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Friday's notes: Predators riding hot streak into busy NHL weekend

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Get your Black Friday started off right with a healthy dose of Nashville Predators and NHL news; the team has ridden a 7-game winning streak all the way up to 2nd place in the Central Division and 6th in the Western Conference, but have a busy weekend ahead of them with three games in four nights.

Remember, if you're doing some shopping today, check out 5 gift ideas for the rabid Nashville Predators fan in your life (or just scoop them up for yourself, that's OK, too).

After the jump we've got a look at how the Predators are doing on the ice, a list of suggestions to rename their arena, and a look back in time to the surprising retirement by one of the game's all-time great wingers.

Predators News

Just A’ Sittin’ Here, Thankin’ " Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ is a thankful Predators fan, as we all should be.

See Puck City: The Nashville Predators Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union 429 Arena? It's not out of the question.
SPC has a list of hilarious options for a new arena naming rights sponsor...

New Predators jersey reflects hockey's past - The Tennessean
The players are excited to debut the new 3rd jersey tonight against St. Louis (yes, even though originally they said they'd debut it tomorrow).

The View from 111: The Hottest Team in the NHL Continues Its Winning Ways
Mark breaks down the factors behind Nashville's dominating play of late.

Game Night - Third Jersey Debut Edition - Paul McCann
The Preds' PA announcer previews tonight's battle with the Blues.

Around the NHL

Game No. 24 (Puck-rakers)
The Blue Jackets went 1-3-1 on their recent road trip, and are searching for answers.

Hawks Shouldn’t Force A Trade | Hockey Independent
Al Cimaglia writes that while the Blackhawks may indeed need to make a trade to free up cap space as they seek to re-sign key free agents, they need to be careful not to deal away an irreplaceable asset along the way.

Spector's Hockey - NHL Western Conference at the Quarter Pole 2009-10
Lyle Richardson provides his take on each team in the West.

The NHL's top defensive forwards - From The Rink
Two members of Nashville's shut-down line show up on Mirtle's early list of top checking forwards.

Situational Faceoff Percentage - The Copper & Blue
Breaking down faceoff performance by even strength, power play, and the penalty kill. This is something I looked into almost 2 years ago and should really follow up on.

NHL attendance dip not as steep as anticipated -
Kevin Allen writes that the recession isn't hitting the NHL too badly, with attendance down overall, but not horribly so. Roughly half the decline can be attributed to Phoenix alone, which isn't surprising given the damage down there by Jerry Moyes and Jim Balsillie.

25 Years Ago Today: The Surprise Retirement Of Guy Lafleur - Habs Eyes On The Prize
A retrospective on a drama that captures the essence of the fervor felt in Montreal for the Habs and one of their greatest stars.