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Nashville Predators come home to rest, and watch Shea Weber in Raleigh - Thursday notes

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The Nashville Predators' roller coaster ride is coming to a halt for the next few days, as most of the players get some well-deserved rest, and watch the All-Star festivities along with the rest of us. For the Preds, the bright side of the fact that Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne deserved to go, but were overlooked, is that they'll get a chance to recharge their batteries for the stretch run towards the playoffs. For Shea Weber, this weekend is an opportunity to rub elbows with the best of the best, rather than mash them into each others' faces. 

While it would have been great to see the Predators pull out a win either in Calgary or Vancouver and start nipping at Detroit's heels for the Central Division lead, the good news is that they're still in 4th place in the West, which would assure home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. With 21 of their final 32 games on home ice, the burden will shift to the fans at Bridgestone Arena to do their part and help this team go where no Predators team has gone before...

The Preds have 9 home games coming up in the month of February, including dates against the Detroit Red WingsVancouver Canucks, and Chicago Blackhawks. Save some cash and get yourself some discount Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game.

Nashville Predators News

For reaction to last night's frustrating loss, head over to Preds On The GlassThe View From 111PredlinesHockey Night in Nashville, and The Tennessean.

Preds On The Glass: Predators Lose But Still in Good Shape Heading into the All-Star Break and Thursday Thoughts
Give Buddy credit for getting his morning links up bright & early today, despite the late night festivities.

Fixing the Admirals Penalty Kill | Admirals Roundtable
Well, to be fair, the Admirals were probably counting on having Nick Spaling around more this year.

Predators defenseman enjoys reunion in Vancouver - The Tennessean
For a 3rd-pairing guy, there was a lot of hype around Shane O`Brien's return to Vancouver last night.

Around the NHL

Experience the hairy, awkward glory of the 1990 NHL All-Star Game, featuring first-ever skills competition - Puck Daddy
Funny, funny stuff from 20 years ago.

NHL on TSN Quiz: What is the ultimate measure of Gretzky?
A trio of TSN analysts chime in on the greatest of Gretzky's accomplishments.

Greatest Hockey Those Were The Days: Gretzky's First All Star Game
Joe Pelletier takes us back to humbler days.

Before heading to Raleigh for NHL All-Star Game: Forsberg and other issues | All Things Avs
Could Peter Forsberg's ability to put butts in the seats play as big a role as what he might contribute on the ice for Colorado?

P.K to the All-Star Game: An NHL way too say they were wrong? - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Montreal's precocious rookie defenseman has been added to All-Star Weekend.

Lowetide: Trade Sam Gagner?
Should the Oilers part with a young center who may not be progressing like the others they have?

Rebuilding Revisited : Tom Benjamin's NHL Blog
Tom advocates a middle path between staying the course and blowing things up in an attempt to snag a #1 pick.

Fun facts from Stars' PR - The Dallas Morning News
The Stars remind me of Wiley Coyote, after he's run right off the edge of a cliff but just keeps on chugging. By all rights this team should be toiling around the perimeter of playoff contenders, but like Colorado last season, they've fared surprisingly well.

Jackets At The Break: Tough Road Ahead - The Cannon
They're staring at another spring of discontent in Columbus, despite a surprisingly good record during the opening weeks of the season.

What Inventory Is Left | The Business of Sports
Where can ads (either real or virtual) be placed to help boost the business side of the game?

Scorecasting Tackles Sports’ Biggest Myths | Playbook
A new book (Scorecasting) takes a broad-based look at statistical analytics in sports to try and tear down a few accepted "truths".

Blueshirt Banter Exclusive: Q&A With Brian Leetch - Blueshirt Banter
Dave Shapiro shares an interview with the legendary Rangers blueliner.

Capitals Sign Alexander Semin to Contract Extension - Washington Capitals
Scratch one big name off your trade deadline rumor list...

NCAA mulls move to half shields -
Safety, schmafety! We've got to make this a man's game, so the NCAA is considering getting rid of full face-cages and going to half-shields. The only winners here will be the dentists who receive a huge upsurge in business. Just a stupid, stupid, stupid move here.

Winter Universiade Brings Amateur Competition back to International Hockey - Puck Worlds
I was disappointed to find that this is an international hockey tournament, not an intergalactic one.

Rob Blake Named Manager For NHL’s Hockey Operations - KuklasKorner
You have to wonder if he'll hip-check Shanny in the hallway.