marty Erat.

Make the jump for more detail and a few comments from the couch...

Predators Simplify Saturday $10 Ticket Policy

If you haven't been to Bridgestone Arena lately, you may or may not know that almost every game is a sellout. The Predators have sold out nine of their last ten home contests and 14 of 24 for the season.

The game that did not sell out last Thursday against Colorado was a couple of hundred tickets shy on a night when schools had been called off and all the local media outlets were fear-mongering that folks should not leave their house. Under the circumstances, it was amazing that 16, 905 people were willing to risk life and limb to get their hockey fix.

Bridgestone Arena has been averaging 16,712 per game for a 97.7% of capacity rate, which was unimaginable before COO Sean Henry took control and made filling the building the job of every employee. The Preds are well on their way to breaking the records of 20 sell outs and an average of 16,600, with both marks being set in the first couple of years of the franchise.

With all that being said, the demand for the 100 special day of game tickets for $10 has exploded. After the jump, you will find a new plan being implemented by the team to provide a more equitable solution to the distribution of those tickets that does not require camping out or lining up at the crack of dawn...

Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets: Pre-Game Primer


6:00 p.m. CST   TV: Fox Sports Tennessee.  Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

Anytime the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets hook up, expect to see fireworks. Tonight's game will be no different in spite of the lop-sided look on paper. The Predators should not feel potential effect of a "trap" game as they are coming off a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday and Columbus is a special rivalry for them. On the flip side, the Blue Jackets do not dislike any team as much as the Predators. It should be an exciting game to say the least.

Make the jump for everything else...

Predators Pick Up Brandon Yip on Waivers

In somewhat of a surprise move, the Nashville Predators claimed Brandon Yip off of the waiver wire this morning from the Colorado Avalanche. Yip has played little this season due to multiple trips to injured reserve but has been a quality player for the Avs over the last couple of years.

They also activated Jerred Smithson from injured reserve for tonight's game in Columbus.

Make s the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Predators Return to the Scene of the Crime in Columbus

On December 8, 2011 a criminal act took place in front of 13,852 people at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus but no charges were filed.

Toward the end of the hockey game being held there that night, the Blue Jackets looked assured of a rare victory over the visiting Nashville Predators. Columbus had led the entire game was leading 3-1 with under two minutes left in the contest.

The beginning of the crime started with 96 seconds left in the game when Patric Hornqvist put a shot past Curtis Sanford. With 13 seconds left on the clock, Sergei Kostitsyn, with the Predators on the power play, scored a marker to send the the game to overtime.

The crime was finished off 1:45 into overtime when Colin Wilson put a wrister into the net to steal the 4-3 win for the visiting Preds in one of the most dramatic changes of events in team history.

The game was another oddity in the long domination that Nashville has had over Columbus in their eleven season divisional rivalry. The Predators have dominated the series 47-14-(4)-2 and are 29-5-3 since the 2006-7 season.

The Predators had won an amazing 17 games in a row against the Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena when the streak came to a grinding halt on November 19 of this season when Columbus beat Nashville 4-3 in overtime.

Once again, tonight, Columbus is ripe for the picking when the Predators hit the ice as they have won eight of their last ten and 14 of their last 19 games. Their 3-0 loss to the best team in the NHL, the New York Rangers on Tuesday, was not a 'bad" loss for the team.

With Ryan Suter injured and Pekka Rinne taking the night off, it was like playing a top team with one hand tied behind their back. There is little reason to believe that the Predators should not pick up where they left off and start a new win streak in spite of the continuing absence of Suter.

Columbus has had nothing go their way this season. Entering the year, they had high hopes with free agent acquisitions Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski, and Vinny Prospal ready to bolster their line-up and hopefully send them to the playoffs. The downside of the signings is that they have almost no cap space remaining to shore up problems.

Before the season started Wisniewski was suspended for ten games and ex-Pred Mark Dekanich, who was set to back up Steve Mason in net, was injured and is yet to play his first game as a Jacket.

Most folks will point to Steve Mason as being the root of the problem in Columbus. In 2008-09 Mason led the team to the playoffs and won the Calder Trophy and went 33-20-7 with 10 shutouts. The Jackets extended his contract at almost $3 million a year through 2013 expecting more of the same.

What they have gotten is a not ready for NHL player who has hit rock bottom this season going 5-16-2, 3.46, .882. Curtis Sanford (8-10-3, 2.54, .912) has been the only thing that has kept the team from being even worse.

