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Predators' playoff drive heads to Calgary - Sunday's notes

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This up-and-down (or was it down-and-up?) road trip continues today in Calgary, where the Nashville Predators prepare to do battle with the Flames, who sit two points ahead of the Preds, good for 7th place in the West, but Nashville holds two games in hand. Calgary has had the advantage in this matchup so far, with wins in regulation, overtime, and a shootout so far against the Predators. While they started off as perhaps the most disappointing team in the Western Conference, after GM Darryl Sutter was shown the door on December 28, the Flames have gone 18-6-6 and in their most recent tilt, the beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 Friday night. For more on the Calgary Flames, be sure to check out Matchsticks & Gasoline.

Today's is the last game of the season which is not broadcast locally, so head out to a sports bar which features NHL Center Ice (feel free to share your suggestions after the jump), or invade a friend's house for this 7:00 p.m. Central start! Meanwhile, follow after the jump for this morning's hockey news...

 Welcome the boys back home Thursday vs. Minnesota, and take the OTF Discount to save money on Nashville Predators tickets for this, or any other home game!

Nashville Predators News

The View from 111: Travelogue- Seattle and Vancouver
Mark followed the Preds to the ends of the earth (OK, the Pacific Northwest is close enough), and shares some cool photos.

The View from 111: Some More Random Thoughts From the Road
Mark also traveled alongside the Preds for a while, and shares a glimpse of what a trip to Canada is like for them.

Preds On The Glass: Predators Seek Points in Calgary Tonight and Sunday Round-Up
Buddy serves up breakfast links and sets the table for today's game.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Preds Face Pesky Flames
Robby highlights the Iggy vs. Shea matchup today.

Preview #66: Predators Rinne Looks For First Win Against Calgary - Predlines
Pekka's going to have to beat the pre-eminent Finnish goaltender in NHL history today.

Marty plays the Rodney Dangerfield card, but frankly, I think the Preds prefer things the way they are.

Flames connections - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper points out a number of links between the two clubs today.

Preds look to tighten playoff race - Predators Insider
Buried at the bottom here is a note that Steve Sullivan had surgery for his groin issue, and will be out 4-6 weeks.

Preds goalie catches like a shortstop - Predators Insider
Pekka's one handy dude. 

And do you think today's game might feature a little action like this, from 2004?

Around the NHL

Food for Thought: Burke speaks to impacts of "The Decision" " Maple Leafs Hot Stove
A review of a panel discussion from this weekend's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, something I look at every year and say, man, I wish I could be there.

Oilers' Hall out for the season with high ankle sprain - TSN
Edmonton loses their #1 overall draft pick after he fell during a fight against Derek Dorsett of the Blue Jackets.

City of Glendale Reportedly Filing Suit Against Goldwater - Five For Howling
I dunno, it doesn't seem like adding another lawsuit to the mix is really going to speed up the process.

Avalanche's Peter Mueller shut down for season by concussion - All Things Avs
At least we got to see Matthew Lombardi for a game and a half. Colorado's Peter Mueller was hurt in the team's first pre-season game.

Tallon Cleans House in Florida -
As a full-scale rebuild gets underway this summer, one has to wonder if there will be more dealings with the Predators, given the fact that Mike Santos is the assistant GM there, after serving in the Preds' front office for years.

Niclas Bergfors trade and a clear explanation | The Hockey Writers
Some insight, perhaps, as to why Niclas Bergfors is with his 3rd NHL team at the age of 23.

Probert continues to put a scare into people - The Boston Globe
Let's not pretend to be surprised at the long-term damage that playing hockey can do. The players themselves love the game, and understand fully what they're getting into. Read here for a perfect example in Shawn Thornton, a guy who knows the score but ignores it. Found via Kukla's Korner.

Back pains - The Globe and Mail
A part of the current game is a disturbing trend where players face the boards when an incoming opponent is getting ready to hit them. How much is that to blame for the frequency of concussions and other serious injuries?