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Thursday's notes: Dare we hope?

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With another win in the books last night, and the offense clicking consistently, Predators fans have many reasons to wax optimistic about the upcoming season. Is Colin Wilson ready to step into a leading role up front? Can Mattias Ekholm add some zip from the blueline? Will Craig Smith become the dynamic offensive force that we hoped guys like Mike Santorelli and Rich Peverley would become? Are we looking at a Predators team which will add some goal-scoring flair to the typical franchise formula of strong goaltending and pesky defensive play?

Ponder those questions (and vote in the Fan Confidence poll, found in the upper-left corner of the main page) while thumbing through your morning hockey news...

Nashville Predators News

Lucky 13? (Part 1/2) - Predators AJenda
After taking in the game last night, AJ sees many reasons for optimism about the upcoming season.

Lucky 13? (Part 2/2) - Predators AJenda
What would really boost the team's fortunes, however, would be to bring back a former Preds goal-scorer..

Preds On The Glass: Barry Trotz Speaks after the Predators 4-1 Preseason Win over Washington (Video)
Buddy's got your post-game video of the coach's press conference.

The View from 111: Predators Capitalize on Opportunities, Defeat Caps 4-1
I think I can sum up Mark's appraisal of the team this way - get some antacids to calm your stomach, but this will be a fun group to watch develop.

Preds On The Glass: POTG Thursday Headlines, News and Links: Preds Riding High after 4-1 Win over Caps
Coyotes in Florida?

Increase in preseason ice time prepares Predators for regular season grind - Nashville Predators Examiner
The Big 3 worked a full night last night.

Update From Admiral Training Camp | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan interviewed Coach Muller about how his camp is going so far.

Crisp Days - Milwaukee Admirals
Aaron Sims provides an update as the Admirals get to work assembling their squad.

Postgame ponderings - Predators Insider
Does Joel Ward not really fit the Preds any more, given their need for speed?

Nashville Predators jab in jest at Washington Capitals' Joel Ward - The Tennessean
Sharing a bit of the on-ice chatter as Wardo faced off against his old mates.

Faces change, results don't for successful Preds -
Have the Preds finally established themselves as a team which people expect to make the playoffs?

Late-bloomer Rinne paying dividends for Preds -
Slow & steady wins the race.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Capitals vs. Predators: Washington’s 4-1 loss ‘upsetting’ to Boudreau - Capitals Insider - The Washington Post
What's the over/under on f-bombs in the Washington locker room after this game?

Canucks Fall 3-2 To Ducks - Nucks Misconduct
Vancouver finally rolled out a few of their big stars, and they have some rust to shake off.

Canes Now - Jets rally in third to top Canes 3-1 | blogs
Winnipeg (which hosts the Preds tomorrow) beat Carolina on home ice last night.

Dallas Dave Revealer: The Story of Dallas Dave
I'm shocked, shocked I say, to read that a purveyor of hockey trade rumors turns out to be a fraud. Or might be, depending on whether this guy is lying or not. Please, people, stop forwarding trade rumor nonsense - you're only rewarding the lowest of the low, and when one bozo tweets something, and everybody starts re-tweeting that, it doesn't mean that the rumor is "gathering steam" or anything. It's just noise, pure and simple, and the only winners are the ones running those sites who get you to click over and generate ad revenue for them.

Brodeur is a Fraud: Goaltending Parity
This is why I really don't want to see the Preds tie up too much money in a long-term deal with Pekka Rinne. He's great, but the distribution of goaltending talent is much more narrow in today's NHL than it used to be.

A Theory of Ice: Insults/Teammates/Strength
A rather different angle taken on the banana tossing & slurs that have made the news this week.

Common Misconceptions: How Much Should That Forward Score? - Pension Plan Puppets
By this standard, the Preds boast a poor 1st line across the board, but a good 2nd line...

Congrats to Citizen Fox " LA Kings Insider
L.A. Kings TV analyst Jim Fox and his wife became American citizens yesterday.

Alex Ovechkin Explains Why He Loves America -
What a country!

It's Preseason for Recaps Too: Hawks Beat Wings, Smith Suspension Likely - Winging It In Motown
The Detroit Red Wings can expect to hear from Brendan Shanahan soon, and here's why...