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Predators Update, March 19 2009

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I'm moving slow after a hockey game last night (4-3 loss, scored once), but I can still crawl around the internet to dig up your Nashville Predators news this morning:

As I noted in the Game Thread yesterday, Puck Daddy's jumping on board the "Pekka Rinne for Calder Trophy" campaign. It's not quite a full-throated endorsement, but definitely calls into question the conventional wisdom that it's Steve Mason's award to lose.

The Tri-City Herald reports that 2008 1st-round draft pick Chet Pickard has been named a finalist for the Western Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year. 2007 1st-round pick Jonathan Blum also made the WHL's Western Conference All-Star team on defense.

Kevin Allen at USA Today talks about the challenging mathmatical juggling that goes on in calculating a team's playoff chances at this point, with plenty of input from Preds GM David Poile.

In another example of how sensational headlines create lingering misperceptions, Adrian Dater at the Denver Post, in an article about how the Colorado Avalanche might tap into NHL revenue sharing for the first time, says that:

In order to qualify for NHL revenue sharing this season, teams must average at least 14,000 in attendance. That has led at least one team — the Nashville Predators — to buy its own tickets at market price for some games in order to raise the average attendance. In effect, the Predators are paying themselves, then will receive money from financially better-performing teams.

I'd challenge Dater to provide any evidence that the Predators have done any such thing. In an interview with the Tennessean several weeks ago, David Freeman talked about some of the owners potentially buying tickets, but doubted that would be necessary. And owners, particularly since they have other businesses as well, frequently buy tickets to their own teams through those businesses. You don't think Comcast buys tickets to the Flyers?

Lastly, Defending Big D has a look at the Western Conference playoff race, including projections as to how each team must perform in order to reach the postseason.