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Monday's notes: Grapes sours on hockey geeks

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Get your hockey week started with your (late) morning news and notes. It's another busy, four-game week for the Nashville Predators as they face off in Florida tonight against the Panthers.

After the jump, we have both a look at how advanced hockey stats are impacting the modern NHL, and the backlash against it from Don Cherry...

Before we get to the notes, I wanted to draw your attention a couple items you may have missed over the weekend:

Jonathan Blum working his way towards an NHL future - On the Forecheck
Eric Kent from Admirals Short Shifts provided us with a great feature article on the progress of 2007 1st-round draft pick Jonathan Blum. Might we see him with Nashville next season?

Tennessee's privilege tax draws criticism from Detroit's Brian Rafalski - On the Forecheck
Most are shedding no tears over the fact that professional athletes have to pay an extra tax to play in Tennessee. But consider the case of Peter Olvecky. He's played at the AHL level most of this season, for $105,000. He got called up back in October for one game, then sent right back down, and had to pony up $2,500 for the "privilege". That was his only NHL action this season, and coming to work that day cost him money, it didn't earn him anything.

Predators News

Predators fan vying to win contest
Head over here and vote for Tricia (known as @predsgirl on Twitter), a diehard Predators fan and cancer survivor, as Progresso Soup is having a contest that will award a makeover to one of 10 finalists. Bookmark this page, too, as you can vote once each day through April 12.

Game Night - The Trap is Set... - Paul McCann
Paul warns about the dangers in tonight's game, and reveals a super-fantabulous guest co-host for this week's Hockeybuzz Radio Show on Wednesday.

Preds On The Glass: What If The Preds Played in the East? and Weekend Wrap Up
Buddy's morning recap includes word that there's no podcast due to tonight's Predators-Panthers game.

Preds Can’t Cheat Fate. Can Arnott? " Pull My (Fang)Finger
If the captain is indeed suffering from the effects of a concussion (as seems obvious by now), that makes 3 in the last 3 seasons. Is Jason Arnott looking at the end of his career coming soon?

Column: Preds fans need parking after nearby lot closed - The Tennessean
Jenny Upchurch addresses the concerns of some Predators fans about how the Brdigestone Arena parking situation affects people who rely on handicapped parking. There good suggestions here, including the new "circulator" bus which is wheelchair accessible.

Preds must find cure for third-period blues - Nashville City Paper
Nashville has had some trouble last in recent games, writes David Boclair.

Around the NHL

Hockey’s numbers game - The Globe and Mail
A look at how advanced statistical analysis is slowly but surely working its way into NHL front offices.

"This shows how stupid the Corsi thing is..." - Behind The Net
Don Cherry goes off on the advanced hockey stats crowd, and bashes the Corsi number as useless. I love Grapes, but all too often the stats bashers beat up on a straw man. Nobody would seriously look at just the Corsi list and use that to declare a best/worst player in the league.

How Would the Thrashers Get Into the Playoffs? - Bird Watchers Anonymous
Here's the Eastern Conference team I'm pulling for. Their chances are slim, but still there.

Responding to Rumors " Teds Take
Ted Leonsis tries to slow down all the "Caps vs. Penguins at Heinz Field" talk regarding the next Winter Classic. As much as I'm sick of the NHL beating us over the head with Ovechkin vs. Crosby, it probably is the best thing they could do to attract a broader TV audience.

Rangers need Gaborik to be a star again -
A cautionary tale for those who want to see Nashville sign a high-priced scoring winger. When they don't give you 100% consistently, the team is in big trouble.

Team Faceoff Percentage since 1997-98 - Behind The Net
Faceoff experts like Scott Nichol, Radek Bonk, and Yanic Perrault have served Nashville well over the years.

A Rookie Look at the Calder Trophy - View From My Seats
Amanda Fortier looks at the best from this year's rookie crop. My pick? Buffalo's Tyler Myers.

SB Nation Writers Going Pro - Blog Huddle
Congratulations go out as the Detroit Red Wings hire one of the writers from SB Nation's Winging It In Motown.

The Deepest Shade of Mushroom Blue - Jackets 4, Hawks 2 - Second City Hockey
Back-to-back losses to Columbus have Blackhawks fans wondering what's going on.

Who Will The Blackhawks Face in Round One? | Hockey Independent
This Chicago fan doesn't like a potential matchup with the Preds.

Postgame Avs-Sharks – Doesn’t anybody want that last playoff spot? - All Things Avs
Colorado isn't exactly locking down that playoff berth... might the Flames still be able to catch them?

A broadcast booth makeover - The Globe and Mail
Roy MacGregor asks a great question; given the influence of European hockey on today's NHL, why don't we see any European commentators on TV?

Taking one day to just be an NHL fan -
Kevin Allen takes in a game in Detroit from the seats in the lower bowl, rather than the press box. Getting down close to the ice is an entirely different experience from observing way up high in the press box.

Bloge Salming: History Was Made To Be Forgotten...
The spoofs are already rolling in of the NHL's new playoff commercials! Here's one...