Thursday's news: Breaking down Nashville's turnaround, and box office trouble in Toronto

The mood within the Nashville Predators fan base is certainly much more positive than it was a few weeks ago; winning seven out of nine games can do wonders, that's for sure.

After the jump, we've got a look at exactly how significant a jump the Preds have taken after the first 10 games of the season, a projection as to how Team USA's roster might sort out for the Winter Olympics, and news of box office trouble for the Toronto Maple Leafs...

Predators News

Predators penalty killers finding their stride - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond chronicles the progress that Nashville's PK has made lately.

If only Rich Peverley was a Predator...oh wait...he was... - Hockey Gal
More musings on the player that has become the biggest "coulda woulda shoulda" for the Preds, Rich Peverley.

Our picks for Team USA - CBCSports
Scott Morrison includes Ryan Suter on his roster for Team USA's Winter Olympics squad.

Losing & Gaining Steam: How Teams Have Changed Since the First 10 Games - Hockey Or Die!
Which team has improved the most from the first 10 games of the season to the next? I'll give you one guess... This serves as a good reminder not to panic in the first 2-3 weeks of a long campaign.

Around the NHL

Leafs starting to slip at box office? - The Globe and Mail
Maybe the Maple Leafs need to relocate to Hamilton if they can't sell out their suites...

Hurricanes, Injuries, and the Olympics: Should They Play? - Canes Country
With so many players having lost time to injuries, does it make sense for some not to participate in the Winter Olympics? I can't imagine a healthy player sitting out just to avoid that risk, but it's an interesting question.

A look at former Canadiens’ players so far this season - Hockey Independent
Fred Poulin surveys former Montreal players around the NHL, including Nashville's Francis Bouillon.

Off To Dallas . . . (Puck-rakers)
It sounds like when the Blue Jackets come to Nashville on Saturday, the Preds will face Mathieu Garon in goal rather than Steve Mason.

Smyth out up to one month " LA Kings Insider
Another important player goes down to injury - this time it's L.A. King winger Ryan Smyth, who is suffering a mysterious "upper body injury", which could mean anything from a sore belly button to a scalp infection. Knowing Smyth, it could be a strained mullet.

Gionta out indefinitely - Habs Inside/Out
Now we know why Brian Gionta missed last Saturday's game against the Preds; he'll be out of the Montreal lineup for a while with a broken left foot.

Hawk Fans Rejoice Now….Save The Worry For Later | Hockey Independent
Al Cimaglia looks at the long-term contract extensions which are reportedly on the way for Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith.

Lastly, here's the video that Pete Weber referred to on 104.5 The Zone this morning; possibly the worst on-ice call, followed by a video review, that I've ever seen in all my years watching hockey. Brad May of the Red Wings backhands a puck into the Dallas net, but the mysterious "whistle had blown" justification was used to deny it (even though the whistle blew several seconds after the puck went in):


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