Weekend notes: A packed Bridge, and a packed Big House

Tonight the Preds welcome back Tomas Vokoun, Mike Santorelli, and the Florida Panthers into town for what should be another jam-packed tilt at Bridgestone Arena. I wrote a week ago about the strength of the Nashville Predators' paid attendance surge, and the following note, passed along by the team in their pre-game notes, should come as encouraging news to Nashville fans:

SELLING OUT SMASHVILLE

Heading into Saturday's game, Bridgestone Arena has been sold out four times through 11 home games. A sellout against the Panthers (in game 12) would tie the fastest to five sellouts in franchise history (attained in 1999-2000). The second fastest was 22 home games in 1998-99 and in 2000-01). The Preds' four sellouts in the first nine home games of 2010-11 marked the fasted to four full houses in club history, trumping the previous record which was set in 1999-2000.

There are still some (but not many) tickets left for tonight's game, so make sure to get your discounted Predators tickets using our special offer (and save $8-24 each), or pass that link on to a friend and help fill the house.

After the jump, we've got some morning news & notes to get your weekend started!

It's Time For The Big Chill

The biggest game in hockey today isn't taking place in the NHL, it's up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the valiant University of Michigan Wolverines will take on the ruthless savages of Michigan State at "The Big House", Michigan Stadium. Attendance is expected to top 100,000, making it BY FAR the most-attended hockey game in history. The old record was held earlier this year at the World Championships in Germany, 

AnnArbor.com has all your pre-game reading, and you can catch the action on the Big Ten Network starting at 2:00 p.m. Central. 

I'm excited, not just as a Michigan grad, but because the rec leagues in which I used to play back in Ann Arbor held about half their games outside during the winter, freezing over the tennis courts at one of the city parks. Sure, we did well to get 10 people watching our games rather than 100,000, but this will definitely bring back some fond memories.

Nashville Predators News

No problems for Lindback in filling in for Rinne as No. 1 in Nashville - NHL.com
They look alike, they talk alike... sometimes they even act alike...

Chet Wins | Admirals Roundtable
After a 9-month dry spell, Chet Pickard finally wins a game for Milwaukee.

Great feeling to get a score - Predators Insider
Blake Geoffrion writes about finally getting a goal after a slow, injury-riddled start to the season.

Rinne talks about injury; Legwand out - Predators Insider
Josh got a few quotes from Pekka Rinne about the way his knee problem developed after the Columbus game.

Around the NHL

Video: Oilers' Linus Omark dazzles in shootout, pisses off Lightning - Puck Daddy
There was a lot of chatter last night about Edmonton rookie Linus Omark's hot-dog move to win their game in the shootout. Dan Ellis (who gave up the goal) comes off as a whiner for complaining about it.

Leafs Nation fed up with Phaneuf - The Globe and Mail
Things have gone from bad to weird in Toronto. At the end of a recent loss, fans threw waffles on the ice. Yes, waffles.

Kessel detractors just don't get it - Behind The Net
Gabe calls out the haters.

Tomas Vokoun: Florida Panthers goalie Vokoun working on his next milestone - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
The former Preds star returns, and he's on a roll.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon reuses winning plan - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen looks at how Dale Tallon is trying to apply his formula from Chicago to the Florida organization.

Bourne Blog: Ranking hockey's dirtiest plays - Puck Daddy
A good primer on hockey's dark arts. Personally, I'd put the slash-on-the-hands somewhere in there, it's a totally unnecessary move that often results in broken bones for the victim. 

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