Tuesday's notes: Are shootouts more common as the playoffs approach?

Our morning hockey notes kick off with an observation from Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, as quoted by Mike Organ of the Tennessean:

It's the time of the year, Coach Barry Trotz said, when shootouts become more commonplace in the NHL because most teams are playing at an elevated level.

"I'd like to know what the percentage of shootouts are in the last 20 or 30 games," Trotz said. "Teams tighten up; there's more one-goal games, more ties, more shootouts."

Well, coach, your hunch appears to be correct, at least based on how things shook out last season:

Month Shootouts Games Frequency
October 11 156 7.1%
November 22 201 10.9%
December 28 209 13.4%
January 24 184 13.0%
February 26 191 13.6%
March 33 218 15.1%
April 6 71 8.5%

I wouldn't read too much into that April number, considering how few games take place that month, and that you have many teams at that point who are either cruising to the playoffs or just playing out the string. It's not like there's a huge spike in shootouts during the latter portion of the season, but maybe a handful more than normal. I'll have to take a look at the frequency of overtime games at some point, too.

And now, on to your morning hockey news...

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Nashville Predators News

Nashville’s Trade History: A Long Strange Trip – Part Two – 1998-99 | PuckScene.com
Relive the late-90's horse trading withe names like Bubba Berenzweig, Jim Dowd, and Tony Hrkac making the rounds.

The Dog Days of February | The Predatorial
James says that February is a good time to chill out.

Smashville 24/7: Know the Enemy: Wilson previews Chicago
Willy talks about what the Preds need to bring tonight.

Smashville 24/7: Trotz: Preds have to become a desperate team
Can the Predators manufacture a sense of urgency? Because let's be honest, there's a lot more on the line for Chicago tonight than Nashville.

Door open for Radulov to return to Preds - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN
Scott Burnside provides his update on the Radulov story. While the City Paper article yesterday was a nice read, is there really any news here??? I just don't see it.

Monday Morning Round Up: A short joke, Crosby sneezes and the Catholic church | hockeygalmilwaukee
Stephanie shares notes a variety of notes from Milwaukee, including an introduction to a new Admiral.

Nashville Predators seek to regain momentum against Chicago Blackhawks | The Tennessean
Did hubris strike the Preds during the All-Star break?

Recent shootout struggles have Rinne longing for return to winning ways | Nashville City Paper
Two shootout losses last week are still stinging Peks.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

NHL Network to Broadcast All 10 Hours of TSN’s Trade Deadline Coverage in the States " Puck The Media
You know, this may not be all that great, because TSN's first focus will be on the Canadian teams.

New TV home for the league is reason to celebrate - latimes.com
Can NBC Sports really take things to a higher level than Versus ever could? I certainly think so.

Nash On The Block? | BlueJackets Xtra
It doesn't sound like Columbus is actively shopping Rick Nash, but they may listen to offers. In a league where Wayne Gretzky got traded, nothing's really off-limits.

Down Goes Brown: Take the quiz: Should you waive your NTC?
Watching the Mats Sundin ceremony last weekend has DGB musing on no-trade clauses.

Coach - the case for Terry Crisp - Calgary Sun
They're holding a vote up in Calgary for an all-time Flames lineup, and Crispy's gotta be the coach, right?

Can Emery or Crawford Save the Blackhawks? - DailyFaceoff.com
I'll go with "none of the above".

Matt Carle vs. Ryan Suter " The Hockey Guys
This Flyers defenseman may be one of the most underrated in the NHL.

Obstruction returns to the NHL - The Globe and Mail

Cox: Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames share same predicament - thestar.com
When teams like Calgary and Toronto meet, the question turns to which one is more likely to return to the playoffs after a long absence.

Flyers' Zac Rinaldo Suspended Two Games for Hit on Jonathan Ericsson - Winging It In Motown
This is the guy who nailed Ryan Suter earlier this season.

Here’s the Alice Cooper Coyotes Bobblehead you’ll welcome to your nightmares | Puck Daddy
OK, this is pretty cool!

Nicklas Lidstrom: His Greatest Stat - Octopus Thrower
Slick Nick's durability is downright astounding.

2012 Beanpot: Boston College Wins Title With Overtime Win Over Boston University - SBNation.com
With all the East Coast collegiate connections among the Nashville Predators (both players and front office staff), expect lots of chirping over this.

Stu Hackel Week on Arctic Ice Hockey: Penalties Drawn aka "Stats the NHL ought to keep" - Arctic Ice Hockey
As I've noted previously, Dustin Brown's penalty-drawing ability is a tremendous value to his team. That aspect of his game alone is worth something on the order of 4-6 points in the standings for Los Angeles.

Coyotes At Canucks Recap ; The Endless Stair (2-1Ws/o) - Nucks Misconduct
As always, I'm a sucker for a Tolkien reference.

Pavelski's four-point night lifts Sharks over Washington - Fear The Fin
The Sharks are now 9-3-0 against Eastern Conference teams.

That One Will Hurt: Habs Fall 5-3 to Hurricanes - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Carolina played the role of spoiler last night, scoring thrice in the third to come from behind and beat the Canadiens.

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