Friday's notes: Never-ending Erat expectations

The 2010-11 NHL Regular Season finally got underway yesterday with some fine action - we've already got highlight-reel goals and a shutout recorded after just five games.

Here in Nashville, excitement is building for tomorrow night's opening game. Follow after the jump for a season preview, an update on the dilemma facing Dish Network customers as they're locked out of their Fox Sports channels, and, once again, musing over just how many goals Martin Erat might score this year...

Celebrate the start of hockey season, and use this special offer to save money on Nashville Predators tickets.

Nashville Predators News

Preds On The Glass: When Will We See the Real Sergei Kostitsyn? and Friday Findings
Buddy wants to see what SK74 can bring to the lineup, but having just returned from a foot injury, it might take a while before we see him play.

Dish Network and Fox Sports leave Predators fans blacked out | Section 303
In the never-ending battle between TV networks and cable/satellite distributors, the individual home consumer loses out. For now, Dish Network is blacking out Fox Sports channels (including Fox Sports Tennessee). If you're interested in making a switch to DirecTV, which I've happily had for 12 years now, email me (the.forechecker@gmail.com), I'll refer you to them, and we'll both get $100 off our bill.

Nashville Predators 2010 Season Preview | Hockey Independent
David likes the Preds' chances to pass Detroit for the first time ever this season.

What The Puck: A New Season, Some Fresh Faces and Great Expectations
Rachel sets the tone for a rollicking opener on Saturday night.

Training Camp Update " CYCWORDS
Get your update on the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones, where goaltender Jeremy Smith will get to work.

If the Preds Can Make the Playoffs Why Not the Leafs? | A Foot In The Crease
Well... the obvious reason is that the Preds do a better job drafting and developing talent. Remember, it's not the size of your payroll that matters, it's what you do with it.

Legwand looks beyond late-season slump; hopes to regain offensive punch | Nashville City Paper
The theme here is "Accentuate the Positive." Everyone hopes that David Legwand can build upon a solid playoff showing, and not the dreadfully-long scoring droughts from the regular season.

Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber stays true to roots - The Tennessean
A nice feature on Shea Weber, who comes from a small town in B.C. and endured a horrible personal loss over the summer.

Nashville Predators' Martin Erat sets bar 'pretty high' for goals - The Tennessean
*groan* Come on, folks, his career high is 23 goals in a season! At 29 years of age, we know what we've got with Martin Erat. If he hits 25 this season, we should jump for joy. Talk of 40 or 50 goals is insane.

Around the NHL

Down Goes Brown: Predicting the 2010-11 NHL season
Ouch! "November 6, 2010 - At the annual Hall of Fame game, thousands of fans show up in Toronto to express their appreciation for some of the very best players from hockey's history, and are deeply disappointed when Dino Ciccarelli shows up instead."

Bettman willing to share Ilitches with the NBA - USATODAY.com
The league doesn't appear to have any problem with Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch buying the NBA's Detroit Pistons. The NBA should be thrilled to have Ilitch joining its club.

A Theory of Ice: Shell Game
E writes about the false sense of security that modern hockey equipment imparts on the wearer. Sometimes you almost feel invulnerable out there, which can be dangerous.

On Michal Neuvirth's Reputation - Japers' Rink
Is the Caps goalie unpopular in his own locker room? How much does it matter?

Tough times for a tough guy - The Globe and Mail
Ian Laperriere is one of the most well-respected players in the game, but a puck to the face in last season's playoffs may cause him to retire from hockey.

L.A. Kings go retro, bring back the purple and gold this season - Puck Daddy
The Kings are bringing back some incredibly awesome jerseys from the days of yore. I used to play for a beer league team with something very similar, except instead of the Kings logo it had "Ypsilanti" in diagonal lettering, like on the Rangers' jersey.

Joe Thornton Named Sharks Captain | Hockey Independent
The leadership question in San Jose is answered (for now) by Big Bird...

Sports And The City: The Oregon Trail
For those of you in your mid-30's and up, this will be freaking hilarious. For those of you younger folk, you'll just wonder how we got worked up over such stuff!

Hurricanes 4, Wild 3 - SB Nation
The season-opening game was played in Helsinki, where Brandon Sutter potted two goals for Carolina.

Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 2 - SB Nation
Toronto beat their arch-nemesis in their home opener, despite a Dustin Boyd goal for Montreal.

Flyers 3, Penguins 2 - SB Nation
Russian rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky ("Bob" to Flyers fans) led Philly to victory.

Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 3 - SB Nation
Paul Stastny got the winner in overtime for Colorado.

Oilers 4, Flames 0 - SB Nation
The kids got off to a flying start in Edmonton, with Jordan Eberle snagging a goal and an assist for the Oilers, and Nikolai Khabibulin recording the shutout.

Red Light District: Video: Eberle's highlight-reel goal
Ryan has the video of Eberle's goal, and it's a dandy.

To keep up with all of our coverage of the Nashville Predators, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter (@Forechecker@predatweeter, @SLakePreds & @Short_Shifts) or "Like" the site on Facebook (now at www.facebook.com/OnTheForecheck). You can also email me at the.forechecker@gmail.com.

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