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The Red Army Comes Calling

The posting will be especially light this week, as we're busy packing boxes and decluttering in anticipation of moving into our new house starting Friday.  Toss in the hassles around having one of our cars totalled and 2 out of 3 kids being sick today, and we've got ourselves some busy times.  In the meantime, I have updated the Penalty Plus/Minus spreadsheet to be found at over at Google.  Notably Sidney Crosby has pulled back ahead of Alex Ovechkin (+21 vs. +20), while Edmonton's Steve Staios holds down the bottom at -14.
 
A few quick thoughts about tonight's Detroit game; while it sounds cliche to say that it will take a full 60-minute effort for Nashville to win, it's a remarkably apt aspect to note when facing the Red Wings.  If you look at team records when they give up the first goal of the game, Detroit is the only team in the NHL with a winning record (.556), and they also are at or near the top in winning percentage when trailing after one or two periods.  In other words, you can't count them out until the final horn sounds.  Interestingly, when the shoe is on the other foot Detroit has dropped a few games, so expect the 3rd period tonight to be a wild one regardless of who's winning going in.
 
According to the Tennessean Dan Ellis will start in goal for the Predators as Chris Mason continues to recover from an illness picked up last week in Canada.  For crying out loud, when will these guys learn to avoid the parboiled otter bars up there???
 
In their two previous meetings this season, the Predators fought back in Detroit from a two-goal deficit in the third before losing in a shootout on November 7, then beat the Red Wings 3-2 on Thanksgiving in Nashville.