Well, so much for that theory that J.P. Dumont is still valued by the coaching staff, eh? Last night's healthy scratch for the winger (his first in 5 seasons with the Preds) was definitely a game-changer. In his post-game press conference, Barry Trotz said (MP3) that his lineup decisions were driven by a need to "stabilize things" as the team gets healthier.
But how does scratching one of your veterans in favor of a guy (Marek Svatos) who was picked off the waiver wire and hasn't played for weeks foster "stability"? Svatos skated just 6 shifts for 4:31 of ice time, and Trotz obviously didn't feel comfortable working him in.
While J.P.'s basic goal & assist numbers are way down this year (he's on pace for just 23 points), I'd argue that it's due largely to an issue of ice time and opportunity. Despite toiling on the 4th line all season, J.P.'s Relative Corsi (the difference in Total Shots For & Against while he's on the ice compared to when he's off) is #2 on the team behind Patric Hornqvist, and the team's Shots For/60 Minutes while he's playing is best on the Preds.
If it's the skaters' job to create Shots For, and prevent Shots Against, J.P.'s doing that as well as just about anyone on the team. Are there times when he passes up a good shooting opportunity to dish the puck off instead? Certainly, but you can make that same criticism of pretty much every offensive forward on the team outside of Hornqvist.
That said, if the coach doesn't want to play him, then David Poile has a $4 million problem on his hands, one that won't go away without choosing to do so, since J.P. has a No Movement Clause in his contract.
After the jump, however, we start off our morning hockey news with a possible opportunity to make something happen there...
A busy week for the Preds continues with Vancouver in town Thursday, and Phoenix on Saturday, so take the OTF Discount on Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game!
Eric Engels - Habs Rumors...
Eric looks at all the recent Montreal/Nashville talk from the Canadiens perspective. The interesting angle here is that Montreal's Assistant GM (who is coming here for the next two games according to Jim Diamond) played a key role in acquiring and developing J.P. Dumont into an everyday NHL player while he was with Buffalo. That kind of personal history could be a factor in overcoming the huge obstacle that is J.P.'s No Movement Clause. It will certainly be interesting to see whether and how much J.P. plays in the next two games, with the eyes of Montreal watching.
Predators offense sputters and defense fails, fall to the Sharks 2-1 | The Predatorial
I'd disagree that defense was the problem last night... just one more goal and it's a win in regulation.
Preds On The Glass: Pred Killer Marleau Scores in OT as the Sharks Sink the Predators 2-1
Buddy's recap includes video of the post-game press conference with Barry Trotz.
The View from 111: Sharks Outwork the Predators for a 2-1 OT Win
Mark hopes that at least the Preds may learn a lesson or two from last night's game.
Josh wonders how the Sharks, at the end of a long road trip, looked like the fresher team.
Preds On The Glass: Predators Get a Point to be in Four-Way Deadlock and Wednesday Happenings
It's hard to believe how close the standings are when we're about 2/3rds of the way through the season, isn't it?
Termites took over Bridgestone Arena ice Tuesday night - Nashville Predators Examiner
During the 1st intermission, folks got to see the future of Nashville hockey.
Trade is good for Erat - The Province
Vancouver writer Tony Gallagher looks at how the Mike Fisher acquisition has impacted Martin Erat. I certainly like the look of the Erat-Fisher-Kostitsyn line so far...
Nashville Predators and Network Contract Solutions Announce Enterprise Partnership
Strike up another corporate partnership for the Preds, this time with a firm which helps companies with contract management.
Chet In Charge….For Now | Admirals Roundtable
Chet Pickard is getting the bulk of the work these days in the ECHL with the Cincinnati Cyclones. Can he take advantage of this opportunity and get back on the developmental track?
Around the NHL
Byfuglien breaks bank: 5-year, $26 million extension with Atlanta - Puck Daddy
Really, Atlanta? 5 years? Dustin Byfuglien's had a great year, but it looks like that's due in good part to the situations in which he's placed (no PK work, etc.). It's stupid contracts like these that make you wonder just how much Shea Weber will get.
Brian Burke Obliquely Talks About Possible Tomas Kaberle Trade - Pension Plan Puppets
The Loquacious One is talking with Boston about possibly moving his star defenseman.
Chris Kelly Traded to Boston For Draft Pick -- NHL FanHouse
The Ottawa Senators send another veteran packing, getting a 2nd-round draft pick for plugger Chris Kelly.
Avs might not have Duchene for Penguins - All Things Avs
As if losing 8 in a row and having Peter Forsberg retire wasn't bad enough, now it looks like Matt Duchene is hurt.
PK Save Percentage in 2010-11 - The Copper & Blue
Part of Pekka Rinne's overall success has been some eye-popping (and likely unsustainable) numbers on the penalty kill. Just be forewarned if the PK cools off, it's not necessarily the end of the world.
From Teams to Fans, There are Hypocrites All Over Hockey - View From My Seats
Remember, if you point a finger at someone, that makes three pointing right back at you.
Bourne Blog: The problem with Alex Ovechkin this season - Puck Daddy
Is Ovie "off"? The likeliest explanation here is the one which Justin Bourne isn't familiar with - that Ovechkin's shooting percentage has simply bounced to the low side this year. Given his career average, he'd have 10 more goals and be in the thick of the scoring race.
Canes Now - Karmanos: Canes to have local investors
In Carolina, Peter Karmanos is bringing in a gaggle of locals to fill the gap left when his business partner and co-owner of the team died in 2008.