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Sunday’s Dump & Chase: Matinee Today

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Are we ready for some hockey?! (Please, Preds, be ready for some hockey.)

NHL: DEC 23 Coyotes at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nashville Predators News & Notes

SBNation Reacts: Is This Predators Team a Contender? | On the Forecheck
Signs point to a definite...maybe.

OTF Roundtable: Nashville Predators Postseason Predictions | On the Forecheck
We gathered around and shared our predictions. How are you feeling?

Predators vs. Coyotes Preview: Matchup Overview | On the Forecheck
Bryan takes an in-depth look at the matchup, weighing out the advantages and disadvantages at each position, and talks about Ryan Ellis’s absolutely phenomenal season. The man was good, y’all.

Other News & Notes

Time for some wildly partisan playoff series opinions, and more.

Hockey Diversity Alliance, NHL and HNIC team up to open the playoffs with anti-racist message | Pension Plan Puppets
One of the things that's bothered me for years about the NHL's culture of "let's not make waves, let's not say anything, let's not stand out" is that it makes bigots think that hockey wants them as fans. I remember back in 2017 stumbling across a discussion between random sports fans online who were making openly racist statements, and who were celebrating the fact that everyone in the NHL stood for the anthem. It was a please-like-my-sport that turned my stomach as a hockey fan: "watch hockey," they were saying, "because unlike the other Big Three, hockey cares about our comfort."

I want the NHL to make racists--and every other kind of bigot--uncomfortable, because hockey can't actually be for everyone if it welcomes people who want to drive other fans out. This is a start. It's fantastic that Matt Dumba did this, and I wish he hadn't had to, and I wish he hadn't been left out there alone.

Rielly on Dumba: 'It's important that we realize how brave he was' | Sportsnet.ca
So like...are you, also, planning on kneeling for the US anthem, Morgan Rielly? Or are you just going to tell a reporter that you recognize how brave it is and want to support the people doing it? Serious question. White players in the NHL need to take some of the pressure off Black players and other players of color by joining in and taking the high-profile, unpopular stances themselves instead of just giving soundbites afterward.

SDHL extends agreement with SHL through 2024 | The Ice Garden
Seeing Hockey Sweden invest more in women's hockey is fantastic news. The Swedish men's team is a perennial threat in international play, so it's not as if the country doesn't have enough people to find athletes who can compete. More funding on the women's side of things, and more focus on developing Swedish female players specifically, can only help.

That the SDHL is also talking optimistically about a CBA to improve players' working conditions is even better news.

Bettman to rule on dispute between Coyotes, John Chayka | Sportsnet.ca
A lot of the issue here seems, if I'm deciphering this right, to boil down to the Coyotes not wanting it to look like Chayka traded them in for this year's model--that is, they refused to allow the other team to use the same job title Chayka currently has with them.

Serious question: does it look better for the Coyotes if Chayka quits his GM job with them to take an AGM job somewhere else? I think it doesn't, which makes me more confused than I'm enjoying being.

NHL Bubble Wrap: Kubalik, Price, and Slavin start in NHL's playoff opener | ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
I like Carey Price and the Canadiens, and I like Jaccob Slavin and the Hurricanes, and that is what I have to say about that headline. I do wish Henrik Lundqvist didn't play for the Rangers; five generations of Brooklyn rise up in my blood in protest every spring (or...summer) that people start lamenting his career, as here. Go play for a different team, dude. Then we can talk.

Blackhawks Blitz Oilers In Game One | The Copper & Blue
I don't...I don't know why Tippett decided to start Mike Smith. I don't know why Tippett decided to send Mike Smith back out for the second period. I don't know why the Oilers decided not to play any defense. My profound sympathies to our colleagues at Copper & Blue.

Congratulations to 2011 first-overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on his first career playoff goal, though.

Blackhawks Caggiula to have discipline hearing for check to head | ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
Listen, just because Tyler Ennis is short doesn't mean it's okay to hit him in the head. I don't know why so many NHLers are so careless with hits, but...well, we'll see if the NHL has started caring about head injuries yet.

Jets lose star forward Mark Scheifele to leg injury against Calgary Flames | ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
Patrik Laine was also injured. Both injuries seem to be a little worse than a small bruise. Obviously I hope both Scheifele and Laine will recover completely and quickly, but this--also obviously--has the potential to have a huge impact on the series.

On the one hand, I don't like the Jets (though their color scheme is good).

On the other hand, I do like Blake Wheeler, and I emphatically do not like Matthew Tkachuk (who was involved in the Scheifele injury), and Johnny Gaudreau annoys me.

...might be pulling for the Jets in this one. Get well soon, gentlemen.

The biggest unknown for each team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs | Sportsnet.ca
Surprise, surprise, they're wondering who the Preds' starting goalie will be. So are we. Soon!