Columbus has the worst record in hockey with only 31 points, six less than the Anaheim Ducks. The team stuck with coach Scott Arneil until he was fired on January 9 and replaced with interim coach, Todd Richards. The team is 2-2 under Richards and can do nothing but improve on the season's dismal first half.

You really have to feel bad for the Columbus faithful who have waited for eleven seasons for things to get better to only find the worst team in franchise history with little hope indicate that things are better on the horizon.

Pekke Rinne (24-11-4, 2.50, .922) is expected to be back in net for tonight's 6:30 p.m. puck drop. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Tennessee and can be heard on the Predators Radio Network. The team will return to Nashville after the game to prepare for Saturday's match with the Chicago Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Chris Mueller Re-Assigned to Milwaukee

It was not a surprise to anyone that Chris Mueller was sent back to Milwaukee on Wednesday by the Nashville Predators. He was a healthy scratch on Tuesday in the game against the New York Rangers and Craig Smith returned to the line-up from his illness.

Mueller is a highly valuable player to the Preds organization. He can play any forward position and can fit on any line if needed. He can be ready to jump in with the Predators with a moment's notice as he has done several times.

Barry Trotz indicated that he has full trust in Mueller and compared him to Vern Fiddler after last Saturday's game. Mueller will represent the Admirals at the AHL All-Star game later this month.

Make the jump for the full press release from the Predators...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

POTG Has Gone Black to Protest SOPA

PredsOnTheGlass.com has joined many other web sites around the world for a 24 hour blackout on January 18, 2012 from 12:01 AM until Midnight CST. Here is more information on "The Web Going on Strike" which includes a place for you to join the protest.

This site has been "blocked" in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) two bills which will allow the government censor the intenet. Find out more at americancensorship.org or the video below. 

Update: Legislative Sponsors in Washington are Jumping Ship

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rangers Stymie Predators in 3-0 Win

The Nashville Predators headed into New York to play the Rangers, who have the best record in hockey, without two members of their "big three" and the result was somewhat predictable. The Predators five game winning streak was snapped in a 3-0 loss.

Henrik Lundqvist put on a perfect performance, stopping all 27 Predator shots. Dan Girardi, John Mitchell, and Ryan Callahan provided all the offense that was needed for the blue shirts.

Anders Linback was the hard luck loser, stopping 26 of 28 Ranger shots. Lindback performed admirably on the world biggest stage at Madison Square Gardens and was not responsible for the loss on a night when the Preds failed to put a puck in the net.

A major missing cog for the Predators was Ryan Suter, especially on the power play. The Predators were blanked on both of their two man-advantage attempts and only managed one shot. Shea Weber tried to make up for his partner's absence, firing five shots and making four hits but it was to no avail.

The Predators stayed in New York for the evening and planned to make the short flight to Columbus on Wednesday morning to prepare for Thursday night's match with the Blue Jackets.

Make the jump for more details from the game along with a few comments from the couch.

Kenny Albert Previews Rangers-Preds Game on RLD Hockey Talk (Podcast)

New York Rangers play by play guy, Kenny Albert was our guest on today's episode of RLD Hockey Talk and gave plenty of insight into tonight's Rangers and Predators game. He also divulged a little known fact that he and Barry Trotz were roommates when they were with the Baltimore SkipJacks in the early '90's.

It is a show you don't want to miss and can be heard in the player below or at BlogTalkRadio or iTunes...

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Nashville Predators at the New York Rangers: Pre Game Primer


6:30 p.m. CST   TV: NBC Sports Network (no local TV).  Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

The Nashville Predators are playing as well as any team in the NHL, winning eight of their last nine games, and head into the biggest stage (Madison Square Gardens) in the nation's biggest city to play the original six, New York Rangers on national television. Both teams have excellent goaltending, good defense, score by committee and are well coached. You can't ask for a better match-up.

Make the jump for everything else...

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 3, Islanders 1

The Nashville Predators avoided the proverbial "trap" game on Long Island on Monday afternoon and jumped out to a 3-0 lead before most of the Islander faithful had a chance to get comfortable in their seats.

The only negatives to the game were Ryan Suter's re-aggravation to his lower body injury and Pekka Rinne losing a shutout with less than four minutes in the contest on a John Tavares goal.

Barry Trotz had great foresight in playing seven defensemen so even in spite of Suter leaving after the first period, none of the other D-men played more than Kevin Klein's 23:28. That should allow everyone to be fairly fresh for tonight's date with the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers.

Ryan Ellis continues to prove that he belongs in the NHL. He picked up an assist on Sergei Kostitsyn's goal and was +3 for the game. Kostitsyn now has six goals on eight shots and has added two assists in calender year 2012 which covers seven games, and he appears ready to produce as he did last season.

