Tonight's game at Bridgestone Arena gives the Predators a chance to deal a serious blow to the Dallas Stars' playoff chances, just as they did to St. Louis on Sunday. In many ways, it's a chance for the Preds to get into "playoff mode", and try to basically eliminate a team that is sure to bring a desperate effort. Check out the Game Day Preview and set yourself up for a great evening in downtown Nashville.
While you're reading this morning's news, you can listen to rookie defenseman Cody Franson's segment on the Thom Abraham Show yesterday afternoon. The big lug is on fire these days, and scored the overtime winner in Saturday night's 1-0 win over Columbus:
And now, on to the hockey stories for today...
First, this note:
SB Nation is conducting a survey to learn more about our readers, and I'd appreciate your completing it by Thursday of this week. The blog which has the highest portion of its membership fill out the survey gets $500 to donate to the charity of its choice. Can we raise $500 for perhaps the Predators Foundation, folks?
Preds On The Glass: POTG Podcast, Pred-Stars Preview, and Tuesday Tidbits
Buddy recaps last night's podcast and looks ahead to tonight's battle with the Stars.
Monday Notes from the Road - Paul McCann
Paul recaps the big road trip that saw 150 fans make the trip from Nashville to cheer on the Preds in St. Louis on Sunday.
Razor's Edge: How the Predators stay so competitive - TSN
Ray Ferraro marvels at how the Preds continue to stay competitive year after year.
Predators’ Pekka is at peak performance - Nashville City Paper
David Boclair writes that Pekka Rinne is hitting his stride at just the right time.
Predators feel impact of younger players - The Tennessean
John Glennon trumpets the contributions of Colin Wilson, Patric Hornqvist, and Cody Franson to the Preds' run to the playoffs, although I wouldn't call Pekka Rinne such a young guy. He is 27 and has several years of North American pro hockey under his belt now.
Around the NHL
Campbell's Cuts: Campbell's Cuts: Rumors of relocation
Nobody, but nobody, cranks out consistently inane blather like Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. He starts this out with "There seems to be no shortage of talk concerning relocation these days." Really? I wouldn't think relocation has been even a Top 10 story in the NHL this season, but Campbell has an ax to grind... It really amazes me that he actually gets paid to write this garbage. If a blogger published such a rumor-filled, fact-free article they'd be scoffed at by the mainstream media, but Campbell piles up the manure and runs it under the THN banner with aplomb.
Down Goes Brown: Twelve factors behind the Leafs' sudden turnaround
DGB breaks down exactly why the Maple Leafs are piling up the wins these days. My fave? "The absence of Lee Stempniak has created an opportunity for younger players to step into the role of a fourth-liner who contributes absolutely nothing."
Committed Indian column: Potential playoff matchups for Blackhawks - Blackhawk Up | A Chicago Blackhawks Blog
A look at which teams are likely to get a chance to ruin Chicago's party early this spring.
For the Thrashers, Winning is All about Offense - Bird Watchers Anonymous
As they scramble to make the Eastern Conference playoffs, Atlanta's offense is proving critical to their fortunes. I, for one, am pulling hard for them to make it.
Andrei Markov: what is his value to the Canadiens? - Behind The Net
Is the return of star defenseman Andrei Markov the reason why Montreal has played better lately?
A (Modest) Defense of Jeff Deslauriers - The Copper & Blue
Ben Massey attempts a moderate defense of Jeff Deslauriers, and makes only one joke about shoving it up backsides. Once and for all.
The Bruins’ X-Factor: Dennis Wideman? - Hockey Independent
Can the Boston defenseman turn around a disappointing season and lead the Bruins to success in the playoffs? Good luck with that...
FTR Roundtable: Suspensions, Playoff Positioning, & Cheering Losses - From The Rink
Mike Chen's crew discusses a number of current topics, including the question of whether Phoenix might actually win the Pacific Division.
College Hockey Pickem - sponsored by Forgotten Miracle and Pond Hockey
Think you know who will win the NCAA hockey tournament? Even if you don't, take a shot and you might win a replica jersey of the team of your choice!
And lastly, thanks to a suggestion from stackiii, we have video evidence that hockey players can be just as painfully awkward as their professional football brethren. This comes from the Boston College hockey team as they prepared for the annual Bean Pot Tournament, back in 1986:
I spotted former NHL'er Doug Brown (the 3rd "singer")... any other guys you recognize in there?