Nashville Predators rely on depth for upcoming California swing - Monday's Notes

The Nashville Predators will limp out onto the road again this week, with battles at Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose on their schedule. They'll have to do it with only two of their Opening Night centers, however, after Cal O`Reilly suffered a broken fibula in last night's 4-1 win over Columbus. Will Barry Trotz go with Nick Spaling and Jerred Smithson as his 3rd and 4th line pivots, or will Chris Mueller get an opportunity? Perhaps the bigger question is, will the Preds revert to the goal-starved bunch we saw in mid- to late-December due to these depth issues?

It's amazing how utterly wracked this lineup has been due to injury and other issues. Take a look at the forward lines from Opening Night on October 8 vs. Anaheim:

Forwards
Wilson - Lombardi  - Erat
Sullivan - O'Reilly - Hornqvist
Dumont - Legwand - Ward
Smithson - Goc - Tootoo

Out of that list of 12 forwards, only Wilson, Dumont, Ward and Smithson have been regularly available. Fully 2/3rds of that crew has missed time, and of course most of those absences have overlapped to a large extent.

Follow after the jump for all the analysis from last night's win, encouraging news coming out of the Winter Classic, and a few looks at the year gone by...

The Minnesota Wild are the next victims vistors to Smashville, as they come in Tuesday, January 11. Save a few bucks and use our coupon code for discount Nashville Predators tickets

Nashville Predators News

For reaction to last night's 4-1 triumph over the Blue Jackets check out The View From 111Preds On The GlassSection 303PredlinesFang Finger FeverHockey Night in Nashville, and from the opposing perspective, Dark Blue Jacket and The Cannon.

Sellout - Lower Bowl View | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Predators fan Paul Nicholson (of @Predfans fame) posted a wonderful panorama view of Bridgestone Arena, and he's made a different versions available for you to download and use as a desktop wallpaper. Pure awesome sauce, Paul.

Preds On The Glass: Trotz Peals The Paint and Monday Musings
Among other items in his morning links, Buddy wonders just how long the pressure had been building under Mt. Trotz.

What we learned in 2010… | Section 303
Jeremy takes a month-by-month look at the year gone by.

Around the NHL

Red Light District: Where does the Winter Classic go from here?
Ryan asks if the Winter Classic can possibly get bigger and better in the years ahead, and I think there's still plenty of room to grow. As to concerns about the Heritage Classic getting ignored, I'm sure it will be in the U.S., but it will be huge in Canada, and that's what matters for that event.

NHL Winter Classic gives NBC key ratings win in prime time - Puck Daddy
Boy that's a nice headline to read, isn't it? 

Fight Video: Cam Janssen vs. Krys Barch in brawl of year candidate - Puck Daddy
Wow... just... wow.

Dallas Stars Blog:: 22 FOR 2010
Darryl Reaugh has some scattered thoughts on the year gone by, and trust me, they're worth a read!

WJC 2011: Canada's response in U.S. rematch is the great 'unknown' - Buzzing The Net
Crank up the hype machine, as the U.S. faces Canada in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship tonight in Buffalo.

Extra extra attacker: Avalanche can't beat Luongo with 7 men - Puck Daddy
This is pretty funny, the refs missed the fact that when Colorado pulled their goalie, two guys jumped on the ice to replace him. Despite getting all sorts of pressure, however, they couldn't score.

EXCLUSIVE: DWAYNE ROLOSON TO TAMPA BAY D prospect Ty Wishart return for Islanders · islanderspointblank.com
Chris Botta broke the news on this deal, another example of the New York Islanders throwing in the towel on this season (and we're not even halfway through!), but getting a decent return for a veteran on an expiring contract.

And lastly, we have CBC's Year in Review video from 2010. Apparently the only noteworthy thing the Preds did was to give up a highlight-reel goal to Pavel Datsyuk. Can they make a larger mark in 2011?


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