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Wednesday afternoon notes: Frustration rising in certain corners of the NHL

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The Blackhawks and Capitals were among the teams expected to contend for the lead in their respective conferences, but instead they still find themselves just hoping to make the playoffs. That has fans, coaches and players in those cities on edge, as the pressure rises with each passing game.

Meanwhile in Anaheim, Bobby Ryan is sounding discontented...

Save money and come see the Preds this week by taking the OTF Discount!

Nashville Predators News

Smashville 24/7: Yip motivated to face former team; Tootoo speaks
Colorado waived Brandon Yip enabling the Predators to pick him up, so yeah, he's ready to get in the lineup tomorrow.

Nashville Predators Practice Report - Nashville Predators
It sounds like the book has been closed on Jordin Tootoo's shove of a linesman last night.

20 Questions with Scott Valentine - JSOnline
Man, this guy sounds ornery. #petpeeve

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Our Coach Might Not Know How To Watch A Hockey Game - Second City Hockey
Frustration is rising in Chicago.

Washington Capitals players have signs critical of coach removed; censorship or courtesy? | Puck Daddy
...and that's nothing compared to Washington!

Bobby Ryan Walking a Media Tightrope with Comments - Anaheim Calling
it sounds like Bobby Ryan is (perhaps understandably) chaffing for a bigger role in Anaheim. If that doesn't work out, perhaps an off-season trade would be best for all parties involved?

Duchene unavailable, other Wednesday practice notes | All Things Avalanche — The Denver Post
The Avalanche will be without their young star center tomorrow night when they play the Preds.

Don't Be The Blackhawks. - St. Louis Game Time
Yeah, don't be one of those teams that fails to send qualifying offers to its restricted free agents in time.

Black Dog Hates Skunks: Odds, Sods And So On
A really fine meandering read, but the real gold is in the bit about hockey commentary.

Powerplay drought no mirage as zebras head south | Edmonton Journal
Oilers games are seeing far fewer power plays lately than earlier in the season. is that a league-wide trend? Somebody should get on that...

Mario Lemieux Statue Ceremony - PensBurgh
Reviving the old question... who gets the first statue outside Bridgestone Arena?

The Quiet Room: Khokhlachev’s Kidney Laceration | Backhand Shelf
The latest in this series of the ins and outs of various (sometimes gruesome) hockey injuries.

Leafs lose Lupul to shoulder injury - The Globe and Mail
A tough break for the Maple Leafs, whose playoff hopes were flickering at best already.

And lastly, Erin Sharoni, who is one of the key players in SB Nation's new YouTube venture, attended the New York Rangers' charity fundraiser the other night and shares the experience. I would have done something similar for the Preds' casino night, but I just can't wear earrings like that.