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Tuesday’s Dump & Chase: Coach Speak

The Preds gear up for their final playoff push, NHL coaches pick their Norris winner, and Luke Evangelista is AFLAME.

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NHL: Stadium Series-Tampa Bay Lightning at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators News & Notes

Nashville Predators Prospects Report: March | On the Forecheck
The headliner in Eric's prospects breakdown is Luke Evangelista, who just became the first CHL player to hit the 50-goal mark this season. But there were a few other players who stood out during the month of March as well.

Preds Embracing Playoff Mentality, Mindset in Final Four Weeks of Season | Nashville Predators
Would have been great if they would embraced that mentality a few weeks ago against lesser competition instead of right before the fourth-hardest remaining schedule starts, but oh well. The Preds' matchup against Minnesota tonight should absolutely have a playoff atmosphere.

LeBrun: We asked all 32 NHL head coaches for their top-three Norris Trophy winners | The Athletic
Roman Josi wins (rightfully) in The Athletic's coaches' poll for the Norris Trophy, and it seems like the vast majority have some combo of Josi, Cale Makar, and Victor Hedman in their top three (although there were two coaches who didn't have Josi *anywhere* in their top three for... reasons.) Here's a bit from one coach's take on Josi's season:

"Very tough choice with all three guys! I believe Josi is playing at a level this year that is historic — when you look at his numbers, etc., he is in (the) all-time greats categories! Also the impact he has on Nashville … he drives the team Nashville is. (It is) not in playoff contention without him. I believe Tampa and Colorado would still be playoff teams if Makar or Hedman were not there. Josi drives Nashville.”

So we know what the coaches think, but again, it's up to the PHWA to decide who'll be crowned the NHL's top defenseman. Based on the sentiment we've seen from writers, it seems like that race could go either way.

Other Hockey Happenings

Ranking first round matchups if the NHL playoffs were to start today | Bardown
Can't say I totally disagree with the sentiment surrounding Preds-Flames, although I will say that'll wind up being a banger of a matchup if that's how the standings play out.

Auston Matthews ties Toronto Maple Leafs record for goals in season | ESPN
No small feat for Matthews considering the franchise's storied history.

McDavid leads 3 Stars of the Week | NHL.com
It hasn't been the easiest season for McDavid and the Oilers, but he's peaking at the right time, and that has Edmonton on solid ground in the playoff race.

Bowen Byram recalled by Colorado Avalanche | Mile High Hockey
From a pure human standpoint, it's good to see Byram back in the fold after lingering concussion issues. From a "the Predators might have to play the Avalanche in the postseason standpoint," a healthy Byram is going to make the Avs all that much tougher to beat.

Monahan Placed ON LTIR | Matchsticks and Gasoline
Injuries have derailed his last couple of seasons, but that's still a big loss for a potential Preds first-round playoff opponent.

Inside Brock University’s student organized Isobel Cup watch party | The Ice Garden
A cool story about students at a small university in Florida organizing a watch party for the Isobel Cup final between the Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale.

'Savour Every Moment': Cournoyer recalls first NHL goal with Canadiens | NHL.com
In part two of what's been a pretty fun feature on NHL.com, Hall-of-Famer Yvan Cournoyer recalls some of the finer details of his first NHL game with his boyhood club, the Montreal Canadiens.

Devin Buffalo mentoring young Cree goalies and challenging them to dream big | Sportsnet.ca
Devin Buffalo started Waniska Athletics as a way to mentor and provide opportunity for the young goalies from his community. Waniska is Cree for ‘wake up and rise’, a motto he instills as a way of challenging youth to dream big.