A key this year continues to be the balanced attack with the third and fourth lines contributing on par with the top six forwards. With plenty of scoring from Nick Spaling, Matt Halischuk, Jordin Tootoo and others, opponents can't focus on the top scoring lines or even Shea Wever and Suter.

The Predators will have a far bigger challenge this evening when the face the Rangers on NBC Sports Network (6:30 p.m. CST) and face a top team with a future Hall of Famer in goal. It is unclear if Rinne will return in net or if Trotz will play a hunch and go with Anders Lindback. We will have to wait and see how the cards fall.

Here is our game story from yesterday along with a few comments from the couch. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Predators Pick Up 3-1 Win on Long Island to Pull within Four Points of Conference Lead

The Nashville Predators beat the New York Islanders 3-1 in a special MLK holiday afternoon game at Veterans Coliseum on Long Island for their fifth win in a row.

The game was one that could only go badly for the Predators. The expectation against the lowly Isles was for a win, but a loss would have been disastrous as they try to keep pace in the tightly bunched Western Conference.

As the game ended, the Predators sat with 56 points and pulled within four points of the conference leading Chicago Blackhawks, who the Preds will play on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators hit the ice determined not to fall in a "trap" game situation. Barry Trotz had emphasized that he wanted a quick start and that's what he got.

The Predators received goals from Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt Halischuk, and David Legwand in the first 11:37 of play. In spite of improved play out of the Islanders in the second and third period, the Preds appeared headed for a shut out until John Tavares slipped one into the net with 3:58 left in the game.

Pekka Rinne picked up his 24th win of the season stopping 36 of 37 Islander shots. Rookie Kevin Poulin gave up three goals on 32 Nashville shots.

The Predators packed up and headed to downtown Manhattan where they will meet the New York Rangers at Madison Square Gardens at 6:30 p.m. CST in a nationally televised game on the NBC Sports Network.

Make the jump for more details from the game as well as a few comments from the couch...

Predators 2011 Draftee Shalla Named OHL Player of the Week

Josh Shalla, who was chosen in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators, was named the OHL Player of the week today.

Make the jump for the release from the OHL with all the details on Shalla's week...

Nashville Predators at the New York Islanders: Pre Game Primer


Noon CST - TV: Fox Sports TN, MSG Plus, and NHL Network in Canada. Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

After surviving an ongoing dog fight in the Western Conference and winning 13 of their last 17 games, the Predators travel to New York to play the Islanders today and the Rangers tomorrow. With back to back games it would not be a complete surprise to see Anders Lindback in net this afternoon. No official announcements have been made.

Make the jump for everything else...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Could the Predators be Caught by a "Trap" on Long Island?

With the increased intensity in this year's Western Conference playoff race, is it possible for teams to lose focus against a lesser opponent and be stung by the proverbial "trap" game?

This season seems to be a little bit of a different beast. With so many teams in the conference playing at such a high level, it is difficult to believe that a team would not be focused on being point collectors in every game, regardless of the  opponent or circumstance.

Predators coach Barry Trotz was asked if today's game against the New York Islanders (16-20-6, 14th place in the East) would be considered a "trap" game.

"We're going to talk about it. Is it a trap game? Maybe, maybe not, I don't really know. I think the guys recognize that we're going on the road and just need points. At the same time you have to always respect your opponent. I think we've learned that lesson a couple of times this year."

In the Western Conference, where all fifteen clubs are good teams (except for maybe Columbus), there really are no glaring traps lying in wait. In retrospect, the Predators' worst losses of the season may have been at home against Buffalo, the home overtime loss to the Jackets, and a pair of losses to Edmonton.

Trotz started the education process on the Islanders while studying film with the squad in preparation for Saturday's game with the Flyers. The Flyer's previous game was with the Islanders so they got to see both teams at the same time.

"I was telling the guys yesterday, that the Islanders, that they were watching because they had just played each other, probably deserved to win that game."

Trotz gave a quick preview of what he expects to see from the Islanders this afternoon.

"The Islanders are a young club. Offensively, they are very good up front. They have a good power play and can hurt you. They may be a little under the radar but we are going to have to play our game, plain and simple."

Today's game is a special MLK holiday matinee with a Noon CST puck drop at the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum. The game will be shown locally on FS-TN and can be heard on the Predator Radio Network.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

The Afternoon After Round-Up: Predators 4, Flyers 2

Saturday night's Predators 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers was one of the more solid team efforts in a while and it came against a top team from the Eastern Conference.

