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Tuesday's notes: Trio of tough games to test Preds this week

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Tonight's game against Calgary kicks off a trio of competitive Western Conference teams coming in to Bridgestone Arena this week. We'll certainly have a better idea of the Preds' standing as playoff contenders after seeing how they fare against Calgary, Detroit & St. Louis on home ice.

This morning, we've got discussion on what's right (and wrong) with the Predators right now, musing over who will be the new permanent head coach in Los Angeles, an update on the World Junior tournament, and even the story of how one hockey blogger turned his hobby into an honest living...

5 Gift Ideas for Nashville Predators Fans | Hockey Gear HQ
Time is running short... but you can still take advantage of these great gift ideas for the Preds fans on your Christmas list.

Nashville Predators News

Paul McCann - Answering Questions from a New Hockey Fan ... and Randoms
Paul's mailbag came all the way from Scotland!

Nashville Predators Breakdown: What's Wrong with this Team? - THW
Well, at least we know the power play has been good.

Blum Assigned To Milwaukee | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan examines the impact of Jonathon Blum's return to Milwaukee on the depth chart there.

Weekend leftovers - JSOnline
Assorted morsels of Milwaukee goodness.

Darren Haydar joins the 700-point club Saturday night against the Admirals | hockeygalmilwaukee
Congrats to the former Predator/Admiral.

Nashville Predators' new power-play strategy keys wins - The Tennessean
A fresh look may be playing a role in the Preds' recent PP success.

Boclair: Deja Vu | Nashville City Paper
David Boclair wonders if Sergei Kostitsyn might just be a slow starter.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

metricjulie - My response to Pat Hickey of The Montreal Gazette
A standing ovation goes out to Julie here for a well-written response to a sensationalist, ill-considered column published the other day attacking Theo Fleury for "enabling" Graham James.

Video Rulebook: Home -
The NHL has rolled out a series of videos to help explain various aspects of the NHL Rulebook. It still doesn't make the "no goal" call on Colin Wilson Saturday night any less full of BS. "Distinct kicking motion" in no way describes what happened on what should have been the opening goal of that game.

50 Most Influential People in Sports Business - SportsBusiness Journal
Several NHL executives make the annual list, led by Gary Bettman at #9.

With ‘house money’ spent, will Kings turn to Darryl Sutter? - Puck Daddy
Well, at least this qualifies as recycling. Speculation is just getting rolling on a permanent replacement to Terry Murray as L.A. Kings head coach.

Down Goes Brown: A look at this year's top rookies
Zing! "Craig Smith, Nashville - Is best known for his comical inability to shoot the puck into a wide open net, which probably explains his lack of success against Steve Mason."

Was a Trade with the Anaheim Ducks the Answer to New Jersey Devils’ Woes? - The Hockey Writers
What can Kurtis Foster bring to the Devils defense?

Carlyle's vacation is over + 30 Thoughts - CBC Sports
Elliotte Friedman's weekly column touches on the coaching market, the recent Kaberle/Spacek trade, and a whole lot more.

Months after plane crash, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl reborn on ice - Puck Daddy
With prospects and players on loan from other teams, Lokomotiv begins the next phase of its history.

Top 10 Goalies of the Season Volume 2 - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Pekka Rinne makes it in by the skin of his teeth.

With a tight week ahead, Monday's practice long and beneficial for Stars - The Dallas Morning News
The Stars will have their hands full trying to hold off Phoenix and San Jose in the Pacific Division. - Roenick builds his team of top American talent - World According to JR
I think JR's taken one too many hits to the head. How does he not have Ryan Suter as a starting D? Brooks Orpik & Jack Johnson, are you kidding me?

Dream Jobs: NHL Hockey Writer
How one hockey blogger escaped his mother's basement and is actually earning a living at this thing. (found via Puck Daddy)

IIHF WJCs: Germans Make Big Statement - Puck Worlds
Deutschland uber alles?

Yes, There's Hockey Without Fighting -
Yup, and it's darn good hockey, too.

The most amazing NHL trophy replicas in floor hockey history - Puck Daddy

Sidney Crosby and the 100-percent headache - Puck Daddy
Sidney Crosby is out of the lineup again for Pittsburgh, with no timetable for return. Bad, bad news for the team and the league.

The Hockey News: Campbell: Leafs sale means Toronto one step closer to second NHL team
This is by far the best thing that could happen to the NHL, when it comes to franchise relocation.

Nikita Filatov loaned to CSKA Moscow of KHL - Silver Seven
Bye bye, birdie.

NHL Original Productions Will Debut with NHL 36: Patrick Kane " Puck The Media
NHL 36? What's the scoop on that title???

What Lightning Fans Should Know About PDO - Raw Charge
CAustin drops a little knowledge on Tampa fans.