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No time for rest in the West - Thursday's notes

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Remind me again why the NHL has bothered playing the first 5 months of the season? The Western Conference rankings are ridiculously tight, with spots 4-8 all tied at 68 points heading into tonight's action. Can the Preds take advantage of a depleted Vancouver defense to keep the pace in the battle for playoff position? Check out Sam's inaugural game preview to get set, and follow after the jump for the rest of your morning hockey news...

The Canucks are in town tonight, and Phoenix comes in Saturday, so take the OTF Discount on Nashville Predators tickets for these, or any other home game!

Nashville Predators News

A fun, detailed review of the in-game experience at Bridgestone Arena.

Gameday Thoughts – Canucks VS Predators: Game 58 | The Predatorial
Kristopher thinks this one may well head to the shootout...

Preds On The Glass: Predators Face Vancouver in Critical Match and Thursday Thoughts
Can the Predators keep the Canucks bottled up? That's Buddy's question.

Paul McCann - Game Night!
Paul points out just how badly the Vancouver defense has been wracked by injury, but the rest of the team is very, very dangerous.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Call To Action As Preds Take On Vancouver
Robby calls on the crowd to make a difference tonight. I know, how about a couple fans in those sumo suits try clogging the shooting lanes in the defensive zone?

Nashville and Vancouver – Much More of a Rivalry than you Think | The Predatorial
For a non-division game, the Canucks do certainly bring some history with them tonight. And let's not forget, this is a possible 1st-round playoff preview, as well.

Fang Finger Fever: What If? A frightening thought...
Josh ponders a terrifying idea here.

Mike Fisher learning about living with celebrity - Vancouver Sun
It's a little unusual to have the most famous person around a hockey team being one of the players' wives. But the Preds don't mind at all.

Injury leaves Predators' Bouillon feeling restless - The Tennessean
Great news here, as it sounds like The Cube is getting back into shape.

Predators waste no time going for goals as playoff race revs up | Nashville City Paper
Sure, the Preds have done well in the first period lately, but after that... yikes!

Around the NHL

The View from 111: Did the NHL Contribute to the Pens/Islanders Brawl?
Good question here from Mark, as to whether on-ice justice would be required if Colin Campbell did a better job of keeping teams in line.

Habs Acquire Mara - Habs Eyes On The Prize
We can probably write off any interest Montreal might have in a Nashville defenseman after they picked up Paul Mara from Anaheim last night.

Hockey still searching for a concussion code - The Globe and Mail
After taking two brutal hits in Boston and going wobbly for a few moments, Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski was allowed to keep playing. He eventually scored the game-winning goal, but should he have been let back on the ice?

In breakout season for Canucks, Ryan Kesler's Hart problem - Puck Daddy
Is Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler an overlooked MVP candidate?