Despite breaking into new territory as a franchise by winning their first playoff series this spring, the Nashville Predators still have yet to face other unique challenges of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and this evening in Boston we get treated to one of the great ones - a deciding Game 7, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals between the Lightning and Bruins. For fans of those teams, I'm sure the butterflies in the belly are churning already, and you can bet that they'll pretty much be useless at work today, as their thoughts are consumed with what may or may not happen. A victory means a trip to Vancouver and the Stanley Cup Final, while a loss means the sudden end of a thrilling playoff ride.
For now, follow after the jump for a few pieces to help set up tonight's Game 7, along with the rest of your morning news & notes...
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Nashville Predators News
Preds On The Glass: POTG Friday Headlines, News, and Morning Links
Buddy's looking forward to tonight's Nashville Sounds game, which the Section 303 guys are pitching as a Preds fan meetup opportunity.
Music City Mindset: The Roller Coaster Season Part IV: Race To The Finish
Ryan recounts the thrilling stretch that ended the regular season.
Top 15 moments of the 2010-11 Preds season: #8 | Section 303
A little helping of Joel Ward...
Around the NHL
Could Nathan Horton be facing a suspension for Game 7? - Houses of the Hockey
Is Nathan Horton this year's version of Duncan Keith? Despite a black-and-white rule to the contrary, I suspect this will get swept under the rug by the league, and he won't be suspended for tonight.
Bruins, Lightning coaches spar over working the refs - Puck Daddy
With Game 7 coming up, they've got to work for any angle they can...
You Like Me! You Really Like Me! ... Part II - Behind The Net
Who cares about the article, the photo caption here is well worth a click.
Down Goes Brown: A Jets fan's guide to how the NHL has changed since 1996
"1996 - If your team's game day staff is really hip and cutting edge, they spend the whole game playing music from 1996.
2011 - If your team's game day staff is really hip and cutting edge, they spend the whole game playing music from 1998."
Does Hockey Math Work? - The Copper & Blue
A good demonstration of how to use some advanced hockey stats.
NHL trade deadline revisited: Winners and losers are both still alive - Sporting News
Check out the whopper of a statement that Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi makes about Dustin Penner...
Sharks Injuries: The Walking Dead - Battle of California
It's amazing to hear about some of the injuries guys play through these days. It makes you wonder what guys on the Lightning and Bruins are dealing with, too.
A tribute to Doug Weight - Houses of the Hockey
The veteran center finally hung up the skates yesterday.
Again, if concussions are a concern, why is fighting allowed? - Buzzing The Net
That's the natural end of the discussion, after all.
Rocket Science - Bird Watchers Anonymous
More evidence of just how sadly management failed hockey fans in Atlanta.
Jeanneret, Neale to Cut Back in 11-12 " Puck The Media
Buffalo's dynamic duo will dial things down a bit in the year ahead...
Wilson's new deal on hold - thestar.com
If you thought Ron Wilson was a cranky SOB before... it looks like he'll enter the 2011-12 season in Toronto with his job on the line.
Conference championship gear - will Vancouver Canucks fans buy much now? | Hockey Gear HQ
How many NHL fans will buy Conference Championship apparel knowing that the Stanley Cup Final is set for next week?