The next few days will go a long ways towards setting our expectations for the rest of the regular season for the Nashville Predators. Tonight they face the Red Wings on home, with a rematch in Detroit set for Wednesday (viewing party, anyone?). If they can sweep those games, the Preds could be in contention for the Central Division title. If not, the focus will likely shift to simply staying ahead of the massive pack of playoff contenders scrambling for position, with home-ice advantage in the 1st round being the reward for 4th place.
For now, though, follow after the jump for your morning hockey news...
Tonight's game against the Red Wings will be a sellout, but save some cash and get yourself some discount Nashville Predators tickets for any other home game. Monday, #1 draft pick Taylor Hall and the Edmonton Oilers come to town, and next Saturday, the Colorado Avalanche roll in.
Hockey Night in Nashville: Locker Room Speech
Robby's ready to address the boys before tonight's game.
Preview #53: Red Wings Make First Visit Of Season To Bridgestone Arena - Predlines
Amanda finds optimism in comparing the Preds' record right now to the same point last season.
What The Puck: Your Morning Jed: Colin Wilson 101
Rachel puts the spotlight on one of Nashville's Most Eligible...
Puck and Punk: Barry Trotz's Words of Wisdom
Caution: weirdness awaits.
Geoffrion Stays Hot, Ads Win 4-2 | Admirals Roundtable
The opening line says it all: "This just in. Every home game for the rest of the season will be Blake Geoffrion bobblehead night."
Rare fight for Kevin Klein sends message - Nashville Predators Examiner
When Klein jumped in after Marcel Goc was boarded by Dan Carcillo, that endears him to teammates and coaches. I have to wonder if the opposite holds true for Alexander Sulzer, who was also on the scene but didn't engage.
Predators forward still feeling effects of concussion - The Tennessean
Matthew Lombardi is still feeling symptoms, but at least he's beginning to exercise a little bit. While this is obviously positive news, I find it hard to believe he'll be back this season.
Predators set three goals as a goal - The Tennessean
Forget the Frosties, Barry Trotz would just like to see the Preds score thrice.
Poile talks deadline - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper gets the Preds' GM to talk in general terms about what he'd like to get at Trade Deadline time - a top 6 forward, mainly.
Around the NHL
Eriksson: "Hardy was a real tjomme" - Hockeyexpressen.se
Longtime NHL defenseman Anders Eriksson opens up the guns in an interview with the Swedish site (run it through Google Translate). In particular, note this comparison between the Swedish Elite League and North American hockey: "It is sometimes said that the elite teams would fare decently in the NHL. Not a chance, I say. Everyone thinks that the HV is so damn good, but put them against a top team in the AHL - and they would have a great strike. They would have to play in a scarf to avoid being cold all the players who whizzed around them."
Well That was Boring: Red Wings Lose 3-2 - Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings come into tonight's game off a home defeat at the hands of Columbus.
Panthers GM Dale Tallon says he'll listen to all offers - NHL.com
It sounds like Florida's having a yard sale this month.
Bruins can't have it both ways on lateral blindside hits to the head - The Dallas Morning News
Mike Heika calls Boston out for whining about Daniel Paille's 4-game suspension for a blind-side head shot.
HockeyMonkey coupon code for February can save you 5% | Hockey Gear HQ
Need some hockey equipment for yourself or a family member who plays the game? Here's how you can save some cash this month while ordering online.
Why the NHL is becoming like the NFL - The Globe and Mail
Time for one of those "how can we take advantage of Super Bowl weekend to grab a few clicks" articles.
Peter Forsberg says he feels better after practice Friday | All Things Avs
Another day, another mood for Foppa.
Could former Penguins GM Craig Patrick be nearing a NHL return? | The Hockey Writers
One of hockey's biggest names could return to the front office once new ownership takes over in Buffalo.