Words simply can't express the importance of tonight's game with the Chicago Blackhawks. If the Predators lose (even in OT) tonight, they will have no choice but to win difficult road games at Detroit and Minnesota Thursday and Friday. It's Fan Appreciation Night with caps for all and a bunch of prizes. Maybe Jackson with his multiple entries will fare better tonight than he did Saturday.
Keys to the Game - The team and the crowd needs to show up for the opening puck drop and never let down. Pekka needs to be Pekka and the team needs to play like we did against San Jose and Anaheim and forecheck and keep the puck in their zone for the majority of the game. Stay out of the box and Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Also, we can't afford defensive break downs where whe don't have a man between the puck and the goal, especially on the back door. It will be interesting to see if Trotz puts DeVris or Koistinen in at D after his postgame comments on Saturday. With Chicago playing at home vs. Columbus tomorrow, it is unclear who they will start in goal. Hopefully they will save Khabby for the home crowd on Wednesday.
SportsClubStats has tonight's game as a 39% swing between a win and a loss for the Preds. The Coyotes and Blues has a 24% swing on the line too. So how big are these two games as to when when the offseason begins for the Preds?
Brandon Felder Tweets First thing this AM - Question of the day has to be: How nervous are you Pred Fans? My answer, cautiously optimistic.
Thanks to our POTG Radio Guests - Thanks to Ryan from The Red Light District and Sarah Conners from Boston who were great guests on last night's show. Ryan really has some interesting stuff on his site and his daily Morning Skate feature is a great way to start your hockey day. Also, it's great to hear a northeastern perspective on the Western Conference. We hope to have both Ryan and Sarah back soon. Go here for the podcast.
John Glennon reports that Ryan Jones may be near return and Antti Pihlstrom may also be back soon. I think it was Pete Weber on XM Home Ice yesterday that said Leggy may be back for the first round of the playoffs (think positive that there will be a first round).
I got a shout out from Scott Laughlin of XM Home Ice's Hockey This Morning for agreeing with him that I really like seeing players stick up for their team mates, even on clean hits. It's all about the team, as Trotz likes to say, the "Band of Brothers".
Check out Paul McCann who be joining Jim "Boomer" Gordon on Sirius/XM's NHL Home Ice tonight at 5:05pm. Wow, three XM mentions in a day. I need to get a life... maybe after the playoffs. Make it four mentions... Here is Pred fan's favorite Ron Wilson's interview.
Congrats to Sully - No not Steve, but Sully the dog, owned by Jane Q Public who is the Preds Pedegree Pet of the Month. Appears the judges don't know his history of misbehavior documented on Twitter.
Keep voting for the other Sully (Steve) in Mirtle's fan poll for the Masterton.
On Frozen Blog asks "Can three Southeast teams qualify for the playoffs? " He also has four other good questions from the East. He also offers condolences to the Habs, losing Schneider and Markov at the same time.
The fight for eighth in the East is as tight as it is in the West. NBC would probably have to call off their coverage if the Rangers miss the playoffs.
Unfortunately for all my friends who are Sabre's fans, Ryan Miller's new mask is the only positive thing coming out of Buffalo at this point.
Looking forward to the playoffs, Hockey Zen has a Twitter playoff pool. To play go here and sign up. @Predfans is always a top talker on their rankings at their Hockey Tweets site.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass