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Thursday's notes: Hockey world going gaga over HBO series

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The talk of the hockey world this morning is the debut last night of HBO's latest "24/7" series, featuring the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers as they prepare to meet up in the 2012 Winter Classic on January 2nd. Besides recaps of the premiere, we also have two Preds out on the town shopping with some kids, another suspension-worthy hit that will draw the attention of the league, and a visit to Nashville by Brendan Shanahan...

The Red Wings are coming! Use the OTF Discount to save on your Nashville Predators tickets!

Nashville Predators News

Craig Smith and Anders Lindback take local kids shopping - Nashville Predators Examiner
Yeah, but who took Anders shopping?

Weber once again proving Norris-worthy for Predators -
He'll always have the edge over Ryan Suter on this front due to his greater goal-scoring, but both of them should be in the mix so far.

20 Questions with Michael Latta - JSOnline
Boy, that's a Latta questions... (sorry, couldn't resist)

Brendan Shanahan talks safety with Nashville Predators - The Tennessean
The NHL's VP of Player Safety met with the Preds as part of a tour around the league.

Predators still riding good feelings from rally at Columbus | Nashville City Paper
Can a jolt of confidence from last week's amazing comeback carry the team for a while?

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Complete Recap Of HBO's 24/7 First Episode - Blueshirt Banter
For those of you who prefer your TV shows in text form.

24/7, Episode One Recap: In Mid-Season Form Right Off the Bat " Puck The Media
The Predators should work out a trade with Philadelphia - Ilya Bryzgalov is fascinated with the nature of the universe, and the Preds have Kyle Wilson on the roster, who holds a Physics degree from Colgate. Let's get some value here!

Morning Skate: Tatar Time in Nashville? - Winging It In Motown
It looks like Detroit may call up a rookie for tonight's game.

Video: Young Pittsburgh fan freaks out at Detroit fan parents - Puck Daddy
Cute, or does this constitute torture?

The Dark Blue Jacket: Evaluating the Coach
How much of the issue in Columbus lies at Scott Arniel's feet?

Jack Edwards' Rigorous Research for Calling NHL Games Second to None -
This is incredibly cool, and provides some inspiration for jazzing up my game previews (I'm not thrilled with the format right now).

Adam McQuaid ejected for kneeing Nick Foligno -
Yeah, that's gonna bring a suspension.

Driving Play: Assessing Zone Entry Methods
Those of you who can't stand dump & chase hockey will love this.

Let's try and figure out what the hell is going on with the goaltending in the league thusfar - Winging It In Motown
I know this is a sensitive topic...

Which Oilers Really Block The Most Shots? - The Copper & Blue
Here's an interesting approach to the analysis of shot-blocking.

The Peerless Prognosticator: On the Matter of Alex Ovechkin's Consistency -- Part II
Outlining a pretty clear, long-term trend in Alex Ovechkin's decline as a goal-scorer. What's the cause? That's the deeper question.

A Quick Look at the Recent Production of Zach Parise, Adam Henrique, and Ilya Kovalchuk - In Lou We Trust
That ZP kid is really tearing it up for the Devils, with 12 points in his last 9 games.

Hickey Doesn't Get It - Habs Eyes On The Prize
A thorough dismantling of Pat Hickey's deplorable attack column recently on Theo Fluery, and his explanations since then.

The NHL All-Concussion Team would win a lot of games - Puck Daddy
Wow, that's a pretty stacked lineup... except in goal.

Some Thoughts on Ray Emery - The Goalie Guild
It's amazing to me that this guy is even back in the league.

A Theory of Ice: Sixth Defenseman Shuffle
Is it worthwhile sometimes to make a splashy trade for an overpaid guy, just for the sake of shaking things up and demonstrating commitment?

Life Without Chara, Round 2: Bruins beat Ottawa 5-2 - Stanley Cup of Chowder
The Bruins are rolling along again, even with their captain on the shelf.

The Bass And The Movement - Hawks 3, Wild 3 (Hawks Win Euchre Tournament) - Second City Hockey
A 3-game winning streak has the Blackhawks creeping up close to Minnesota for top spot in the NHL.