The Predators did a great job of causing havoc for the Flyers in the neutral zone and never allowed them to play their game. On the offensive side, the Preds scored enough to win but wasted a ton of scoring chances by not being able to put the puck in the net.

Pekka Rinne had one of his better games of the year as he faced a team that has as many top scorers as any team in the NHL and turned away 36 of 38 Flyer shots.

While he did not make the scorecard, Ryan Ellis continued to impress and may make the move from the hotel to more long-term quarters in Smashville before too much longer.

The only negative of the night was that the race in the West never seems to let up. In spite of winning 13 of 17 and the last four in a row, the Preds are still in sixth place with 54 points and in fourth place in the division, four points behind St. Louis.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser. We also have video clips and explanations from Pekka Rinne and Ryan Ellis. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Pekka Rinne's Describes his Save of the Game in 4-2 Preds Win over Flyers

Early in the third period with the Nashville Predators leading 2-1, Pekka Rinne made a double save on a two on one breakaway that could have been a turning point in the game had the Philadelphia Flyers been able to convert and tie the contest.

The play began when Shea Weber lost the puck in the neutral zone to Claude Giroux who took off on a breakaway with Max Talbot with Ryan Suter doing his best to stay with the pair.

Here is how Rinne described the action

"It was two on one, Giroux and Talbot. Talbot had first crack at it and Giroux had the rebound and I was able to make those saves that were key saves at the time. I got a little bit lucky there too because on the second save he happened to hit it up in the air and it hit by glove so I got a little lucky there."

The Predators left on Sunday for New York where they will play the Islanders on Monday (noon) and the Rangers Tuesday (6:30 p.m.).

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Ryan Ellis Describes His Hip Check on Wayne Simmonds

One of the highlights of Saturday night's 4-2 victory by the Nashville Predators over the Philadelphia Flyers came early in the second period when the Flyer's Wayne Simmonds tried to make a move past Predators rookie, Ryan Ellis and Ellis delivered one of the more dramatic hip checks ever seen in Bridgestone Arena.

After the game, Ellis described the play. "It was kind of spur of the moment. He made a nice move to cut in and I just couldn't let him off the hook so I had to get in his way. I didn't think I could run him over so I had to get under him and since he's a big guy, he went over the top."

When asked if he had thrown a hip check that big before, Ellis replied, "When I was younger, I probably threw some bigger ones but it was a decent hit and I was fortunate enough to get in his way."

On the next shift, Ellis and Simmonds appeared to exchange works but according to Ellis if was all good. "I played against him in the OHL so it was a friendly thing. He's a nice guy and a great player too."

The play will probably get the most highlight play on the sports networks since Craig Smith's missed empty netter earlier this season. Ellis laughed when asked if he would be watching SportsCenter after the game. "I don't know if I get that in the hotel. Maybe, maybe not, I don't think I'll be up that late."

Ellis has really started to fit in well at the NHL level and has two goals and two assists in his first eight games with the Predators. His confidence level is also on the rise. "I'm starting to jump in the play a little more which is my game and I'm trying to contribute offensively as well as defensively so it's jut game by game getting a little more experience and a little more comfortable."

The Predators will travel to New York on Sunday and face the Islanders on Monday (noon) and the Rangers on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.).

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Predators Beat Flyers 4-2 as Spaling Extends Streak

The Nashville Predators showed up ready to play from the start of the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena and came away with a solid 4-2 win over one of the stronger teams in the Eastern Conference.

Games between teams that don't see each other but once or twice a year are tough for both squads as there is little in person knowledge. Nick Spaling discussed the preparation, "It's a lot of video and the coaches do the scouting and give us an in depth look at what they are about. We knew they were a skilled team with a lot of guys that can burn you one on one and four lines that can play."

The game started at a fast and furious pace, with both teams putting six shots on net in the first 4:15 in plenty of back and fourth action. Spaling confirmed that the team was ready to go hard at the start. "I think we came out ready to go today, and the game plan was to throw a lot of pucks on net. We were focused on a quick transition and just tried to play deep in their end."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Barry Trotz Speaks after Nashville's 4-2 Win over Philadelphia

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Chris Mueller Recalled by Preds for Game with Flyers

Chis Mueller was a late recall for the Nashville Predators as they prepare to take on the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The move was made necessary by an illness to Rookie Craig Smith. Jerred Smithson was placed on injured reserve to make room for Mueller.

