When a team struggles like the Nashville Predators have lately, theories abound as to where the problem lies and what solutions are available. Is it coaching? Injuries? A team-wide lack of effort, or a letdown by the leadership? The Preds certainly aren't alone when it comes to scoring woes on the Nashville sports scene.
Follow after the jump as we get a selection of opinions on that front, along with an NHL franchise which may be up for sale, and two teams which spend right up to the salary cap, but are among the worst teams in the league.
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.
Before we get to the regular stuff...
Easton Stealth S19 Z-Shock Review | Hockey Gear HQ
The good folks at Easton Hockey sent me one of their new helmets to try out, and I share my review over at a new set of sites I'm starting up which focuses on hockey equipment.
The View from 111: At the Quarter Pole- A Predators Report Card
Most of the Preds would get grounded if they brought this home to their parents.
Hockey World - Edmonton Journal
Veteran hockey writer Jim Matheson tags Shea Weber as one of the biggest disappointments in the Western Conference. We love the new captain, but you have to agree, don't you?
Hockey Night in Nashville: Reasons For Change
Robby goes into greater detail as to why he thinks the Predators need a change behind the bench.
Despite his record, Pekka Rinne’s shootout numbers are improved - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond looks at Pekka's 11-5 record in shootouts the previous two seasons, and sees this year's 3-2 mark so far as a disappointment which he blames on the shooters. I have a couple problems with this. First, a 3-2 record is within a rounding error of that previous performance (4-1 would be a step up), and the shooters are also within a rounding error of their work last year. With only one more shootout goal scored (they're at 5-for-17, 29.4%), they'd exceed last season's scoring rate of 34.6%. In short, the shootout is the least of this team's problems.
Visiting Rangers Give Credit To Predators Work Ethic, Rinne - Predlines
Amanda got commentary from the Rangers after Saturday night's game, which is notable because they were one of the teams to raise a stink about blogger access to visiting teams earlier this year.
Preds On The Glass: Is Jordin Tootoo An NHL Hero After Whipping Sean Avery?
Buddy wonders if Toots' reputation around the league might get a small boost coming out of Saturday night's whoopin'.
Preds On The Glass: Can The Predators Beat The Odds Again? POTG Radio, and Weekend Wrap-Up
All those trips to Vegas must have rubbed off on Buddy, who shares the latest odds on the Preds.
Sunday's 3 stars: Bunz, Tigers tame Winterhawks - Buzzing The Net
Preds' prospect Charles-Olivier Roussel had a big night for his Montreal Juniors.
O'Reilly, Alzner to appear on NHL Live! - NHL Network
Cal O'Reilly joins the show at some point today between 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Central.
Inside the locker room - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper shares some of the frustration coming from the Preds after Saturday night's shootout loss.
Nashville Predators have problem finding net - The Tennessean
Josh Cooper points out while they're getting outscored, at least the Preds are firing pucks on net, which is good.
The Preds host the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday, and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, so use the OtF discount to save money on Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game. Remember, Preds tickets can make a great holiday gift, so look through the schedule, and pick out a game!
Around the NHL
Motion control & the future of hockey video games - From The Rink
Mike Chen looks at how the latest video gaming technology will affect NHL games in years to come. By the way, Amazon has NHL Slapshot for the Wii at $39.99, $20 off the usual price, as part of their Cyber Monday specials.
Offside: A Sports Law Blog: NHL’s Failure to Disclose Injuries Bad For Business/Petition For Change
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! The NHL's injury-disclosure policy is flat-out stupid. Head over here for a thorough breakdown of the issue, found via Kukla's Korner.
Bruins Face a Significant Cap Decision - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Could the Predators perhaps find some offensive help in Boston, where the Bruins need to make a move soon for salary cap purposes? Blake Wheeler would add some nice size up front...
Red Wings' Mike Modano out long term after undergoing surgery on wrist | MLive.com
A skate blade cut Modano's wrist, and he's going to be rehabbing for quite a while.
Game No. 22 (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Columbus had two games against Detroit over the weekend that could have lifted them atop the Western Conference, but the Red Wings smacked them down.
The Avalanche’s options in the wake of Chris Stewart’s injury | All Things Avs
Colorado is going to miss their young forward, who broke his hand in a fight.
Maple Leafs and Brian Burke have little to show so far - The Globe and Mail
It's amazing how a team with every conceivable advantage can continue to struggle so mightily.
When There's Smoke, There's Fire: Is Tom Golisano Ready To Sell The Sabres - Die By The Blade
Could the Buffalo franchise be sold soon? Maybe Jim Balsillie would be satisfied to have a team close to Hamilton. Nah, I doubt it.
John MacLean Ready Invest in a TARDIS for Ilya Kovalchuk - PuckUpdate
Could things have possibly worked out worse in New Jersey?
Coming Down the Pipe!: More CHL/NCAA Cross-Border Confusion
Guy clears up a few common misunderstandings about Canadian junior hockey.
Finnish SM-Liiga Goal Locations, 2009-10 - Behind The Net
Some visual evidence of where goals are scored, from the league which many observers say closely mimics the NHL stylistically.
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