Saturday's notes: Columbus down, on to St. Louis

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 7: Craig Smith #15 of the Nashville Predators celebrates his second period goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the game at Nationwide Arena on October 7, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

It's so nice to have the NHL season fully underway, isn't it? Multiple games going on each night, and of course we're lucky enough to have the Nashville Predators opening with a back-to-back set which they'll wrap up in St. Louis tonight. For your morning hockey notes, we have recaps from around the league, more insightful discussion around the applicability of advanced stats analysis, Mike Milbury showing that America is no slouch when it comes to blowhard hockey commentary, and a whole lot more!

Nashville Predators News

There are a gazillion recaps from last night, so I'd recommend surfing through the "More Predators Sites" box on the sidebar to get the view from around Smashville.

Nashville Predators rookie Craig Smith scores in first NHL game - The Tennessean
First game, first goal, and he almost had another.

Looking for gold Nashville Predators gear? | Hockey Gear HQ
The home opener comes up on Thursday, and if you don't have any gold Preds apparel, here are a few options.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Game 1 Recap: A Work in Progress... - The Cannon
From the Columbus perspective, there was reason for both hope and fear.

Return Of The... - Stars 2, Hawks 1 - Second City Hockey
Whew, it sounds like SB Nation's Blackhawks blog is ready to throw in the towel.

Every Little Thing: Wings 5 - Senators 3 - Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings opened up at home against the hapless Senators.

Carolina Drops Season Opener: Lightning 5, Hurricanes 1 - Canes Country
Lightning vs. Hurricanes? This sounds like a Saturday afternoon movie on the Weather Channel.

A few thoughts before the Panthers' 2011-12 season-opener - Litter Box Cats
Dawn breaks on another Florida Panthers season, but this year, they've got reason for some excitement. They may not be playoff-caliber, but at least there's some major change going on there.

"Moneypuck" *cringes* | mc79hockey.com
Damn straight, Tyler. Damn straight. The potential benefits of spending a bit of money on advanced statistical analysis (easily less than $1 million a year, I'd guess you could a lot with $500K) are tremendous.

The draw not luck powers Leafs’ David Steckel - The Globe and Mail
This why, on several occasions, I've argued that Jerred Smithson needs to be used more for taking offensive zone faceoffs, and perhaps even make a guest appearance on the power play. The guy is money on the dot

Western Conference Preview - Jibblescribbits
While we all agree that all 5 Central Division teams are solid, the fact that they'll beat each other up could prevent them from placing 4 teams in the playoffs.

Are Corsi numbers really that effective for rating players? - Edmonton Journal
I trust it a lot more than Plus/Minus, that's for sure, especially once it's adjusted for Zone Starts.

Greatest Hockey Legends.com: Swiss Hockey Legend Commits Suicide
Another loss for the hockey community in what has been an awful 2011.

POLL: NHL Helmets With Numbers On Top; Yes Or No? - SBNation.com
Me? I like 'em...

Fantasy Top Ten - Over and Under Performers in Shooting Percentage - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Then again, if SK74 never actually shoots, that regression won't happen!

Video: Mike Milbury is pissed about suspensions, yells about it - Puck Daddy
At least we here in the US can keep up with Canada's cranky old fart race... 

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