Wednesday's notes: Fine-tuned, but ready for Detroit?

Three straight victories, with two convincing games in a row on home ice, make for a fine way for the Nashville Predators to prepare for the Detroit Red Wings' first visit to Bridgestone Arena tomorrow night. One could argue that the Preds are playing perhaps their best hockey of the season right now... so what do you think? Are they ready for the 19-9-1 Red Wings? Are you?

Chime in on that question after reading your morning hockey notes...

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Nashville Predators News

Make sure to take a spin through the "More Predators Sites" box on the left-hand sidebar of the main page, and surf through the other Preds blogs for game recaps from last night.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper celebrates the Preds' return to the break-even level in Goals For & Against.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Six months later, here's what Thrashers fans are saying |
The line from one fan who's jumping on the Predators bandwagon is hilarious.

Did Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren Violate The NHL’s Disclosure Policy? - The Hockey Writers
Day 1 - Giroux is "feeling better". Day 2 - He "is continuing to feel better." Day 3 - "Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse." Hmm... sure smells like an outright lie is in there somewhere.

You can't make this up. Look closely. #Canucks (via @dar... on Twitpic
Here's the photo of the night from the NHL!

Elbow, shoulder pads under scrutiny in bid to reduce NHL head injuries - The Globe and Mail
The NHL continues to look at reducing the extent to which protective gear can be used as a weapon.

Zach Bogosian vs Pierre-Marc Bouchard: Can the League Get This One Right? - Hockey Wilderness
A nasty hit here... but notice how from the Minnesota perspective, they don't even mention that Bouchard turned to face the boards right before the hit. When Bogosian is less than 10 feet away, they're facing each other, but Bouchard spins to play the puck, and that's what leads to his face getting busted up.

SLAM! Sports - Toronto - Goalie pads return to Bower
Well, this is a cool little story. Maple Leafs legend Johnny Bower gets back a piece of his storied career.

Teemu Selanne’s Conference Call (Transcript/Audio) | Illegal Curve Hockey
Winnipeg is going to be bursting with anticipation to see Teemu Selanne hit the ice for the Ducks.

Chatting with Nikita Filatov about leaving for KHL, struggles in Ottawa and ‘stupid question’ about NHL future - Puck Daddy
Good stuff for those curious about what's going through Filatov's head as he heads across to the KHL.

Puck Daddy’s Unofficial HBO 24/7 Flyers-Rangers Drinking Game - Puck Daddy
For those of you with HBO, tonight's the kickoff for the new season of 24/7.

What's Wrong with Brandon Dubinsky? - Blueshirt Banter
One goal in 27 games? What's going on with the Rangers captain forward?

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: The 1980s Part I - Arctic Ice Hockey
Nashville fans will surely recognize the penultimate name on this list.

Brad Richards not surprised by Stars' success - The Dallas Morning News
The flashy center may have left Dallas for the bright lights and big bucks of Broadway, but is happy for how things are working out for the Stars.

Brodeur is a Fraud: What Does a Clutch Goaltender Look Like?
Really good analysis here on what it means for a goalie to make a "key" save vs. the regular kind, and whether the notion of "clutch" really exists.

From the Editor: You're Kidding?! The Ducks Are 30th! - Anaheim Calling
What's the road forward for the Ducks? Do they tear things down entirely, or just hope that the change in head coach will lead to a turnaround?

The Blackhawks know that stats don’t tell the whole story - Chicago Sun-Times
Two blowout losses make the Blackhawks' season totals look less impressive than their typical play.

Welcome Back, Conner: Red Wings 4 - Penguins 1 - Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings tuned up for tomorrow's game at Bridgestone Arena by topping one of the top teams in the East.

Sharks at Avalanche Recap, Avs win 4-3 in SO - Mile High Hockey
The Avalanche have now won four straight on home ice after a lousy start there.

Game 30 Recap: Jackets Grind It Out Over the Canucks - The Cannon
The Blue Jackets finally climbed out of last place in the NHL with a shootout win at home over Vancouver.

Bruins, Rask Shut Out Kings, 3-0 - Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Bruins are looking to go on another winning streak after handling the wayward Kings.

Connolly Tips and Taps to Lift the Leafs over Cam Ward, 2-1 in OT - Pension Plan Puppets
Naturally, I left Tim Connolly off my fantasy hockey roster last night, so he scores both goals in a big win for the Maple Leafs.

In Which the Caps Are Really, Really Bad (and the Flyers Win) - Broad Street Hockey
No Giroux, no problem for the Flyers, who cruised to their 6th straight win.

The Afterburners: Jets beat Minnesota 2-1 in a "Wild" Affair... - Arctic Ice Hockey
Small building + passionate fans = "loudest building in the league"? It's quite possible.

New Jersey Devils Get Revenge, Come From Behind to Beat Florida Panthers 3-2 in Shootout - In Lou We Trust
The Devils broke in new defenseman Kurtis Foster (acquired from Anaheim via trade) with over 21 minutes of action.

Game 31 Recap: Habs Hold Off Islanders 5-3 - Habs Eyes On The Prize
A home game against the Islanders is a nice remedy for a losing streak.

Jared Cowen Leads the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 Overtime Victory Over the Buffalo Sabres - Silver Seven
The Senators are hanging around the playoff pack in the East, thanks in part to a road win at Buffalo.

And lastly... a little holiday video from the San Jose Sharks that's been making the rounds:

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