The Nashville Predators will get right back to work trying to turn things around, as they prepare for a New Year's Eve tussle in Minnesota against the Wild. While some people chalk up the current slide to typical mid-season struggles and that the Preds have overcome such things to make the playoffs before, the reality is that banking on an extended hot streak whenever the Preds return to full strength is a dangerous exercise. If this team defied the odds in the past, well then, the odds are still against them now unless changes are made.
The realization is settling in, then, that given the long-term nature of some of these roster situations, the onus shifts to the front office to bring in some proven NHL-level talent to bolster an offense which has sunk to the bottom of the Western Conference. Is that an easy thing to do? Of course not. But calling up guys from Milwaukee and dressing Wade Belak clearly isn't going to work. Compared to what we looked forward to on Opening Night, the Preds are rolling out the equivalent of two 3rd-lines and two 4th-lines these days, and neither the defense or goaltending is able to overcome that weakness consistently.
The coaches are coaching, the players are hustling, the business side of the team is working their tail off, and the fans are filling the building. Now it's time for GM David Poile and his crew to make their move. Follow after the jump for a couple suggestions on that front, and the rest of your morning hockey news...
Get your Nashville Predators tickets right here and save with the OTF Discount! The Columbus Blue Jackets come in next on Sunday, January 2nd, part of just 3 home games the entire month.
For reaction to last night's soul-crusher, head over to Fang Finger Fever, Predlines, Section 303, The View From 111, Preds On The Glass, Hockey Night In Nashville, The Nashville City Paper, and from the other side of the ledger, the Dallas Morning News and Defending Big D.
Jordin Tootoo grapples with his demons for all of us - The Globe and Mail
A touching tribute to what Jordin Tootoo has accomplished in his career, and what his decision this week can also mean to those who look up to him back in Nunavut.
Chris Mueller’s NHL debut was as much about family as it was about hockey - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamon writes about the sudden callup of Chris Mueller from Milwaukee, and the mad scramble to get his parents in town to watch his first NHL game.
Don't Look, Ethel: The Dangers of The Streak | Pith in the Wind
J.R. Lind examines the reasons behind the Preds' recent slide. Clearly, he puts it on the Jay-Z fans, but Crazy Town didn't work last night, either.
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.
QUICK POLL: Should Preds go get Bergfors from Atlanta? | Section 303
Jeremy tosses another idea out there for the Predators to get some scoring help in Nicklas Bergfors of the Atlanta Thrashers.
Hockey Night in Nashville: Could a former Pred help the scoring problem?
Robby starts getting really creative, wondering if Paul Kariya might be an option. The answer is "no", but he gets high marks for thinking outside the box.
Preds On The Glass: Who Angered the Hockey Gods in Nashville and Wednesday Wrap-Up
Buddy has a boatload of morning links, and an update on the World Juniors, too.
Around the NHL
Darryl Dismissed: An M&G Roundtable/A Series of Essays - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Calgary bloggers chime in on the change atop the Flames, where Darryl Sutter gets ousted, and former Tampa GM Jay Feaster takes over.
The Dark Blue Jacket: The boiling point
Are the BJ's too mellow?
Goaltenders That Could Move And The Teams That Need Them - From The Rink
It's about time to look ahead to the trade deadline, and which goalies might hit the market.
New Year’s Resolutions For Hockey Fans - Houses of the Hockey
Rick suggests some good ideas for all of us.
Buffalo Sabres Sale To Be Announced After World Juniors - Die By The Blade
The Sabres are expected to transition smoothly to an owner who will keep them in Buffalo.
Habs acquire rearguard Wisniewski from Isles - Habs Eyes On The Prize
The Islanders get started on next season, dumping a decent player on an expiring contract for draft picks.
Pensburgh Turns Three Today - PensBurgh
Hopefully those guys are potty trained by now...