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The road to the Stanley Cup Playoffs is getting bumpy - Wednesday's notes

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After spending most of this season putting together streaks of wins or losses, the Nashville Predators have flipped back and forth over the last two weeks like a pendulum, and I have to wonder if that drives the fans more crazy than the alternative. A strong 3-0 win over Detroit is followed by a stinker against Edmonton on home ice, then by a win against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Then they eke out a win against a demoralized Avalanche team, lose in overtime to the Sharks, then beat Vancouver before dropping consecutive games against playoff contenders Phoenix and Columbus.

With the importance of each game growing as we approach the final quarter of the season, the only guarantee is that the tension will only grow from here, folks! Enjoy the ride!

For now, follow after the jump for your morning hockey news, which starts with talk about a potential trade with Edmonton on the horizon, and a host of reaction to last night's 4-0 beatdown by the Blue Jackets...

The Chicago Blackhawks are here tomorrow followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon, so take the OTF Discount and save money on Nashville Predators tickets on these, or any other home game!

Nashville Predators News

With trade deadline looming, Smid wants to stay put - Edmonton Journal
Veteran sportswriter Jim Matheson details a possible deal that would bring Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid to Nashville in exchange for Jonathon Blum. Pure speculation here, but I would guess that this represents "Plan B" if Francis Bouillon's recovery doesn't proceed well enough over the next few days. Chris looked the possibilities here a few days ago.

Predators Fading into the Sunset, get Stomped by the Blue Jackets 4-0 | The Predatorial
Kristopher's concerned about SOB's recent tendency to take some bad, bad penalties.

Blue Jackets use four third period goals to unseat Preds… | Section 303
Jeremy highlights the most depressing stat from last night. Columbus had more goals in the 3rd period than the Preds had shots. Yikes...

Preds On The Glass: Blue Jackets Blow Away Predators 4-0
Buddy notes that at least Tootoo showed some fight at the finish, setting up the rematch with Columbus on Sunday.

What The Puck: Honestly...that was the suck.
Rachel nails it, tying the "Miracle On Ice" anniversary to a message the Preds need to hear these days.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Blue Jackets Destroy Predators
Robby shakes his head at the lack of urgency shown on the offensive end last night.

The View from 111: Nashville Blown Away by the BJ's
I don't think Mark can swallow another loss like this one.

Preds On The Glass: Gut Check Time in Nashville and Wednesday Wrap-Up
Buddy puts the onus on the players, not the coaches, for getting things in order for Thursday's game against Chicago.

Lindback Wins Wild Debut | Admirals Roundtable
Well, at least something went well last night.

Nashville Predators suffer third-period meltdown - The Tennessean
Barry Trotz doesn't name names, but says some guys were pretty selective with their effort level last night.

Around the NHL

Lowetide: Oilers at Avs, G 61, '10-'11
The second half of this piece offers insight on Ladislav Smid, and what a possible swap for Jonathon Blum could mean for Edmonton.

Peter Stastny rips Avalanche trade with St. Louis - All Things Avs
The Hall of Famer (and father of Colorado center Paul Stastny) says last week's blockbuster deal between the Avs and Blues "destroyed the team".

Google’s YouTube Says It’s in Talks to Show Live NBA, NHL Games - Businessweek
Live streaming NHL games on YouTube? Sounds cool to me, but of course I'm guessing blackout rules would still apply based on your location.

N.H.L. Lands Nearly $400 Million Deal With MillerCoors and Molson Coors -
Wow, this is big. Real big. This deal alone should add about $1 million to the salary cap over the life of the deal. $400M over 7 years = $57.1M per season. Split among 30 teams makes $1.9M, then the player's share is 57%, so $1.08M goes to the players on each team, each year.

Labatt ready to brawl over Molson-NHL deal - The Globe and Mail
Molson's big rival north of the border is lawyering up, though.

An outdoor 'series' on horizon? - Elliotte Friedman
Elliotte covers all the bases in this weekly "30 Thoughts" column, from outdoor games to the trade market, and Jarome Iginla's integrity.

2011 NHL Trade Deadline: How to Not Look Dumb with Trade Rumors & Speculation - In Lou We Trust
A handy guide for navigating through the murky waters of trade rumor nonsense over the next several days.

NHL Power Rankings, Week 21: Devils Jump Six Spots, Oilers Escape Western Basement -
The weekly SB Nation power poll has the Preds dropping back a little bit, as the Coyotes and Sharks climb past them.

Bourne Blog: What it's like to join a new team midseason - Puck Daddy
I've often wondered about some of the stuff that Justin Bourne covers here.