Makes the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Philadelphia Flyers at Nashville Predators: Pre-Game Primer


7:00 CST - TV: Fox Sports TN, TCN Philadelphia. Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

After surviving an ongoing dog fight in the Western Conference and winning 12 of their last 16 games, the Predators beginning a three game set in four days against Eastern teams starting with tonight's contest with the Flyers.

Make the jump for everything else...

Predators Ready To Play Eastern Teams for Next Three Games

After being in a constant dog fight with rivals, trying to keep pace in the tightly bunched Western Conference race, the Nashville Predators will take on teams for the East for the next three games starting with tonight's game with the Philadelphia Flyers at Bridgestone Arena.

The Preds will then travel to New York for games with the Islanders on Monday (noon) and with the Rangers on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.). This will be the second time this year that they have played three Eastern opponents in a row after Montreal, Washington, and Toronto visited in November with the Preds picking up five of six points.

The Preds are 4-2-2 against the East this year including 4-1-1 at home. The Preds and Flyers will play again in Philadelphia on February 2. Nashville is 5-6-(3)-0 all time against the Flyers and 2-2-2 on home ice.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sarah Baicker Guests on This Week's Smashville on the Glass (Podcast)

Sarah Baicker from CSN Philly joined Ryan and Buddy on this weeks Smashville on the Glass radio show to preview Saturday's game between the Predators and the Flyers. She also gave plenty on inside insight to all things Winter Classic, HBO's 24/7, as well as looking in to the psyche of Flyers goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov.

The show also includes a discussion of the Predators recent success, all-star nominations, and a look at the upcoming trade deadline with chat could happen with Ryan Suter.

Listen to the show in the player below or go to BlogTalkRadio or iTunes to download...

Listen to internet radio with SmashvilleOnTheGlass on Blog Talk Radio

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Afternoon After Round-Up:Predators 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)

Thursday night's game against Colorado was a huge win for the Predators on  several levels:

  • Predators stayed in sixth place and within five points of the Central Division lead in spite of being in fourth place.
  • Preds have reclaimed home ice, going 9-2-0 after starting the year 4-7-3.
  • After losing back to back with Dallas, they won back to back from another team on the playoff cusp
  • The team never rattled when they were down 2-0 early and continued their trend of Thursday comebacks
  • David Legwand stepped up huge with his two goals.
  • Sergei Kostitsyn continued to shoot (and talk to the media).
  • In spite of breaking their eight game sell out streak, they were within a couple of hundred of a sell out on a night when schools had already closed for the week.

So now the team looks east with three straight games against Eastern Conference opponents with Philadelphia at Bridgestone on Saturday and games in New York at the Islanders on Monday (noon) and Rangers on Tuesday (6:30). It will be interesting to see what they do with strange opponents. I smell a sweep.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Halischuk's Persistence Sparks Predator Turnaround in 3-2 OT Win

The Nashville Predators met the Colorado Avalanche for the second time in three night and the first periods of the two games were almost exact opposites. On Tuesday, in Denver, the Predators jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on the remainder of the game and brought home a 4-1 victory.

On Thursday night, at the Bridgestone Arena, the Avalanche jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the contest on a pair of goals that Pekka Rinne would have loved to have had back. It appeared to be a case of deja vu with a 180 degree turn in results from the prior game.

The Predators never gave up and made a complete turnaround in the second period. After being outshot 15-7 in the first period, they poured on the pressure for the remainder of the contest with 28 shots compared to Colorado's 14.

Barry Trotz Speaks After Nashville's 3-2 OT Win over Colorado

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NHL All-Stars Include Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Craig Smith

Nashville Predators team officials announced that three Preds will participate in the Tim Horton's All-Star Weekend activities in Ottawa from January 26-29 with the centerpiece being the game itself on Sunday Jan 29 at 3 p.m. CST (NBC Sports Network).

Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were named to the primary Roster while Craig Smith was placed on the Rookie roster, primarily to participate in the NHL Skills Competition on January 28 at 6 p.m.

Weber was a hands down favorite to be named to the squad and is a leading contender for the Norris Trophy. After a bit of a slow start he has come on strong and has 9 goals and 21 assists in 38 games. He is a +13 and is fourth in the league in ice time (26.19).

Weber participated in the last two All-Star games that have been held in 2009 (Montreal) and 2011 (Carolina) and has done well in the hardest shot skills completion finishing second (104.8) to Zdeno Chara last year. In last year's game he chipped in with four assists. Weber also went as a rookie in 2007 (Dallas).

