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Thursday's news: Ward nominated for Masterton Trophy

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All in all, last night's game in Phoenix really couldn't have gone much worse, could it? Sloppy defensive play, weak goaltending, and an injury to the guy I dubbed earlier in the day as a potential 50-goal scorer. We're probably not going to hear anything specific on the problem until this afternoon at the earliest, I would think, considering how late the team arrived last night after flying home. For further reaction to last night's game, check out the "More Predators Blogs" box on the sidebar. But until we hear more about Patric Hornqvist, there are plenty of positive stories to focus on.

FYI: I've been informed that the podcast from yesterday's "3 Hour Lunch" program will be posted later today, for those of you who may have missed it. I had a wonderful time sitting in with Brent and Blaine, and we got some great questions from the listeners (and a couple great local bloggers, to boot!)

Follow after the jump for the scoop on Joel Ward's nomination for the Masterton Trophy (won last year by Steve Sullivan), an insightful interview with the new leader of the Metro Sports Authority, and all the pre-game reading you'll need before Brentwood's own Blake Geoffrion leads his Wisconsin Badgers into the Frozen Four tonight in Detroit...

Predators News

Joel Ward is Nashville’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy - Nashville Predators Examiner
Jim Diamond brings news of a fine nomination by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

The View from 111: Sitting Down With the Sports Authority
Your mandatory read of the day is this dynamite interview that Mark landed with J.D. Elliott, who is taking over as Chairman of the Metro Sports Authority.

Shea Weber's slapshot injures a teammate - The Tennessean
The big defenseman feels bad about Hornqvist getting hit last night, but he's hardly to blame. Ed Jovanovski cross-checked Horn Dog in the back right as the shot was launched, which caused him to tumble forward into it.

NCAA Hockey 101: Breaking down the 2010 Frozen Four - Puck Daddy
Ryan Lambert breaks down tonight's action, which can be seen on ESPN2.

Preds On The Glass: Thursday Thoughts and Frozen Four Starts Tonight
Maybe Preds fans can set aside our fears about Hornqvist's injury to celebrate Blake Geoffrion's Frozen Four appearance tonight.

Geoffion grows in confidence by staying in Wisconsin -
Kevin Allen looks at Blake's decision to stay for his senior year at Wisconsin.

Puck Daddy chats with Wisconsin's Blake Geoffrion about Hobey Baker, his bloodlines and why Phoenix will win the Stanley Cup
A great interview with the Preds' prospect as he gets ready for the final weekend of his amateur hockey career.

Paul McCann - Thursday News and Notes
Paul recaps the debacle last night, and advises that the podcast from last night's Hockeybuzz Radio has been posted.

Preds On The Glass: Whoops! A Look Back at Our Preseason Western Conference Picks
It's almost embarrassing to look back at preseason predictions - but hey, I had Colorado and Phoenix in the Western basement, too.

The Hockey News: The Hot List: The Hot List: Raising the stakes
Ryan Kennedy lists 10 young players he can't wait to see in the NHL, with two Predators prospects as #2 and #3.

Around the NHL

Ladies and gentlemen, the favorites to hoist the Cup… | Section 303
Jeremy makes his case for teams that could go all the way this spring.

Greatest Hockey Keith Tkachuk - HHOF Worthy?
The veteran American goal scorer announced his retirement last night - should he go into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

'Big Walt' Retiring without Touching the Cup - The Grinder
Looking at other longtime NHL players who never won a Stanley Cup. Phil Housley leads that list with 1,495 games played.

Canes Now - Rutherford: Bettman to make All-Star Game announcement here Thursday
Get ready for a host of "Going to Carolina" references...

Shooting Percentage: Expected vs Actual Based on Time since Last Shot - Behind The Net
Rebounds offer by far the most dangerous scoring opportunities, and Hawerchuk brings the details.

Trade bait Andrew Cogliano showing why the Oilers would be foolish to deal him away - Cult of Hockey
You know what they say about the best deals being the ones you don't make? Cogliano was almost shipped out for Dany Heatley last summer, but he's been one of the few bright spots for Edmonton.

What It’s Like to Be Yelled at by Tortorella - Slap Shot Blog
Erik Christensen shares some insight as to what it's like when the tempestuous Rangers coach "calls you out".

The NHL’s top defensive defencemen - The Globe and Mail
James Mirtle proposes a list of the top shutdown blueliners. No Predators made the cut, in part (I suspect) because of Nashville's disappointing penalty kill this season.

Travis Zajac: Selke Contender? - In Lou We Trust
This is a Fan Post from SB Nation's New Jersey Devils blog that makes a fine case for Zajac.

Avalanche Finally Tumble - The Copper & Blue
Derek Zona calls the Avs "one of the worst teams to make the playoffs in the last 10 years." I can't help but agree. Remember how strong Anaheim was as the 8th seed last season?