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Wednesday's notes: Trotz takes center stage

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It's time to work your magic, Coach.
It's time to work your magic, Coach.

In some ways, the current struggles of the Nashville Predators can be looked upon as a golden opportunity - the team has a couple off days for meetings and practice, and the coaching staff should have the complete, undivided attention of their players. Just as the Big 3 turn the Preds' fortunes on the ice, this is a time when the two-time Jack Adams finalist Barry Trotz has the chance to show his stuff.

Even better, thanks to Pekka Rinne's heroics the team at least has a couple victories to hold Nashville up in the standings, unlike Columbus which remains the only winless squad in the NHL. That, and the fact that they've got wild animals on the loose tells me that yeah, things could be a whole lot worse.

Before we get to the hockey news this morning, two quick updates:

1. Barry Trotz said this morning on the 1st Quarter on 102.5 The Game that Niclas Bergfors will play tomorrow night. There's no excuse for missing Coffee With The Coach each Wednesday morning at 7:25 a.m., now that they've got a 102.5 The Game app...

2. Some readers had asked why Mike Fisher is staying home while Francis Bouillon is traveling with the team. The word I've received is that Bouillon needs the on-ice conditioning, while Fish needs to build up strength in his shoulder, and that's more easily done at the Preds' own facility rather than on the road.

And now, your morning hockey notes...

Nashville Predators News

Inside Smashville " Predators Matt Halischuk: From NHL forward to aspiring rock star?
If Halischuk can really work the ax, well, he's certainly in the right town to do something about it.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Effort and execution virtually non-existent for Preds
Those two areas are kind of important...

Smashville 24/7: Familiarity helping Lambert’s transition to NHL
Lane Lambert has coached half this team in Milwaukee, making his move to the NHL a smooth one, writes Ryan.

The View from 111: Touring the Home of the Predators
Mark shares a few shots from behind the scenes.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Wednesday Headlines, News and Notes: It's Not Time to Panic, Yet
Pizza in the breakfast links? Buddy sounds like a college student here.

Unbeaten Admirals Making League-Wide Waves | Admirals Roundtable
Milwaukee is just one of 3 undefeated AHL teams? Why, call 'em up!

Predators hold team meeting then up-tempo practice Tuesday - Nashville Predators Examiner
Barry Trotz shuffles the lines a bit, but there's still time to change them again before tomorrow's game.

Opponent’s take on Kesler’s return - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper got some input from the Rangers on how Ryan Kesler looked last night.

Nashville Predators seek 'identity' after uninspired loss - The Tennessean
Now is the time for Trotz to put his stamp on this team, and turn adversity into a team-building opportunity.

Predators' shot at victories minimized by low shot totals | Nashville City Paper
Is the team's current problem a matter of the third period?

Here's Cliff Ronning running a youth hockey clinic at Bridgestone the other day... Hmm, makes you wonder if he's got anything left in the tank!

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Video: Jamie Benn’s goal of the year candidate owns Columbus - Puck Daddy
I wouldn't call this a Goal of the Year candidate, but ouch, that's embarrassing for the Blue Jackets, on their home ice no less.

Pizzo’s Points: He went through the Whole Team - Backhand Shelf
Rob Pizzo compares the Jamie Benn goal with other highlight-reel efforts from the past.

Driving Play: On The Practice Of Signing Players To Contracts A Year Before Their Current Contract Expires
While this article doesn't mention Nashville's Big 3, it nicely sums up the issues between player and team.

A Theory of Ice: Hockey Exegesis #2: Control
Deep thoughts on the dark art of goaltending.

NHL Suspends Kris Letang for two games - PensBurgh
Pittsburgh will miss its star defenseman after he nailed Alex Burmistrov of Winnipeg.

Statistical analysis: Alex Ovechkin simply needs more shots on net - Capitals Insider
If only it were that easy... 

The Path Already Traveled? - Mile High Hockey
Deep thoughts on Colorado's rebuild, as compared to their long road to the top which began while they were still in Quebec.

Calgary Flames Round-Up: Morrison returning, Giordano reflecting, Horak sitting? - The Hockey Writers |
Assorted news and notes from Calgary, where the Preds play on Saturday. 

Gretzky still ‘just a hockey guy’ - The Telegram
Even so, he's still a pretty special hockey guy.

The NHL Feeder Chain - Puck Worlds
Here's your cop-out for when your kid tugs at your sleeve and asks, "where do NHL players come from?"

Ottawa Senators – Top 5 Prospects - The Hockey Writers
Is it too early to look to the future in Ottawa? Apparently not.

Leafs sniper Kessel is all about ‘getting pucks on net’ - The Globe and Mail
Hey, this guy sounds like just what the Preds need.

Where We Stand - Pension Plan Puppets
Dare Toronto fans hope?

Rick Rypien: the one everyone leaned on - Vancouver Sun
Heavy, heavy stuff about the close relationship between the late Rick Rypien and Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

Two Touching NHL Video Tributes For Rick Rypien - The Hockey Writers
Last night, the Vancouver Canucks honored their fallen teammate, and you can catch the video here (along with the one shown in Winnipeg, too).

New York Rangers Recap: Henrik Lundqvist STEALS The Show In Vancouver - Blueshirt Banter
...and Roberto Luongo hears the boos.

Into You Like A Train: Blackhawks 5 - Coyotes 2 - Second City Hockey
Chicago rolled to victory despite continued uneven play from Duncan Keith.

Beantown Meltdown: Hurricanes 4, Bruins 1 - Canes Country
Boston lots its collective cool last night at home against Carolina, with misconducts aplenty.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens Recap: Twenty Five Minutes Is All This Team Needed To Win - Die By The Blade
The Sabres stunk it up in the first, but Ryan Miller kept things scoreless until they found their stride.

Johnson, Dupuis and the vets step up. Pens 4, Wild 2 - PensBurgh
Backup goalie Brent Johnson got his first in the win column for Pittsburgh.

Rookie night: Read, Zolnierczyk, Couturier all score in 7-2 rout of Sens - Broad Street Hockey
It was Philadelphia Phun night...

Cats Recap: Panthers outworked, outscored; fall to Capitals 3-0 - Litter Box Cats
Wow, I think in yesterday's pre-game article at Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshysnki predicated a Tomas Vokoun shutout.