Suter caries credentials similar to Weber but has often been overlooked by folks outside of Smashville and is well deserving of the bid. He is second in the NHL in ice time (27:00) and eight in defensemen points (5 goals, 20 assists) in 42 games. He solidified the Preds' defense, leading them to a 3-1 record when Weber was out earlier this month.

Craig Smith was easily one of the top 12 rookies to be chosen as he is third in points (9 goals, 17 assists) among first year players and is second in shots (114). He has cooled somewhat on the scoring front after a fast start but has not slowed in his contributions in other areas.

Pekka Rinne may be somewhat disappointed that he was not included on the roster but will probably appreciate the five day break to gear up for the stretch run. Rinne (21-11-4, 2.57, .919) is second only to Jimmy Howard (24) in wins and and has three shutouts. He leads the NHL in saves (1,042), shots faced (1,134), and appearances (38). Rinne participated in the 2009 All-Star game as a rookie competitor.

Ryan Porth has audio from the three All-Stars as well as Barry Trotz.

Here is the full release from the NHL...

Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators: Pre-Game Primer


7:00 CST - TV: No Local TV. Altitude Sports on NHL Center Ice and NHL Gamecenter. Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

After a convincing 4-1 win over the Avalanche on Tuesday night in Denver, the Predators hope to duplicate the same effort and result at the Bridgestone Arena tonight in what should be another sell-out crowd on an always rowdy College Night.

Make the jump for everything else...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Predators to Host Benefit Public Skate on MLK Day

The Nashville Predators announced a public skate on MLK Day (Monday, January 16) from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena ice surface. Free skate rentals will be provided if needed.

The event will take place during the Nashville Predators game at the New York Islanders which begins at noon. The game will be shown on the Megatron.

GNASH, the Preds Ice Girls, and Youth Hockey Staff will be on site for autographs and information.

Registration ($30/skater) includes one Goal Zone ticket for a future game. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Visit nashvillepredators.com/publicskate for more details and to register. Space is limited, so sign up today!

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 4, Avalanche 1

Going into last night's game in Denver, you had to wonder how the Predators would react, hitting the road for the first time in the new year against a team that was one of the hottest in the league at this juncture.

Two goals in the first 7:41 of the contest and another before the end of the opening period quickly provided a cushion that they were able to ride for the remainder of the contest.

With Pekka Rinne looking in top form for the second game in a row, there were signs that he could be headed for a strong second half of the season which has become his signature. 

Ryan Ellis had his second power play goal and another primary assist in making a strong bid to stick with the team in the second half. Not that it would be likely, but if he continues his strong play and stays with the team for the rest of the season, it is not completely out of the question that he could find his way to the top three in the Calder voting.

The Predators ended the evening in sixth place in the tightly bunched Western Conference with 50 points. In spite of picking up 10 points in the last six games, they can't seem to pull away from the pack or make much headway moving up as the teams around them are also hanging tough.

The Preds moved their practice to the Bridgestone Arena today at 1 p.m. in preparation for tomorrow's rematch with Colorado. It will be interesting to see if they can hit the ice with the same jump as on Tuesday night in Denver in order to add another two points to the spread between them and the Avs..

Here is our game story from last night with comments from the couch.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Predators Jump to Early Lead to Sink Avalanche 4-1 in Denver

The Nashville Predators took a rare recent road trip to Colorado, after playing 12 of their last 16 games in the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena and blew the doors off the previously hot Colorado Avalanche with a 4-1 win.

It was the Predators sixth win in a row over the Avs in a game where they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and never looked back.

The Predators' first period goals from Nick Spaling, Ryan Ellis, and Marty Erat were all that was needed to clinch the win for Nashville. Patric Hornqvist added the icing on the cake in the third.

Pekka Rinne withstood a barrage of Avalanche shots, stopping 32 of 33 shots to secure the victory. Semyon Varlamov had less work in taking the loss as he stopped 22 of 26 Nashville shots.

The win left the Preds in sixth place in the Western Conference with 50 points. The team left immediately after the game and will practice at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Make the jump for a few stats and the comments from the couch...

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche: Pre-Game Primer


8:00 CST - TV: Fox Sports Tennessee  Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

The Predators play Colorado in back to back games starting tonight in Denver and finishing on Thursday at the Bridgestone Arena. These are classic "four-point games" as each game can provide a huge swing in the tightly bunched Western Conference standings.

Make the jump for everything else...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Patric Hornqvist Discusses Missing Elusive Goo-Goo Goal Against Carolina on Saturday Night

Somewhere in Nashville, there sits a dark, climate-controlled warehouse that contains 17,113 Goo-Goo Clusters that are awaiting the day when they find their way into the mouths of anxious Nashville Predator fans that have now suffered through 22 games over a three-month period when the Preds have failed to score a Goo-Goo goal.

