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Wednesday's notes: Playing the blame game in Nashville

With the Nashville Predators' losing streak now at four games, the natural reaction within the fan base is to assign blame. Are the goalies to blame for soft goals against? Is Barry Trotz to blame for his rotation in net, and abandoning his "shutout rule" that prevailed in years past? Is the defense pair of Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein responsible, or the veteran forwards like Jason Arnott and Steve Sullivan who haven't been scoring lately?

After the jump, you can survey those cases, and a whole lot more...

Predators News

The View from 111: Soft Goals Sink Slumping Predators
Mark pins much of the blame for last night on Pekka Rinne, and I'd have to agree. But there's little time for ruminating over it, with Detroit coming up on Friday.

Too Little, Too Late: This Road Trip's Theme - Brandon Felder
Brandon's ready to make some major changes on defense in light of last night's loss.

Standings tighten as Predators drop fourth straight - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond points out that amid the frustration of a four-game losing streak, the focus should be on Friday's game at Detroit; it's the opportunity to not just earn two points in the standings, but deny them to a playoff competitor.

Postgame ponderings - Inside Predators
John Glennon wonders if Pekka Rinne was "trying a little too hard" in his second consecutive start.

The Preds return home Saturday, January 30 vs. Ilya Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers. For discounted tickets to this or any other Nashville Predators home game, you can follow this link and use the special offer code "PREDS".

Around the NHL

Game No. 55 (Puck-Rakers Blog)
From the Columbus perspective last night, "the video of the first period ought to be burned." One can argue that the Predators lost the game then by not taking advantage of their early dominance.

Epic Fail: Coyotes 5-Wings 4 OT - Winging It In Motown
The only piece of decent news for Nashville is that the Red Wings coughed up a two-goal lead in the waning moments against Phoenix, and lost in OT.

Constructing the Post-Kovalchuk Thrashers - Bird Watchers Anonymous
The Falconer grudgingly accepts the growing likelihood that Ilya Kovalchuk will be leaving Atlanta, and looks at the path forward for the Thrashers.

Spector's Hockey - Kovalchuk Saga Not First Indicator of Lockout Failure.
Lyle makes a classic blunder, declaring the NHL's salary cap system a failure because it fails to prevent GM's from overpaying individual players. It was never intended to do so, however, and instead manages player costs at an overall level, rather effectively.

Nabokov On Pace For 71 Starts - Fear The Fin
Whew, now we can get a head-start writing our "Why the Sharks flopped in the playoffs again" piece.

Picking A Captain: Is Youth Overtaking Experience? - From The Rink
Cory points out how many young players are getting the "C" stitched on their chest around the NHL. I, for one, think it's a bad idea to give it to kids in their first 3 or 4 NHL seasons.

Michael Arace commentary: Youngsters key to NHL coaches' job security | The Columbus Dispatch
Wow - "Twenty-two of 30 NHL coaches have been replaced since June 2008. That's a 73.3 percent rate of fire in a stretch of 18 months. "

10 Players likely to be dealt before the trade deadline - TSN
Darren Dreger's list includes multiple players from Carolina, Edmonton and Toronto.