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Wednesday's notes: Junior hockey provides major drama

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Despite a pretty busy NHL schedule, the focus of the hockey world was on Calgary last night, where the World Junior Championships reached the semifinal round, featuring a pair of old rivalries in down-to-the-wire games: Canada vs. Russia, and Sweden vs. Finland.

After the jump, besides reaction to those games, we have Nashville Predators prospect Austin Watson lighting up the scoreboard, the failure of a franchise sale for a division rival, and one ESPN writer who strongly believes that Shea Weber isn't long for Nashville...

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Nashville Predators News

Hockey Night in Nashville: Players, fans enjoy open practice
Robby shares his notes on yesterday's practice at A-Game.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Q&A with Ryan Ellis
Three quick questions for the birthday boy.

What The Puck: The NHL in 366
Rachel gets back into the blogging groove with a daily hockey photo series.

Predators say they are looking for points, not revenge, against Dallas - Nashville Predators Examiner
Justice may be delayed, writes Jim Diamond.

NHL - John Buccigross looks back at his preseason picks and revises them - ESPN
Buccigross sticks by his bet that the Preds will trade Shea Weber by the deadline.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Wild Finishes, Emotional Surges, Flubs, Improbability, and Hat Tricks - Puck Worlds
Bruce touches on the main storylines at the World Juniors, including the rising star of Yevgeni Kuznetsov.

Canada’s furious rally falls short against Russia in world junior semis - The Globe and Mail
If you're not on Twitter, you missed a good portion of hockey fandom losing their minds as Canada stormed back from being down 6-1 all the way to the point of pressuring for the tying goal in the final seconds.

WJC2012: Watson’s seven-point effort is bittersweet - Buzzing The Net
After Team USA was shunted off to the relegation round, they blew out the Latvians behind Austin Watson's 3 goals and 4 assists.

Leafs Acquire Nicolas Deschamps for Caputi - Pension Plan Puppets
Toronto and Anaheim swap minor-leaguers.

NHL terminates Hulsizer's purchase agreement -
I guess you'll have to play the Blues on a sad trombone.

Morning Mashup: Grabbo or let him go? - Toronto Maple Leafs Hot Stove
Should the Maple Leafs move Mikhail Grabovski? He'd be a dynamic addition to just about any team.

Nicklas Backstrom elbowed to the head by Calgary’s Rene Bourque - Capitals Insider - The Washington Post
Yeah, this is clear as day. Rene Bourque should expect a call from Brendan Shanahan for deliberately throwing an elbow to the head of Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.

WHL: Portland’s Peters rescues drowning man, scores OT winner - Buzzing The Net
A nice night's work for this junior player.

Stars Drop 5-4 Decision to Detroit Red Wings - Defending Big D
Jamie Benn's brother Jordie scored in his NHL debut for Dallas, which comes to Bridgestone Arena tomorrow night.

Blues buckle down and beat Coyotes 4-1. - St. Louis Game Time
The businesslike Blues took care of home ice once again.

Recap: Capitals 3, Flames 1 - Japers' Rink
Alex Ovechkin now has five goals in the last three games, as the Capitals are picking up some steam.

Leafs Crank Bolts - Pension Plan Puppets
Forget the 7 goals, they're just happy the PK had a successful night for Toronto.

Islanders 4*, Hurricanes 3 (*SO): Near-Disaster Averted - Lighthouse Hockey
It took a late goal by Kyle Okposo to force OT before the Islanders took a shootout decision.