Load 'em up or spread 'em out? Thursday's notes

Hmm... the two on the right could make a dynamic duo.

As they prepare to do battle in Vancouver tonight against a Canucks team that is cruising towards the playoffs, the Nashville Predators may have to shuffle the deck up front in order to awaken the offense. At this point in the season, the players and coaches need to look at every available option to produce results, and right now, I think we can safely say that the status quo isn't working.

Personally, I'd like to see Patric Hornqvist get some time working alongside Mike Fisher, a combination which is sure to create havoc around opposing goals (I'd also give them J.P. Dumont as a setup man, but what's the chance of that these days?). A team challenged by injury like the Preds eventually faces the question of whether to load up a single line, or spread out the scoring talent and hope that someone busts through.

Of course, some might ask whether the Preds can actually cobble together a legitimate "loaded" scoring line right now, but what would your suggestion be? I'd like to get your thoughts in the comments below after your morning hockey news...

The Preds return home Thursday, March 10 vs. Minnesota, so take the OTF Discount and save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game!

Nashville Predators News

Preds On The Glass: Predators Face Vancouver in Critical Match and Thursday Thoughts
Buddy hopes the Preds are catching Vancouver at the right time, as they've eased up a bit lately.

Can Chip On Shoulder Help Spark Predators To Victory in Vancouver? - Predlines
Amanda shares some insight from Shane O`Brien before tonight's game against his former team.

Best of Nineteen – Game 2, Vancouver VS Nashville | The Predatorial

Looking for a number of different reasons why the Preds might win tonight...

Hockey Night in Nashville: Wilson Can Provide Offense
Yes, Colin Wilson had a goal & an assist against Dallas last week, but those are his only points in the last nine games.

Preds On The Glass: Shea Weber Takes Out the Net
Nets everywhere cower in fear when Shea Weber's on the ice.

Former Captain Sinks Admirals In Hamilton | Admirals Roundtable
The Milwaukee Admirals are still in first place, although the Houston Aeros are just two points behind.

Austin Watson becoming a force again - Peterborough Examiner
After a sluggish start, the Preds 2010 1st-round draft pick is rolling, with 12 goals in his last 12 games.

You could say the dream came true - Predators Insider
In another blog entry, Blake Geoffrion talks about the dreams which preceded his goal against the Oilers, and how he got some water on the brain.

Like great-grandfather, like grandfather, like father, like son - Edmonton Journal
I love this bit where Blake Geoffrion passes on what his grandfather Boom Boom used to tell him: "if you want da score da goal, you have to shoot da puck."

Vancouver taught two young Preds about big-time hockey - The Tennessean
For Jonathon Blum and Cody Franson, a trip to Vancouver reminds them of their time with the WHL's Vancouver Giants.

Bus breakdown delays Preds' trip - The Tennessean
As if losing the game in Edmonton wasn't bad enough, the team bus had a problem and they had to scramble to get taxis afterward.

Predators prepared to ride Rinne the rest of the regular season | Nashville City Paper
The one big positive to come out of this season? Pekka Rinne has established himself as a prime-time #1 starter, a refreshing development after years spent trying to find someone to assume Tomas Vokoun's dominant role.

Around the NHL

Hockey Enforcer Bob Probert Paid a Price, With Brain Trauma - NYTimes.com
The legendary enforcer, who passed away last summer while working on his memoir, Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge , has been shown to have the same type of brain damage that was recently found among pro football players. This could prove to be a landmark moment in the drive to reduce head shots in the game, if the players pick up the issue and decide to press it.

The ancient secret of Canucks anagrams | CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG
The Preds need to get after "retool our bong" and not let "Walrus Boxer" get under their skin.

Clock ticks again on Coyotes, Hulsizer deal as Goldwater lawsuit lingers | Phoenix Business Journal
Things are getting very dicey in Phoenix, as a special interest group's threat to sue the City of Glendale may kill off the sale of the Coyotes to Matt Hulziser.

Alex Ovechkin back on Twitter, drops Kessel 'Mr. Irrelevant' photo - Puck Daddy
Who needs Charlie Sheen in hockey? Ovechkin posts the infamous photo he took of Phil Kessel getting picked last at the All-Star Game on Twitter. 

Is there any unseating Nicklas Lidstrom for the Norris? - Puck Daddy
A 7th Norris Trophy at the age of 41? It's a distinct possibility. 

Panthers Form Blueprint Advisory Board - KuklasKorner
Is this genius, or the dumbest idea ever? The Panthers set up an advisory board of sponsors, season ticket holders and media members that "will help advise General Manager Dale Tallon... on the overall direction of the organization."

The Hockey News - Why Brendan Morrison and the Flames should enjoy the ride
*sniff* Too bad the Preds couldn't have brought this guy in before the Flames turned their season around. 

Fox, Turner show interest in NHL - SportsBusiness Journal
Based on how things are shaking out (including the recent beer sponsorship deal), I wouldn't be surprised if next year's salary cap rises by 10%, up to around $66 million. Business is booming in the NHL.

Five conferences, five paths to Frozen Four - NHL.com
A preview of the drive towards the NCAA men's hockey championship, to be held this year in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lastly, and in fine counterpoint to the Bob Probert article above, we have New York Islanders thug Trevor Gillies, just returning from a 9-game suspension, and taking a run at Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck last night. What's this worth? 5 games? 10? 20? What will it take for this guy to get the message?


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