You can call it a lack of execution, or point to a series of critical injuries which have left the team shorthanded, but the Nashville Predators are going through a serious funk right now. With just four goals scored in the last four games, the offense is feeble even by Predators standards, making life difficult even if the team was playing well defensively, which it isn't.
Follow after the jump as one local blogger highlights the pluggers who helping to fill that offensive gap, another one calls for a major change, and we feature a TV segment on the "newspaper vs. blog" battle which builds off the recent Colin Campbell story...
Nashville Predators News
Defensive Forwards Keep Predators In Games With Lack Of Power Play - Predlines
Can two PP goals at Minnesota get things rolling? Well, we can hope, can't we?
Hockey Night in Nashville: Changes Need To Be Made
Robby's ready to make Barry Trotz walk the plank.
The View from 111: Scenes From the Road- Carolina and Columbus
Mark shares pictures from his recent travels with the Preds as they battled the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets.
Nashville Predators find an unlikely scorer in Jerred Smithson - The Tennessean
If Smitty can chip in a couple goals while taking over the shutdown center role, it opens up the question of what should be done with Legwand when he's healthy enough to return.
Continue your holiday shopping at the OtF Store, where all prices now include free shipping. We've got the "Me So Hornqvist" and "Pass it to Shea..." t-shirts, and a whole lot more.
Around the NHL
Retro NHL and Anger at Corsi - Behind The Net
Gabe drops a little knowledge on the torches & pitchforks crowd marching his way from Colorado.
Familiar scene playing out for Flames at quarter mark - The Globe and Mail
Eric Duhatschek's Western Conference notes includes a reminder about Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who has now missed over 100 games due to a concussion.
Pass or Fail: The third jersey for the Columbus Blue Jackets - Puck Daddy
This gets a solid "meh" from me. Bland color choice, looks a lot like the St. Louis & Florida 3rds, but the logo on the crest is very cool.
Crawford Continues to Rise and Refine - The Goalie Guild
A look at the technical aspects of Corey Crawford's game which are leading him to a larger role in Chicago.
Video: Enforcement of 'Avery Rule' bites Flyers in loss - Puck Daddy
It's one of the worst rules in the NHL book, and it got Philadelphia the other night.
Pass or Fail: 2011 NHL All-Star jerseys sound rather audacious - Puck Daddy
Greg brings us a few updates regarding the All-Star Game jerseys.
Down Goes Brown: Gary Bettman's flowchart for dealing with NHL scandals
DGB's undercover staff come through again, with another flowchart from deep within NHL headquarters.
New York Islanders shocker: Josh Bailey demoted in AHL - Puck Daddy
In the long run this may help the young forward's development, removing him from the disaster which is the New York Islanders. It might help inform some of your thoughts on the Colin Wilson situation, too.
Lastly, (found at Hockey Wilderness) here's a recent segment from The Score on the whole "mainstream media vs. hockey blogs" meme in light of the Colin Campbell e-mail scandal. On the blogger side, it features Tyler Dellow, whose mc79hockey.com kicked off that whole story, along with Julian Sanchez from Pension Plan Puppets and James Mirtle, who formerly ran the hockey crew here at SB Nation before becoming a beat writer covering the Maple Leafs. On the mainstream side, if you watch closely, you see globules of condescension ooze out of Damian Cox's pores as he refuses to even address one question that he considers beneath him.
Personally, I think readers value having alternative voices out there beyond the "objective" media, which (as illustrated in the Dion Phaneuf story) is often all-too-willing to sit on otherwise newsworthy stories in order to maintain relationships. And if you think that's a trifling example, just consider the steroid era in baseball. Recall how the reporter who first saw andro in Mark McGwire's locker was pilloried by his peers?
The dynamics in hockey-mad cities like Toronto are of course entirely different than here in Nashville, where there is ample room for more coverage of the Predators and NHL. Some of these undercurrents could come into play, however, if the team continues to flail in the Central Division basement. It will become only natural to question the strength and/or amount of criticism that is directed at various parties. But let's just hope that it doesn't come to that, and the Preds kick some Ranger tail tonight. Oops... was that a bit too partisan for Mr. Cox?