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Thursday's news: Central division drama as Columbus fires Ken Hitchcock

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Yesterday a second Central Division coach was fired this season as Ken Hitchcock was cut loose in Columbus, after St. Louis fired Andy Murray last month.

After the jump we've got analysis of the Blue Jackets situation, excitement over the fact that brothers Cal and Ryan O'Reilly get to play against other tonight when the Avalanche visit the Predators, and a call by one Nashville blogger for David Poile to jump into the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes...

Predators News

Sorry Folks, I Dropped the Puck… " Pull My (Fang)Finger
The reason why the Preds suffered that recent losing streak? Yup, it's AJ's fault.

Why the Predators SHOULD trade for Kovalchuk… | Section 303
Uh oh, it looks like Jeremy's been eating paint chips again...

Preds On The Glass: O'Reilly Brothers Meet on NHL Ice and Thursday Thoughts
Buddy's update this morning concludes with a bridal gala? That's different.

From the cemetery, with a little Kovalchuk speculation | All Things Avs
While in Nashville to cover tonight's Avalanche/Predators game, columnist Adrian Dater visited Carnton Plantation in Franklin to soak in a little Civil War history.

A little brotherly shove - The Denver Post
...then Dater has the scoop on the O'Reilly (Colorado's Ryan and Nashville's Cal) boys, who get to square off against each other for the first time at the NHL level.

Sibling rivalry hits ice - The Tennessean
And when John Glennon wanted to learn about the O'Reilly brothers, he went right to the top of the chain of command; their mother.

Roman Josi likely out of Olympics - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond reports that the Preds prospect will probably not represent Switzerland in Vancouver due to a broken finger.

Around the NHL

The Fallout (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Aaron Portzline has the breakdown on the Ken Hitchcock firing in Columbus.

The Hitch Firing: System or Goaltending? - From The Rink
Mike Chen examines the evidence as to whether the whole team failed Hitchcock, or whether it was mostly goaltending.

Eklund: Please Don’t Ever Change - Hockey or Die
Jonathan Willis how hockey's #1 BS merchant has the Ilya Kovalchuk story covered.

Healthy Franzen: Good for Detroit, embarrassing for Sweden - Puck Daddy
As Johan Franzen returns to the Red Wings lineup, the fact that he was left off of Sweden's Olympic squad has all sides sniping at each other. Who knew Swedes were so catty?

Playoffs? You're Talking About Playoffs? - Hockey Wilderness
Is Minnesota out of it?

TNABACG: A Better NHL Standings Representation
Is there a better way to publish the NHL Standings?

Top 10 surprises as the NHL hits the home stretch - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen has one Preds' production as one his surprises of the season.