In case you didn't stay up for all of last night's game in Vancouver (and I can't blame you if you didn't), be sure to check out the highlights, so you don't miss another nifty goal by Patric Hornqvist to break Vancouver's shutout bid.
One special note; yesterday we passed the 500 mark for registered users here at On The Forecheck, so thanks to all of you for participating, whether it's joining in the Game Threads, posting Fan Posts or Fan Shots, or sending me questions via email or Twitter. It's going to be a fun ride during the second half of the season!
After the jump, however, we've got your morning news and notes, which includes a couple recaps of last night's game in Vancouver, an update on paid attendance numbers, and word that the Columbus Blue Jackets are desperately searching for answers to their tailspin down to 14th place in the Western Conference.
Before we get to the news, one tidbit to pass along is that Pete Weber sat in on 104.5's morning show today, and mentioned that he thought Jerred Smithson looked fine after the game, despite leaving early in the 1st period after taking a puck to his left forearm/wrist area. Obviously that's not an official team statement, but it is encouraging.
Preds On The Glass: Vancouver Stymies Predators 4-1
Buddy's recap includes video of the Shea Weber/Ryan Kesler fight from last night.
See Puck City: Preds Hand Over Win To Vancouver; Allows Canada To Keep Pride
Only a Southern hockey fan would call Robert Luongo "Betty Lu".
Nashville Predators Power Rankings – Dec. 22, 2009 " Intelligence, Please…
George takes a look around the various weekly NHL rankings, and sese many observers singing the praises of different aspects of this Predators team.
Updated paid attendance figures - Predators Insider
The latest figures put paid attendance at 13,060 per game, down 3.4% from last year's pace after 19 home games. The thing to note here is that last season, more games came after January 1st; it's time for that "post-football season" boost to kick in.
Inner-city children need Christmas, too - The Tennessean
A letter-writer to the local rag runs down the Preds (among others) for not supporting inner-city kids throughout the year, saying they only "provide help and assistance during the holidays to those who are already well off and reside in areas like Hendersonville, Goodletsville and Franklin" It's too bad that folks don't realize the many activities that the Preds do throughout the year; it's a hard line to walk, however, because I'm sure they don't want to be seen as patting themselves on the back for all their charitable work.
Around the NHL
Canucks Finally Move Into Top 8 In West With 4-1 Victory Over Predators - Nucks Misconduct
The folks in B.C. breathe a sigh of relief after seeing the Canucks come out and play a solid game.
Quiet ... On The Surface (Puck-rakers)
The Blue Jackets have been one of the biggest under-performers of the season so far... is change in the wind in Columbus?
Rumors of Thrashers Relocation a Topic in Kovalchuk Contract Talks - Bird Watchers Anonymous
The Falconer raises a great point; does speculation by the mainstream media about franchise relocation cause harm to teams trying to lock up players in long-term contracts?
CBCSports.ca - Blogs - Looking back 10 years and 30 thoughts
If it isn't already, Eliotte Friedman's weekly "30 thoughts" should be a mandatory part of your hockey diet.
Pierre McGuire, on the junior event, head shots and Olympics | Truth & Rumours
William Houston's hockey media blog catches up with Pierre McGuire as the World Juniors get underway later this week.