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Wednesday's news: Predators head to Edmonton, where turmoil awaits

The Nashville Predators couldn't have wrapped up their recent batch of home games in a better way than last night's 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but now they head out for a swing through Western Canada, which will present a fresh challenge.

The first stop, however is in Edmonton, where this morning's notes include a head coach disgruntled over his team's performance, and a fan base that wonders how much diligence the Oilers went through before giving an older goalie like Nikolai Khabibulin a 4-year contract at a prime salary. Khabibulin is now hobbled by back trouble and may require surgery...

Predators News

Tampa Trauma (with pics) and an HBR Preview - Paul McCann
Paul has pics from last night to share, and a preview of his radio show tonight.

The View from 111: Predators Strike Lightning in 7-4 Blowout
Mark makes the valuable point that most of the Preds goals of late have been of the blue-collar variety, a good sign that the entire team is putting forth a solid effort to drive the net.

See Puck City: Frosties, Fights and Tuesday Nights: Preds Strike Lightning 7-4
SPC managed to eat a Frosty while writing his recap, a dandy achievement.

Nightmare Night For Goalies In Nashville's 7-4 Win Over Tampa - Brandon Felder
Brandon's recap includes speculation that Tampa tried to rough up the Preds in part due to Jordin Tootoo's absence from the lineup.

Nick Spaling’s NHL debut a success - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond has a nice feature on Nick Spaling's big night. He didn't get a ton of ice time, but made the most of it by using his speed to set up a goal for Ryan Jones.

What The Puck: 12/15/09 - Tampa Bay at Nashville: W 4-7
Rachel had a good time last night, as did all of us in attendance. As to her question about Pekka Rinne... well, sometimes a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

German Olympic Coach Seeks Balance Between N.H.L. Stars and Team Chemistry -
Will the lack of playing time cost Alexander Sulzer his shot at the German Olympic team?

Around the NHL

The Oilers outwork, outplay and outchance the opposition, but still lose to Kings. - Cult of Hockey
As we prepare for tomorrow's Predators-Oilers game, check out the post-game comments from Edmonton coach Pat Quinn. He's getting pretty grumpy... - Fire them all and let God sort it out " Fool Me Once…
The knives are being sharpened in Edmonton over the Khabibulin fiasco.

Black Dog Hates Skunks: Follow me in merry measure
You might not think this is about hockey, but it is, trust me. Read it all the way through.

Good night: The best defense | The Two-Line Pass
Rick Tocchet may be pushing every panic button he can find for Tampa, but nothing's working right now.

Last-Minute Goal Dooms Jackets (Puck-rakers)
The Blue Jackets continue spiraling down through the standings, losing to Minnesota in the final minute of regulation, thanks to a goal from former Pred Marek Zidlicky.

Jason Spezza Out With Serious Knee Injury : Hockey Beat
A huge blow to the Ottawa Senators, as their top center will now miss the next two months.

Press Release for NHL Net Coverage of World Juniors, Complete with Gary Thorne Calling U.S. Games " Puck The Media
The NHL Network is going with full-on coverage of the World Juniors (12/26 - 1/5), giving Preds fans a chance to follow two Predators prospects, Ryan Ellis and Gabriel Bourque, who will play for Team Canada.

David Koci should expect a call from Colin Campbell - Puck Daddy
The latest nasty hit should end up with Colorado's David Koci receiving a suspension.

NHL loser point must go, renaming awards a bad idea -
Michael Farber takes up the noble (but hopeless) cause to get rid of the overtime/shootout "loser point".

All Habs: Gainey Signals his Intentions Regarding Halak
Amid rumors that Montreal is looking to trade goaltender Jaroslav Halak, Habs GM Bob Gainey actually spoke publicly about the negotiations.

No, Really, Matt Stajan Is a First-Line Centre - Pension Plan Puppets
Is Matt Stajan really the guy to lead the Maple Leafs in the post-Sundin era?

Spector's Hockey - Shooting Down Some Silly Trade Rumors.
Lyle slaps down a number silly trade rumors, and doesn't mince words when proclaiming one "so incredibly dumb I cannot believe anyone would post this with a straight face."

Book Review: HockeyNomics - Hockey Or Die!
Jonathan Willis reviews a new book that looks at statistical analysis and the NHL.

Jason Spezza Out With Serious Knee Injury : Hockey Beat
A huge blow to the Ottawa Senators, as their top center will now miss the next two months.

Coming Down the Pipe!: Paul Kelly:CHL teams are paying players under the table
The deposed NHLPA exec now heads College Hockey, and sounds off on the conflict between the NCAA and Canadian junior hockey.



Also, thanks to @Vipe29 on Twitter, we have video from of Colin Wilson's first pro fight:

And today you get an extra bonus video! Here are Igor Larionov's daughters, Alyonka and Diana, with a Christmas video loading with NHL player cameos: