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Tuesday's Dump & Chase: A Test

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Tonight's game is a good test. We can all see that the team is playing better, and the lineup looks much better than when the season started. But there's room for improvement. Kevin Fiala looks to be okay so far in the top line role, but Craig Smith could stand to step it up some (2 goals, 1 assist in the last month). And he's done well against Chicago in previous meetings. So let's see something, Craig.

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Nashville Predators News & Notes

Predators' Pekka Rinne endures 'frustrating' season | Tennessean
"Physically, I feel really good, I feel healthy and 100 percent." If he's not, then he should be accountable. He's earned a benefit of the doubt, but if we hear "He's been fighting through an injury" later this year.... it won't be pretty.

Gaustad Reflects on 700 Games; Preds Face Hawks Once More - Nashville Predators - Features
Gabriel Bourque and Austin Watson participated in line rushes. As did Ryan Ellis and his beard.

Other Hockey News & Notes

Gather 'Round | BlueJackets Xtra
Scott Hartnell feels bad about taking that penalty. If he apologized for all of the bad penalties he's taken, he'd still be in Philly finishing up the apologies for 2013.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Edmonton Oilers leaves game with injury | NHL.com - News
Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left the game Monday against the Florida Panthers with an injury in the second period. This is a massive blow to the Oilers, who were shopping him earlier this season.

Grabovski hit likely puts Henrik Sedin out until February - Sportsnet.ca
After being hit by Mikhail Grabovski, Henrik Sedin is unlikely to dress for an NHL until February, says Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins.

VIDEO: Jets fan caught licking her lips at Paul Maurice | theScore.com
Have standards, ma'am.

Weekend Takeaways: Bergevin should stand by Therrien - Sportsnet.ca
Sure. What a great idea.

A postseason without Canadian teams starting to feel like a possibility - Article - TSN
If it happens, tip your cap to the state of Florida for making this dream a reality.

NHL -- Eric Staal's future with Carolina Hurricanes still unclear | ESPN
NO FREAKING KIDDING. The Canes had to screw up and start winning games.

Fletcher on Wild's slump: 'Usually the solution's in the room' - StarTribune.com
The general manager said he isn't going to force any major shake-ups. "We'll get out of this. We always have and we will again." Someone might be unhappy about that....

Friedman: Capitals 'All In,' May Still Target Byfuglien - Todays SlapShot
Sure, trade Byfuglien AFTER the Preds finish the season series with Winnipeg. Gee, thanks.

Arizona Coyotes assign Steve Downie to AHL ahead of Monday's game against Sabres
It has nothing to do with him being Steve Downie, surely.

Penguins goaltender drifts so far out of his net on goal, he's on his own island - SBNation.com
Remember when you played "manual" goalie on NHL '94?

Stastny has four-point night in Blues' 5-2 win | STLToday
The Blues wrapped up a four-game homestand 3-1, and they've been the most consistent team in the Central this year. Not the best, but the most consistent.

Kopitar’s deal doesn’t change Stamkos quagmire | TBO.com and The Tampa Tribune
"How dare the Lightning interrupt the Steven Stamkos quagmire by getting hot."

Not Hockey

What we learned from the Mike Mularkey/Jon Robinson press conference - Music City Miracles
"What a disaster." Anytime Kordell Stewart is mentioned as a pillar of quarterback development (career 55% passer), you know it was a great day. By comparison, Jason Campbell has a career completion percentage of 60%. Plus, Underwood's facial hair made him fascinating to watch. It was like seeing a crab eat. It was gross, but I couldn't look away due to my own wonder.