As they prepare for Game 5 tonight in Phoenix (9:00 p.m. Central on NBC Sports), the Nashville Predators hope to get back to their winning ways by icing their best possible lineup. The late-night party monsters are back in action, while the Coyotes will miss one of their regular defensemen. Phoenix may also be distracted somewhat be a major franchise announcement later today, too.
Follow after the jump for your morning hockey notes, which include Barry Trotz setting the tone for his team...
Nashville Predators News
Nashville Predators plan more lineup changes | The Tennessean
So who will sit now that Kostitsyn and Radulov are expected to play? Not Colin Wilson, apparently.
Nashville, Phoenix goalies among most capable with the puck | Nashville City Paper
Put a leash on Pekka, and forecheck the daylights out of Smith.
Needing to win three in a row, Predators focus on one at a time | Nashville City Paper
If they give 110% and just believe in themselves, they can't be intimidated. They're playing for pride. There, that was easy.
Emotionally Distraught: A Jumble of Joy and Sorrow - Predlines
The goals have been few and far between, so Caroline covers Games 3 & 4 in one post.
Smashville 24/7 - Three reasons why the Preds can, can’t come back
Reasons for hope, and despair.
Gunnar Nordström's blog - Hockey Express
Run this through Google Translate, but the basic idea here is that even if they're knocked out of the playoffs tomorrow, Patric Hornqvist and Anders Lindback aren't expected to play in the World Championships for Sweden.
Bad memories for ex-Leafs - Toronto Sun
Steve Simmons shares a tale of how a night out partying during the 2002 playoffs led to a divided Toronto Maple Leafs locker room. The lesson here? We likely won't hear anything candid in a public forum about this Preds team and their collective mood for a long while, if ever.
Armchair GM — Ryan Flynn | Admirals Roundtable
Pondering which Admirals should return, and which should move on.
Lastly, listen to Barry Trotz after yesterday's practice talking about his lineup decisions heading into tonight. To me, the most interesting bit comes about 4:30 in. Teresa Walker asks about whether or not Rostislav Klesla's suspension will have a major impact on the Coyotes. He ends his response with "we're focused on ourselves right now... for the first time in the series." This encourages me - quit focusing on matching up with Phoenix, and put the best Preds team on the ice tonight.
Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey
Blues coming home, not bringing Kings with them. - St. Louis Game Time
The Blues' rags-to-riches story came to a sudden end, as L.A. completed their sweep.
Report: Bettman to announce tentative Coyotes deal Monday - TSN
I say we get Alex & Andrei to take the whole Coyotes team out to celebrate.
Rangers look for way around Caps' shot blockers - NHL.com
The fine art of avoiding a blocked shot.
Larry Brooks on blocked shots creating less scoring opportunities for New York Rangers, Washington Capitals in playoffs - NYPOST.com
Brooks complains that blocked shots are ruining the game.
Tea with Ms. Conduct: Rethinking Expectations | Backhand Shelf
Sometimes the cries of "overpaid!" obscure the genuine value of a player.
IIHF Worlds Recap: Small Swedish Crowds Cause Price Slashing - Puck Worlds
There's a huge difference in what European crowds are willing to pay to see live hockey compared to the NHLmarket.