As the Nashville Predators head into tonight's game at Colorado (be sure to check out Chris' preview), fans are abuzz over the recent play of the team's 4th line, featuring the red-hot J.P. Dumont with two guys who were skating in the AHL just recently, Chris Mueller and Matt Halischuk. It seems like every couple of weeks this season, a different group of forwards has led the way. In the beginning of the season, it was Sullivan-O`Reilly-Hornqvist, then later Erat-Goc-Kostitsyn, and recently Wilson-Legwand-Svatos and even Ward-Spaling-Smithson were carrying the load.
This trend speaks to the offensive depth of this Nashville Predators squad. There certainly isn't a classic "#1 line" like you see on many teams, but for their opponents, their isn't an obvious line against which you want to match your top defensive players. I have to imagine that Barry Trotz's crew are creating quite a few headaches for opposing coaches when they come to town.
Follow after the jump for your morning hockey news!
The Preds have 9 home games coming up in the month of February, including dates against the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, and Chicago Blackhawks. Save some cash and get yourself some discount Predators tickets for these, or any other home game.
The View from 111: The Predators Present GnashVegas
Marks in a partying mood, and shares the news about the Preds' annual gala event to benefit their charitable foundation.
Want Shea Weber All-Star gear? Here’s the official word… | Section 303
With the All-Star teams getting picked on the Friday of All-Star Weekend, the merchandising side of the event is quite different this year.
Hockey Night in Nashville: Game Preview: Preds vs. Avs
Robby's got his eye on Matt Duchene tonight.
Preview #47: Predators Face Avalanche In First of Four Meetings - Predlines
Can the woeful Nashville power play take advantage of Colorado's league-worst penalty kill on home ice?
Greetings From Smashville! Season 13, Week 15 | The Hockey Writers
Jas takes us from the highs of last Tuesday's win over Minnesota to the awful 3rd period in Chicago on Sunday.
Astronaut’s injury puts journey of Pekka Rinne’s jersey into space in question - Nashville Predators Examiner
All for the lack of some training wheels...
ECHL to the NHL, Could Pickard be Next? | Admirals Roundtable
Let's not get ahead of ourselves...
Trotz, Suter admire a right winger - USATODAY.com
Kevin Allen shares an anecdote about Barry Trotz and Ryan Suter getting to meet Senator John McCain after Tuesday's win in Phoenix.
Nashville Predators' J.P. Dumont finds his scoring groove - The Tennessean
Josh Cooper looks at the dynamics of the Matt Halischuk-Chris Mueller-J.P. Dumont line.
Around the NHL
NHL All Star SuperSkills Details Released - Canes Country
Get the scoop on all the events taking place the day before the All-Star Game, including a new "Skills Challenge Relay".
Lindros: Players' disdain for each other poisonous - The Globe and Mail
Eric Lindros can speak from experience about how concussions affect not just one's physical health, but a player's standing among his peers.
Iggy's Out (Of the All-Star Game) - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Jarome Iginla has been excused from the All-Star Game to attend to family concerns.
mc79hockey.com - The Renney Protocol
Are the Oilers playing it fast & loose with how they handle concussions? That's not a good idea for any franchise, but even worse for one that's going to finish last in the Western Conference anyway.
Ryan Whitney Likely Done for the Season | The Hockey Writers
A bad ankle injury has struck down one of Edmonton's few decent NHL-level players.
Oilers play for tomorrow - The Globe and Mail
It's that time of the season, when the Oilers should start staging revivals of "Annie" during the intermission.
From hunter to hunted | CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG
An interesting mindset... The Canucks are playing lights-out these days and leading the league, so if things start to slow down, it's because other teams are playing extra-hard against them?
The rise and fall of Ryan Parent - NHL Hot Stove
I think that Shane O'Brien trade has worked out OK, hasn't it?
Okposo Set To Make Season Debut | The Hockey Writers
Wow, finally a piece of good news for the New York Islanders.
Monday musings on the NHL - CBC.ca
According to this column by Tim Wharnsby, the Preds rank 7th in the league in man-games lost to injury, with 150. The Islanders (265) and Devils (248) lead the way.
Watch Out, ESPN: Comcast Forms Big Rival with NBC Universal - DailyFinance
Here's another look at how a combined NBC & Comcast may end up dueling with ESPN over broadcast rights to the NHL (hat tip to Ian Rhodes of WSMV).
Best Hockey Stick I've Ever Used: Easton Synergy EQ50 Review | Hockey Sticks HQ
One-piece composite hockey sticks have taken over in pro hockey during the last 20 years, but for any rec-league holdouts (like I have been), the Easton Synergy EQ50 will convert you, too.