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It's College Hockey Night In Smashville - Friday's Notes

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Tonight marks a milestone for hockey in Middle Tennessee, as college hockey arrives at Bridgestone Arena for the first time with a pair of games (tonight at 7:00, tomorrow afternoon at 1:00) between the University of Alabama-Hunstville and Merrimack College. Merrimack comes in as the 15th-ranked team in the country, with the #2 defense, while UAH brings a strong tradition as the standard-bearer for college hockey in the South, including two local products in Brice and Sebastian Geoffrion, the younger brothers of Preds prospect Blake Geoffrion, from Brentwood, Tennessee.

It should be a great time, fueled by the energetic college atmosphere (which is echoed in the unique experience at a Predators home game) and that other great enticement, Half-Price Beer.

Follow after the jump for a couple previews of this matchup, and a whole lot more!

The Chicago Blackhawks come in to Nashville tomorrow, and it's your last chance to catch the Preds at home during the month of January! Save $6-24 each and use our Nashville Predators discount code for this, or any other home game.

Nashville Predators News

As always, we'll start with the recaps from last night: Preds On The GlassThe View From 111Hockey Night in Nashville, and Predlines.

Preds On The Glass: College Hockey Makes Its Debut At The Bridgestone Arena
Buddy notes that this weekend's college hockey games makes for a nice test run for the Preds to perhaps host the NCAA's "Frozen Four" someday, which WOULD BE AWESOME.

Nashville Hosts NCAA Hockey Friday And Saturday - Predlines
Amanda previews the set of games tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Bridge. Tickets start at $10 (only $5 with a college ID).

Preds On The Glass: Preds Need to Regroup Quickly and Friday Findings
Buddy highlights the fact that Preds need to get right back to work ahead of this weekend's home-and-home with Chicago.

Preds Players Motivated To Improve - Nashville Predators
Are the Preds a good team? Sure, but they're focused on becoming a great one.

Nashville Predators' Matthew Lombardi improves slightly - The Tennessean
And by slightly we mean not nearly enough to begin hockey training.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
Is Leggy playing like he did in the playoffs last spring?

Around the NHL

The NHL’s top defensive forwards at midseason - The Globe and Mail
Using a statistical breakdown of defensive performance, James Mirtle ranks David Legwand #6 and Joel Ward #11 in the league.

The Nosedive In Numbers (Puck-Rakers Blog)
Did someone poison the turkey at the Blue Jackets' Thanksgiving dinner? They've been the 2nd-worst team in the league since November 25.

Flames Lacking a Top Matchup Line - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Could Calgary use a player like Joel Ward?

Down Goes Brown: Do's and Don'ts for GMs on the hot seat
DO: Ask your assistant GM whether he has any ideas for improving the team in the short term. DO NOT: Ask your assistant GM why he keeps pulling out a tape measure and taking measurements around your office as you're talking to him.

Video- Brown Hit On Jovanovski - Head Shot Or Not - KuklasKorner
Up next on the "blindside head-shot" highlight reel...