Friday's notes: Sports Nerds Gone Wild

"Hold on, lemme check the Relative Corsi of the guys the other team is putting out there..."

Today's "around the league" hockey notes start off with a preview of what is becoming an increasingly popular and noteworthy event, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where bright minds from around the world of sports gather to discuss the issues of the day, and how analytics can best be applied to both the competitive and business side pro sports franchises.

Like it or not, analytics are becoming increasingly valuable in all aspects of the sports world, because, just like any other business, research & development provide an avenue for competitive advantage. Especially in a salary-cap league like the NHL, where a big-money team like Toronto or the Rangers can afford to spend extra money in off-ice areas, analytics can give a savvy team the edge required to stay one step ahead of the pack.

But first, we take a look at the news around Smashville...

Nashville Predators News

Hockey Night in Nashville: Report Card: Coming down the stretch
Robby gives the gang their 3rd-quarter grades.

Hang Up & Listen: Sommet Remains Black Eye For Predators
Sommet... I think that's French for "bile coming back up into your mouth."

Preds Player Profile: Paul Gaustad | ladypreds
Straight outta Fargo.

Preds Player Profile: Andrei Kostitsyn | ladypreds
Might Nashville become the home of a poor-man's Sedin combo?

Smashville 24/7: Deadline additions create healthy competition; Gaustad ready for Saturday
Especially now that the 23-man roster limit no longer applies, there are lots of extra players competing for spots in the lineup each night.

Lineup decisions on the front burner for Trotz - Nashville Predators Examiner
Can you smell what the Trotz is cookin'?

Nashville Predators' Pekka Rinne catches his breath with a light week of work | The Tennessean
Peks gets a rare break, and it sounds like Ryan Ellis is here to stay.

Paul Gaustad extends his hand, not his fists to Nashville Predators - The Tennessean
The new guy works on settling in, which starts by getting to know some of the guys he's fought before.

Playing in pain not necessary for one of the newest Predators | Nashville City Paper
Paul Gaustad was able to start his tenure with the Preds with a little recuperation.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

The age of advanced stats in the National Hockey League is here | Edmonton Journal
This is pretty much a dream vacation of mine, to attend the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference.

The ‘Stats Guys’ vs. Cinderella, or how Minnesota Wild regressed to the mean | Puck Daddy
And folks... you just can't ignore the specter of how the Preds continue to languish at the very bottom of these standings. At the very least, it's a compelling point of differentiation between Nashville and the strongest contenders for the Stanley Cup.

Don Cherry joins Twitter - The Globe and Mail
I'm guessing the tweets here will be typed IN ALL CAPS, EH?

Passion, patience keys to Wings' success: Holland - Windsor Star
The Detroit GM provides insight on their developmental approach, which sounds quite similar to Nashville's generally (hat tip to Kukla's Korner).

Breaking news at speed of social media - The Globe and Mail
The rules, they are a-changin'.

Sens’ Anderson unsure about return from finger injury - The Globe and Mail
This could be really bad news for Ottawa.

Coldhearted: Ryan Suter, Evgeni Malkin, Vernon Fiddler's impressions, and the rest of the week in the NHL - Grantland
Katie Baker's weekly roundup focuses on whether or not the Preds defenseman will be impressed enough with David Poile's work to sign a new contract here.

Warning: Use VHS Only as Directed - The Goalie Guild
Justin sees an outbreak of Vertical-Horizontal Stance plaguing goalies across the league.

What's the Point? Bettman's Loser Point Fails To Hit Its Mark - Lighthouse Hockey
Chris examines the abomination that is the OTL column in the NHL standings.

Blues At Canucks Recap ; Boys Are Back In Town (2-0W) - Nucks Misconduct
Vancouver took this battle of Western Conference heavyweights.

VIDEO: Sorry Devin Setoguchi, The Price Is Wrong - SBNation.com
This makes me feel so much better about myself as a rec-league player.

Backstrom injured, Kassian scores first 2 goals to spark rally before Wild loses in shootout | StarTribune.com
Whoa whoa whoa... not good at all for my fantasy hockey team.

Game 64 Recap: Red Dawn - The Cannon
Steve Mason with the shutout for Columbus...

Sabres vs. Sharks Recap: Miller is Phenomenal AGAIN, Sabres Stay Undefeated on Road Trip - Die By The Blade
Buffalo can still capture that 8th spot in the East if they keep it going.

The Afterburners: Jets Tame Panthers in a Blowout - Arctic Ice Hockey
The other top teams in the Southeast Division hold three games in hand on them, but the Jets are battling away.

WTF?! Well it's a win for Habs - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Hey, don't complain, just take the two points and move on.

Bruins 4, Devils 3: Krejci, Seguin Shine as Boston Sweeps New Jersey in Regular Season for First Time in 26 Years - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Boston completes the exorcism.

Rangers Vs. Hurricanes: Great All Around Play Earns Rangers 3-2 Win Over The Hurricanes - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers are on another roll, having won three straight.

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