Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz often cites his faith in the "Hockey Gods", and their tendency to even out the lucky bounces for & against a team over the course of the long NHL season.
The natural question, then, in light of the Preds' current situation, is what exactly has this team done to bring down the wrath of the hockey gods upon them? Injuries have stricken 5 of their top 6 forwards, a top-pair defenseman in Ryan Suter, and their #1 goaltender, Pekka Rinne, causing all of them to miss significant playing time. Now we also have Jordin Tootoo entering the NHL's Substance Abuse Program, taking away another regular contributor for an indefinite amount of time.
Perhaps there was a wayward taunt after defeating a well-connected opponent, who then appeals to the gods for retribution? Odysseus sure got Poseidon pissed off for doing that to the Cyclops, Polyphemus.
Who knows what the cause could be, but I expect Trotz to exhibit the patience of Job as he shepherds the team through this rough patch. We as fans, however, can do our part to help turn things around. Burnt offerings on the plaza before the game, anyone?
While you ponder that question, follow after the jump for your morning hockey news...
World Junior Championships bring back fond memories for several Predators - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond gets some of the guys reminiscing about their appearance in the annuaul tournament, including Sergei Kostitsyn helping Belarus to a win over Ryan Suter's Team USA.
Groundhog Day II- Nashville Predators Style | Hockey Independent
Does the "No Excuses" mantra apply when a team is as injury-riddled as the Preds are these days?
Preds On The Glass: Crippled Predators Host Dallas and Tuesday Tidbits
Buddy looks ahead to tonight's tilt with the Stars, and has your morning links as well.
Paul McCann - Game Night in Smashville - When good teams go bad...
Paul can't recall a more dire circumstance for the Preds, and to be honest, neither can I.
Nashville Predators place pair on injured reserve - The Tennessean
Both Martin Erat and Steve Sullivan get placed on IR, to help make room on the roster for callups like Linus Klasen and Chris Mueller.
Preds' Tootoo to enter NHL's substance abuse program | Nashville City Paper
David Boclair notes that two other Predators have gone through the NHL's program. Can you guess them both?
Around the NHL
Scouting the enemy (Nashville) Struggling to score goals - The Dallas Morning News
Stars beat writer Mike Heika looks at tonight's game from the enemy perspective.
Blue Jackets fans claim NHL ref made ‘crying face', obscene gesture - Puck Daddy
This is actually pretty funny. Referees take an insane amount of abuse from fans and players alike, at just about every level of hockey.
Down Goes Brown: Scouting the World Junior Championships
Don't know much about the World Juniors? DGB's got you covered...
Poll of the Day: New Jersey vs Dallas - Behind The Net
Are the Dallas Stars more lucky than good?
Winter snowstorm causing headaches for NHL, NFL, college teams in Northeast - The Globe and Mail
The Maple Leafs are stuck in New Jersey due to the heavy winter weather.
What is the best division in the NHL? - From The Rink
Mike Chen chews some numbers, and the Central doesn't come out on top.
Haters Gonna Hate, But 400 Is A Reality: Wings 4 - Avalanche 3 (OT) - Winging It In Motown
Chris Osgood hit a huge milestone with his 400th win last night, beating Colorado. Interestingly, Mike Vernon also earned his 300th as a Red Wing, against the Avalanche.