For the uninitiated, a new promotion was started this year where if the Nashville Predators score a goal in the last minute of play in the second period every fan in attendance will receive a delicious, made in Nashville, Goo-Goo Cluster.

Goo-Goo Clusters have been a product of the Standard Candy Company since 1912 and are described as being made with "real milk chocolate, caramel, peanuts and marshmallow nougat." Over the years, Goo-Goo has been a regional treat that is probably most associated with their sponsorship of "The Grand Ole Opry."

Some of us on "Bloggers Row" have been dreaming of the day when every fan in Bridgestone Arena will learn to chant "Goo-Goo, Goo-Goo, Goo-Goo, Goo-Goo, etc." for a full minute at every game, similar to the way the crowd chants "Ru-dy, Ru-dy, Ru-dy, Ru-dy, etc." at the end of the 1994 classic movie "Rudy."

On Saturday, against the Carolina Hurricanes, the best shot of the year at a Goo-Goo goal came with 34 seconds left in the middle period when Patric Hornqvist fired a wrister from six feet that Carolina goalie Justin Peters amazingly kept out of the net.

After the game, Hornqvist was asked about the near Goo-Goo goal and we were crushed with his response. "Oh, I don't know what that is."

After an explanation Hornqvist said, "Oh, OK, I didn't know. They (the fans) want everything. I was there in front and we tried to score but I didn't know they got some extra stuff if we score in the last minute. They got Frosties, at least! It was a good night for them (the fans) too."

For the record, in 22 games, the Predators have mustered 12 shots and picked up six penalties during the Goo-Goo minute but have yest to reward the fans with the desired delicacy.

Fans have made out better on the "Frosty Score for Four" promotion, where in addition to Saturday's game, they have picked up the frozen desert from Wendy's on five other occasions.

Another promotion from Dunkin Donuts, where everyone gets a free donut when the Predators get a shutout, got good play from Barry Trotz in the postgame on October 29 when after Pekka Rinne shut out Anaheim 3-0 he said, "“Tomorrow morning I’m going to enjoy my Dunkin Donuts coffee and donut with all the 17,113 people that are going to be there tomorrow!”

So as we await the next home game on Thursday against Colorado, those of us on Blogger's Row that are fixated on the Goo-Goo goal await hopefully for the day when the fans are rewarded with the charming Southern delicacy.

While there are firm rules and traditions about "no cheering in the press box," don't be surprised if things get a little noisy when (and if) the Goo-Goo Goal finally finds the opponent net as we have become overly obsessed with wanting to celebrate our favorite promotion.

Finally, the following chart outlines the results through 22 home games for the Goo-Goo Goal, Frosties four goals, as well as the Dunkin Donut freebies.

Game - Date Opponent   Goo-Goo Shots/Shooters Frosty/Donut ?
1.   10-13-11 Phoenix     1  Smith (PP)   No (2-5) No
2.   10-15-11 New Jersey     1  Weber   No (2-3) No
3.   10-25-11 San Jose            0   No (1-3) No
4.   10-27-11 Tampa Bay            0   Yes (5-3) No
5.   10-29-11 Anaheim            0   No (3-0) Yes
6.   11-12-11 Montreal            0   No (1-2) No
7.   11-15-11 Washington            0   No (3-1) No
8.   11-17-11 Toronto            0   Yes (4-1) No
9.   11-19-11 Columbus     1  Legwand   No (3-4) No
10. 11-22-11 Edmonton     3  Fisher (2) Tootoo   No (2-6) No
11. 12-3-11 Buffalo     3  Suter (2) Blum   No (2-3) No
12. 12-6-11 Phoenix            0   No (2-3) No
13. 12-10-11 Anaheim            0   No (3-2) No
14. 12-13-11 Calgary            0   No (2-1) No
15. 12-15-11 Detroit            0   Yes (4-3) No
16. 12-17-11 St. Louis            0   No (2-1) No
17. 12-22-11 Columbus            0   Yes (6-5) No
18. 12-26-11 Detroit            0   No (1-4) No
19. 12-28-11 Minnesota     1  Josi   No (2-1) No
20.  1-1-12 Calgary            0   Yes (5-3) No
21.  1-5-12 Dallas            0   No (1-4) No
22.  1-7-12 Carolina     2  Erat, Hornqvist    Yes (5-2) No

Goo-Goo Penalties
Game 2 - Hornqvist High Sticking (:37) and Weber Cross-Checking (:14)
Game 3 - Suter Slashing (:47)
Game 6 - Tootoo Cross-checking (:00)
Game 14 - Josi Holding (:57)
Game 21 - Fisher Tripping (:57)

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Evening After Round-Up: Predators 5, Hurricanes 2

Almost everything went right for the Nashville Predators in last night's 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in front of the eighth straight sellout at Bridgestone Arena.

