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Tuesday's notes: The first half reviews are coming in

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Can Craig Smith and the other young Preds improve in the season's second half?
Can Craig Smith and the other young Preds improve in the season's second half?

With tonight offering Game #42 on the Nashville Predators' 2011-2012 regular season, it's time to reflect on how the team has done so far, and what the prospects are for the months ahead. Having completed a series of 30-game reviews recently, I don't think I'll dig into anything like that this week. Worth keeping in mind, however, is David Poile's assertion that due to all the young players playing prominent roles in Nashville, the Preds will be better in the second half than the first. We'll be keeping a close eye on the kids to see how that story plays out...

In the meantime, dig into your belated morning hockey notes!

Nashville Predators tickets are getting scarce, so make sure to take the OTF Discount!

Nashville Predators News

The View from 111: Predators Mid-Season Report Card
The Big 3 stand out on Mark's review.

Rounding the Bend – A Look at the Midseason Mark of the Nashville Predators | The Predatorial
Well, this is a grading system I haven't seen before...

Smashville 24/7: Second half points of improvement
Consistency is the theme here, with Jerred Smithson, Pekka Rinne, and Barry Trotz all stressing that point.

Paul McCann - A Well Deserved Recognition and Game Night
Among other things, Paul sets up this week's SlapShot Radio, which unfortunately is giving more airtime to and their relentless shilling of the hockey stats equivalent of snake oil.

Smashville 24/7: Know the Enemy: Klein previews Colorado home-and-home
Kevin Klein offers up a few thoughts on the upcoming set with the Avalanche.

Gophers will try to cool down hot North Dakota team |
Cam Reid, the Preds' 7th-round draft pick from 2009, is leaving St. Cloud State mid-season to join the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks, supposedly with an offer to center their top line.

Minor penalty caused more than minor damage to Francis Bouillon - Nashville Predators Examiner
Great, now I feel like a real baby for whining about getting my first cavity at age 41 this morning. Check out the work that The Cube required after catching a high stick against Carolina.

Nashville Predators seek more consistency in second half - The Tennessean
There's that word again, consistency.

Boclair: Spotlight on Suter | Nashville City Paper
Did Shea Weber's absence over the last couple weeks pump up Ryan Suter's tires, given the way he handled the burden of leadership?

Second half of the season is Rinne's time to shine | Nashville City Paper
Can Peks turn it on like he did a couple seasons ago, dominating after the 2010 Olympics?

Dean pollster tests mood on property tax hike, other second-term issues | Nashville City Paper
Among the many questions the mayor is testing the waters with... "Would you favor or oppose continuing to use city funds to help subsidize the operating costs of the Nashville Predators?"

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Former Blues GM Ron Caron Passes Away At Age 82 - St. Louis Game Time
A huge figure in the history of the St. Louis Blues, Caron was the team's GM for 10 years during the 80's and early 90's.

Marchand Suspended 5 Games: Did the NHL Hurt Itself With This Decision? - Stanley Cup of Chowder
I have no idea why Boston fans are so distraught over Brad Marchand's suspension. Going low and clipping a guy in the knees is one of the dirtiest things a player can do on the ice, and can wreck an opponent's career.

The Quiet Room: Pancake injuries are a real thing. - Backhand Shelf
Back injuries suck, m'kay?

Puck Daddy’s 2011-12 NHL midway point awards and superlatives - Puck Daddy
Well, look who's in there for Best Fight.

Sports Radio Interviews " Jarome Iginla Brushes Off Trade Rumors on his Way to Netting 500th Career Goal
Iggy wants to play until he's 40, and I woudn't put it past him.

Down Goes Brown: Winners and losers at the NHL's midseason mark
Oh my: "Winner: Anaheim Ducks - Swirling trade speculation can often leave a star player tearing his hair out, so it's probably just as well that it's happening to Ryan Getzlaf."

Gomez Should Consult The Pocket Rocket on Goal Slumps - Habs Eyes On The Prize
Yup, that's the ticket - Scott Gomez just needs to go out and win 10 Stanley Cups to quiet the critics.

Crease to Crease: Jaroslav Halak vs Carey Price (Game 42) | All Habs
It's like 2010 all over again in Montreal, as these two battled for the Canadiens' starting job.

Marty St. Louis says Tampa Bay Lightning needs greater effort to get on a roll, shake "entitled" attitude - Tampa Bay Times
If they don't get rolling soon, the Lightning will be out of the playoff hunt.

Sports ticketing: The price is right | The Economist
Dynamic pricing is becoming increasingly common, particularly in the NHL, where it makes sense to treat a Saturday night vs. Detroit differently than a Tuesday against Columbus. I'll also remind you that our Tickets link on the right side of the navigation bar at the top of this page takes you to our TiqIQ page, which shows tickets available on the resale market from a wide variety of sources - so if a game is sold out, that's a great place to look for offers.

Driving Play: Anomalies: Is Shooting Percentage Predictive?
Another salvo in the "does shot quality exist?" debate.