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Thursday's notes: After anger... acceptance

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Yesterday afternoon's hockey notes focused on fans of teams with Stanley Cup aspirations who have stumbled this season, and the anger being voiced in those cities. Today, we have a sampling of opinion from fan bases who once again are going to be watching the playoff party from the sidelines, and are already starting to look ahead to what the prospects for 2012-2013 might bring.

It reminds me somewhat of the Kübler-Ross model of how people go through stages of grieving when death approaches. In this case, for fans in Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton, there's another season of hockey to look forward to, but some of the dynamics appear similar.

But anyways, enough rambling on my part - on to your morning hockey notes!

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Nashville Predators News

Avalanche @ Predators, Game 69 Preview - Mile High Hockey
I won't have a preview for tonight's game (Klein's still out, Yip will want to stick it to his old team, yada yada yada), so here's a look from the Colorado side.

Hockey Night in Nashville: Shift after goal crucial for maintaining momentum
I'm not a big believer in momentum in terms of on-ice results, but boy, the Kings took the crowd out of things Tuesday night.

Inside Smashville " Significance of playing at home is "huge" for Nashville
The boys need to work on their cliches. No "ginormous", or "humongous big", or anything like that?

Wolves Sink Admirals In Rematch 5-2 | Admirals Roundtable
It wasn't quite as bad as the score indicates, as Chicago scored two empty-net goals.

Predators form special bonds with their road roommates - Nashville Predators Examiner
I think we now have an idea who might be launching those cyber-attacks on SB Nation that happen once in a while...

Hornqvist's consistency as a goal scorer unprecedented | Nashville City Paper
"The first Preds draft pick to score 20 goals three years in a row" is an awkward benchmark, but we'll take it. Another decade or so and we'll start talking about Mike Gartner-type numbers.

Nashville Predators' Mike Fisher eyes playoffs, not points | The Tennessean
For a guy who's been to the Stanley Cup Final, the bar is set pretty high on a successful season.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

All Hail The Next GM - Habs Eyes On The Prize
A thorough look at what Pierre Gauthier's successor (assuming he's let go after the season) will have on his hands as Montreal needs to rebuild.

Making the Oilers Competitive Next Season - The Copper & Blue
And when it comes to Edmonton, is it realistic that they can return to the playoffs next season?

Groundhog Day - Pension Plan Puppets
You have to wonder how well the Maple Leafs will handle a top draft pick.

The Oncoming Olli Jokinen Perfect Storm - Overpayment on the Horizon - Matchsticks and Gasoline
The guy needs a new contract, and has had a good year. But at 34, is there risk that the Flames could fall too much in love?

Carter discusses return to Columbus " LA Kings Insider
Carter & Columbus, a fling that just didn't work out.

Jeff Carter, Moneypuck, and Real Life - View From My Seats
The Jeff Carter/Jack Johnson trade is working out pretty well so far for the Kings, who had a good understanding going in about the challenges Carter can bring.

Video: Lobbyists and lawmakers hit the ice - Capitals Insider - The Washington Post
I think they should develop a practice of settling legislative debates with a hockey game, but this is a great start.

Jordan Staal on track as Penguins come back from two-goal deficit, defeat Leafs 3-2 - PensBurgh
Having this guy as their 3rd center is quite the luxury.

Hurricanes vs. Sabres Recap: Sabres Dust Themselves Off To Get Back In Hunt - Die By The Blade
The Sabres are just two points out of a playoff spot after beating Carolina.