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Friday fun: Once and future Preds lighting it up

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We're getting close to wrapping up the NHL regular season, and for the Nashville Predators, we still don't know which team they'll face in the first round of the playoffs. It didn't help to see Los Angeles earn a point by taking the Phoenix Coyotes to a shootout last night, as we now have a 3-way tie at 98 points between the Preds, Kings, and Red Wings. The problem is that the other two teams have an extra game to play.

Ah, well - after the jump we have reports on both a former and future Predator doing well in playoff action, a prominent hockey columnist touting Barry Trotz as a Coach of the Year finalist, and a look back at a good old fashioned bench-clearing brawl...

Predators News

Preds On The Glass: TGIF Round Up and a Couple of Home Movies
Buddy's morning post includes some good evidence as to why his son Jackson will never land a spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ufa wake up in time - KHL Official Website
Alexander Radulov scored late in the 3rd to keep his team alive in the KHL playoffs.

Blue-line blueprint: The most intriguing free-agent defensemen -
Dan Hamhuis ranks high on Kevin Allen's list of enticing blueliners.

Preds fall to seventh in West - Predators Insider
John Glennon notes that Chicago is starting to look like the most likely playoff opponent, although a lot can change this weekend. He also notes Blake Geoffrion's big day with Wisconsin yesterday, as they earned a spot in the NCAA title game.

Around the NHL

Henrik Sedin deserves the Hart - The Globe and Mail
Eric Duhatschek dishes out his annual hockey awards, and includes Barry Trotz as a finalist for the Jack Adams.

My Favorite NHL Fight Video of All Time - Behind The Net
Wacky hilarity from the normally stats-laden Hawerchuk. blogs - Fiddler in running -- and should win -- Masterton Trophy
The former Pred is Phoenix's nominee for the Masterton, but let's be honest, I don't think he has much chance of winning.

Modano and more talk on retirement - The Dallas Morning News
Mike Modano may have played his last game in Dallas last night. Or maybe not...

The Chips Are Falling Right (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Columbus has a shot at the first overall draft pick, thanks to the NHL Draft Lottery which comes up on Tuesday.

About that attendance thing… | All Things Avs
Adrian Dater has chronicled Colorado's attendance problems all season, as they finished 27th in the league, and addresses how awkward it is for a sportswriter to bring up the issue. I guess that early column saying that Nashville should just "get the heck out of the NHL" really blew up in his face, didn't it?

Andrej Meszaros Takes Shot To Throat, Returns To Game - SB Nation
Scary stuff here; the headline says it all.

The secret weapon -
Colby Cosh writes about baseball's Toronto Blue Jays hiring a well-known stats guy to help out their front office.