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Tuesday's notes: Hockey experts around the NHL putting the spotlight on Nashville

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RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 28:  Coach Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators watches his team play against the Carolina Hurricanes during play at the RBC Center on February 28, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - FEBRUARY 28: Coach Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators watches his team play against the Carolina Hurricanes during play at the RBC Center on February 28, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The Nashville Predators have certainly expressed some lofty goals this season, and now that they've proven to be the most aggressive team in the NHL at adding talent for the playoff run, writers around North America are talking about the Preds as one of the prime contenders to win it all this spring.

Follow after the jump as a gaggle of hockey's finest writers provide their takes on the latest developments in Smashville...

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Nashville Predators News

First off, USA Today's Kevin Allen joined the Sports Revolution on 102.5 The Game yesterday to talk about how the Preds are setting up for the playoffs with Radulov coming on board:

Kevin Allen on 1025 2012-03-19 (mp3)

Radulov return problematic + 30 Thoughts | Hockey | CBC Sports
Fascinating insight from Elliotte Friedman on how the long-term Radulov story may impact how rookies are considered in the upcoming CBA negotiations.

Spector on Radulov: Committed to the cause? - sportsnet.ca
Mark Spector, who has apparently traveled to Nashville to soak in the Radu-mania, notes that many who have returned from the KHL haven't done much.

Will Radulov make Predators best in West? – USATODAY.com
Expectations are naturally being raised with all these moves, writes Kevin Allen.

Little Nashville making big noise ahead of playoff run - The Globe and Mail
Eric Duhatschek also says the attention of observers around the league will be directed at Nashville next month when the playoffs open.

Paul McCann - Game Night in Smashville - Start of 7 in 12
Among other items, Paul raises the specter of a playoff rematch with Chicago, if Detroit continues to falter.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

VIDEO: Rangers, Devils Brawl Off Opening Face Off - SBNation.com
This is all sorts of ridiculous.

Down Goes Brown: Nine lives: A look at the playoff bubble teams
Ouch! Phoenix Coyotes Reason for optimism: Ownership is so confident in the team's chances that they've already got a detailed parade route hanging in the board room at team headquarters. Possible bad sign: Well, we're assuming it was a parade route, although come to think of it maybe it was kind of odd that it starts in Glendale and winds up in Seattle.

The Icethetics Jersey Contest - Blog - icethetics.info
Those of you with a gift for the visual arts, check this out.

Jets debate crowd behaviour - The Globe and Mail
Some of the players in Winnipeg aren't sure what to make of rowdy fans who get on opponents with chants. After spending so many disappointing years in Atlanta, they should just be happy to have a building full of people who care.

Pass or Fail: ‘Bleed Blue’, the St. Louis Blues playoff anthem that’s pure rawk | Puck Daddy
Um, OK.

Recap: Caps 5, Red Wings 3 - Japers' Rink
Washington jumped all over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Sharks turn in a stinker, lose to Anaheim 5-3 - Fear The Fin
The Sharks blew an opportunity to jump into a playoff spot last night.

Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks: Game Recap - Hockey Wilderness
The Wild shut out the Canucks, frustrating Vancouver's attempt to get into playoff mode.

Rangers Vs. Devils: Rangers Clinch Playoff Spot With 4-2 Win Over Devils - Blueshirt Banter
Eventually, a hockey game did break out.

Boston 8, Toronto 0: Bruins Run Roughshod Over Leafs, Sweep Season Series Handily - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Embarrassing stuff for the Maple Leafs.

Sabres vs. Lightning Recap: Sabres Maintain Ground In Playoff Race With Blowout - Die By The Blade
The Sabres are making a pretty strong push, and currently stand two points behind Washington for 8th.