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Preds streaking again, this time to the downside - Friday's notes

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While the Nashville Predators have lost four straight games including last night's 3-2 defeat in Philadelphia, their strong play prior to that has at least allowed them to maintain their hold on 4th place in the Western Conference. The Detroit Red Wings may be pulling out of view in the Central Division lead (7 points ahead with 2 games in hand), and the Preds will have their work cut out for them just staying ahead of the seven teams that are 3 points or less behind them in the standings.

Can they end their current slide (the fourth of the season of at least 4 games) against Detroit tomorrow night on home ice? That's the big question to consider while you thumb through this morning's hockey news...

The Red Wings are coming, the Red Wings are coming! Detroit visits Smashville for the first time this season on Saturday, so save some cash and get yourself some discount Predators tickets for this, or any other home game.

Nashville Predators News

For reaction to last night's loss head over to What The PuckPreds On The GlassPredlines,  The View From 111 (who went along with the Preds on this one - is he secretly a player's dad or something?), Hockey Night in Nashville, and from the victorious side, Broad Street Hockey.

Preds On The Glass: Streaky Predators March Onward and Friday Findings
Buddy points out that the Preds are streaking once again, but just have to battle through.

Friday Face-Offs, 2/4/2011 | Hockey Independent
David proposes that when it comes to rental players (those on expiring contracts), money shouldn't be an issue at trade deadline time.

Handing Out Grades to New Captains - Houses of the Hockey
Scott Lewis puts Shea Weber at the head of the class. Although let's be honest, evaluating how good a captain is pretty much boils down to how a team and that individual perform relative to expectations. How much that actually has to do with the captaincy is guesswork.

Study habits make Rinne big-time shootout stopper -
Mike Morreale highlights Pekka's success in the shootout.

Around the NHL

Prime Example of Not Getting it - Behind The Net
Gabe puts the boots to another dullard.

How much of an advantage is home-ice advantage in the first round? - Fear The Fin
Considering the battle going on for 4th place in the West, this makes for good reading these days.

Feaster weighing options as deadline approaches -
Thanks to their recent hot streak, the Calgary Flames don't look like the trade deadline sellers that that we expected a few weeks ago.

Fisher Tales. " SenSay
At the risk of adding fuel to the Mike Fisher-to-Nashville speculation, it's worth pointing out that Fisher doesn't have a no-movement clause in his contract, after all. Columbus sounds like a viable option for the center who has two relatively expensive years left on his contract.

Video- Freddy Meyer Faints On The Ice - KuklasKorner
Scary stuff in Atlanta, as another Thrasher (remember Ondrej Pavelic at the start of the season?) collapses suddenly during play.

Sabres owner turned down earlier offer - The Globe and Mail
Before selling to local zillionairre Terry Pegula, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres declined an earlier offer for $70 million more, but would have meant relocating the team.

Scouting cuts hurt Sabres under Golisano - Elliotte Friedman
While we usually focus on player budgets, when an owner pares the hockey operations department down to the bone, that can undermine even the best GM's and coaches.

Down Goes Brown: A hockey fan's guide to the Super Bowl
I've heard there's some kind of football championship being played on Sunday... head over to DGB to get all the scoop.

Just call him Polano. Nick Polano. - Diary of a Mad Sports Historian
Getting players over from the Czech Republic sure is easier than it used to be.

Video: Daniel Paille's headshot on Sawada; Mike Milbury analysis - Puck Daddy
Roll out Rule 48 for the Boston forward who will surely receive a lengthy suspension for this nasty blind-side hit.

And lastly, check out the start of last night's Boston/Dallas game. I understand at some point they even played hockey (video found at Puck Daddy):