Can the "Predator Way" still lead to the playoffs? Tuesday's notes

With Dallas and Los Angeles racking up another dreaded 3-point game last night, the Nashville Predators' playoff hopes continue to get more and more uncertain. Yes, they are merely two points behind Los Angeles for 8th in the West, but so are Minnesota and Anaheim, and the Preds have picked a lousy time to go into a funk (3-5-2 in their last 10). What hopes are that fortunes will turn here soon immediately, starting with tonight's game in San Jose?

The ancient military mastermind Sun Tzu appears to advocate Barry Trotz's defense-first approach to the game:

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease... 

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated. 

Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. 

If the Preds' boasted a decent power play, I'd feel a lot better about that "does not miss the moment" business, having the Predators keep the game close and take advantage when the situation present itself.

Can they do it often enough to climb back into the playoffs? As for myself, as a fan, I prefer my philosophical insights from Black Sabbath, doing one of their last singles with Ozzy Osbourne as front man...

 And now, for your morning hockey news...

Welcome the boys back home Thursday vs. Minnesota, and take the OTF Discount to save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game!

Nashville Predators News

Depth chart for Nashville Predators brimming with talent at all positions - Hockey's Future
In this list of Top 20 Preds' prospects, I'm surprised to see Chet Pickard as high as #12, considering his plummet this season.

J.P. Who-mont? Why This Team Needs J.P. | The Predatorial
Making a case for #71's return to action. You know where I stand on this.

The Hockey News: Rumor Roundup: Rumor Roundup: What will Weber do?
Lyle Richardson runs through some options as to how the Shea Weber negotiations could work out, including the team filing for arbitration in order to extend the timeline for getting a deal done.

Sticks and Stitch: A New Tradition Is Woven Into the Fabric of NHL Culture | The Hockey Writers
Jas shares photos from the second annual event which brings knitters and crocheters together to support the Preds and their charitable foundation.

Smashville Sports Potpourri: Unleash the fury 
John's having some serious doubts about the Preds' playoff hopes, and has 4 big reasons why.

Paul McCann - Sixteen to go... sweet or not. Game Night at the Tank
This makes me think of that song from the 90's(?) "Sixteen and life to go..."

Forum | Section 303
The guys at 303 have added message board-style forums to their site, so head on over and take a look.

Preds On The Glass: Predators Desperate For Points in San Jose and Tuesday Tidbits
Buddy's morning links will get you hungry for lunch...

Hockey Night in Nashville: Preds Must Win Against Sharks
Robby tries applying some reverse mojo to eke out a win tonight. Whatever it takes!

Best of Nineteen – Game 4, San Jose VS Nashville: Shark Hunting | The Predatorial
It sounds like the formula for success is to have Barry Trotz name names in the press before each game.

Preview #67: As Season Winds Down, Predators Need To Make A Run — Now - Predlines
I'd change that to "yesterday". Over their last 10 games, the Preds are 3-5-2, the worst record among the top 12 teams in the West.

Predator rookies will keep that designation next season - Nashville Predators Examiner
Pointing out that Jonathon Blum and Blake Geoffrion are still contenders for the 2012 Calder Trophy? Now that's looking hard for a silver lining...

Preds near the top in goals allowed but not the conference standings - Nashville City Paper
From top to bottom, the team is speaking about the need to play lock-down defense.

More call-outs for Trotz - Predators Insider
I'd say Colin Wilson has looked pretty rough out there since the All-Star Break, and Barry Trotz finally points the finger at him publicly.

Dumont settles into cheerleader role for Preds - The Tennessean
You know who else has been called "a good pro" by Barry Trotz this year? Alexander Sulzer and Wade Belak.

Around the NHL

Nothing's clear when it comes to Winnipeg - Elliotte Friedman
Elliotte's latest touches on franchise uncertainty, and manages to find a Charlie Sheen angle relative to the NHL.

Blame the New Rules for run of concussions? - The Globe and Mail
The level of confusion around the concussion issue is staggering. I do like the idea of penalizing any hit to the head, even an inadvertent one - that's the way sticks are treated already.

Ryan O'Byrne knows he was lucky on skate to face - NHL.com
The Colorado defenseman underwent 3 hours of surgery to repair his face after getting sliced by Taylor Hall's skate. A rare, but terrifyingly dangerous injury here.

Canucks Nation leaves foe frustration, defaced statues in SoCal - Puck Daddy
Are Canucks fans engaging in a little hubris?

Chicago Blackhawks Invade South Florida, Bring Michael Frolik With Them - On Frozen Pond
The Blackhawks head to Miami to face the Panthers, and the former GM who helped assemble their Cup-winning squad from last year.

Six Western Conference Players to Watch Down the Stretch - NYTimes.com
Predators goaltending (both past and present) looms large in this list.

The League of Extraordinary Statisticians: "Good" Penalties - Behind The Net
I agree with the panel here - there are very, very, very few "good" penalties out there.

Down Goes Brown: The pros and cons of fighting in the NHL
I like this one - Anti-fighting: Let's face it, nobody really likes having fighting in the game except for ignorant know-nothings like fans, most general managers and coaches, and virtually every single player.

Ten young guns with the potential to join Jarome Iginla in the exclusive 10 x 30 Club | The Hockey Writers
A good look at which up-and-coming stars have a chance to follow in Iggy's footsteps.

Greatest Hockey Legends.com: Jarome Iginla: Hall of Fame Worthy?
Seems like a slam-dunk YES to me...

So sick he’s got a new nickname: ‘Crosbovski’ - The Globe and Mail
The often-criticized Mikhail Grobovski has developed into a key part of Toronto's surprising revival.

Shoring Up the Blueline - Japers' Rink
In Scott Hannan and Dennis Wideman, have the Caps finally filled the hole on defense which has plagued them for the last few seasons?

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