The power play converted four of five times, scoring contribution was widespread, and Pekka Rinne played well enough to get a shutout for most of the contest. That being said, the Hurricanes are not a very good team and offered little resistance to the Predator attack.

After going 0-16 on the man advantage in the last five games, the effort against the Canes moved the power play back into second place (22.0 %) in the NHL behind Vancouver (24.2 %)

The game was one where it was imperative that the Preds pick up two points. The Western Conference is tightly bunched and losing points against weak teams are not an option in the Central Division.

In fact, four of the top six teams in the conference are from the Central Division. Heading into Sunday's action, St. Louis had the division lead (53 points), and Chicago (52), Detroit (51), and Nashville (48) occupied fourth through sixth place.

After stubbing their toe twice recently against Dallas (47 points-8th place), the upcoming back to back games at Colorado (47 points - 10th place) on Tuesday and the Avalanche here on Thursday, require the Preds to be point collectors against a team directly on their heels.

The Predators will practice at 10:30 Monday Morning and then fly to Denver in the afternoon.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Lindback and Smith Trade Places Again

As expected, after playing games on Friday and Saturday night in Milwaukee, Anders Lindback returned to the Nashville Predators and Jeremy Smith, who suited up for his first NHL game was sent back to Milwaukee.

Lindback had not played in a game with the Predators since he relived Pekka Rinne on December 23 in Dallas and was understandably rusty  in his stint in Milwaukee.

The Preds have back to back games on January 16-17 as well as 23-24 so Lindback may be called into action at some point in the near future and the team wanted him to see action before then.

Conversely, Smith has now undergone a recall so if an injury forces him to Nashville at some point this season it will not be a completely foreign concept.

Make the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hornqvist Denied Hat Trick but Leads Predators to 5-2 Win over Carolina

Patric Hornqvist led the Nashville Predators to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in front of a record setting eighth straight sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

Hornqvist scored two power play goals on seven shots and was denied his first career hat trick when a video review on a goal thought to be credited to him was ruled invalid by the "war room" at the NHL in Toronto midway through the final period.

Hornqvist was not upset about missing the hat trick. "They got the best camera's in the league so I'm pretty sure it was the right call. A hat trick is a big thing so hopefully it will come sooner or later."

Barry Trotz Speaks after Nashville's 5-2 Win over Carolina

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bridgestone Arena Ranked Sixth in Concert Attendance for 2011

Bridgestone Arena continues to be among the nation's leading facilities in concert attendance, finishing sixth in the Unites States for the second year in a row. With the completion of the new convention center in a couple of years, the ranking will continue to grow.

Sean Henry discussed the record usage of the arena on last week's Smashville on the Glass podcast and gave plenty of insight in to the marketing success that has place Bridgestone in the top twenty world-wide.

The 15 year old arena is really hitting its stride under the direction of Henry and the Predators' facility operation department. Make the jump for the full release from the Predators and Bridgestone Arena...

The Morning After Round-Up: Dallas 4, Nashville 1

The Nashville Predators played like real stinkers in their 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena. Heading into the game, everyone was expecting an early fight and were hopeful of an inspired performance but it never happened.

During the game when it became apparent that something was missing in the Predators attack we were discussing the fact that the Predators always seemed to struggle after having more than a couple of days off. Looking back over the last season and a half, the Predators are 2-6-1 in games after three or more days off.

Here is a rundown...

10-28-10  Lost to St. Louis 3-0 (3 days off)
11-3-10    Lost at Phoenix 4-3 (3)
11-11-10  Won at St. Louis 3-2 (3)
12-22-10  Lost at Chicago 4-1 (3)
2-1-11      OTL to Calgary 3-2 (5)
4-13-11    Won at Anaheim 4-1 (3)
4-28-11    Lost at Vancouver 1-0 (3)
10-13-11  Lost to Phoenix 5-2 (4)
1-5-12      Lost to Dallas 4-1 (3)

Short breaks in the schedule should be a time to rest and energize the team but it may be time for the coaching staff to take a look at some type of different preparation for the first game back.

Here is our game story from last night.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...