It is still early in the season, but after Calgary lost to Dallas last night, the Predators stand as the only Western Conference team with out a loss. The Preds put their meager streak on the line tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, who have a win and an OTL so far in the young season.
The Predators hope that the home cooking of Sommet Center works its magic again tonight. Since 2005-06, the Predators have the third most home wins of any NHL team with 109. Only Detroit and Calgary have more.
In the Sabres last game on Thursday night, Buffalo defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1. This will be Buffalo's first game away from home this season.
The Predators are 6-4-1 all time against Buffalo and last faced the Sabres on December 1, 2008 at the RSBC arena when the Preds won 2-0 in Pekka Rinne's first career shutout. The Sabres have not played in Nashville since 2006.
Pekka Rinne will get his first start in net for the Predators while the Sabres will counter with potential Team USA goalie, Ryan Miller (1-0-1, 1.46, .927).
In another odd match up, Buffalo's Lindy Ruff and the Preds Barry Trotz are the coaches with the longest tenure in the NHL. Ruff has coached 904 games while Trotz has 822. Trotz also hold the record for most games coached from the beginning of a franchise.
Early season surprise, Patric Hornqvist, who has 2 goals and 2 assists, was the last pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Hornqvist is only the ninth player to make it to the NHL since 1969 after being picked last in the draft.
The Predators expect Joel Ward to see his first action this year after sitting out the first two games with a groin injury. J. P. Dumont, Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson continue to be out of the lineup with injuries.
The Tennessean's John Glennon reports that Triston Grant, who made his Preds debut on Thursday in an emergency call up, remains with the team and may play again tonight in spite of Ward's return.
After tonight's game the schedule does not get any easier for the Predators They play Edmonton at home on Monday, travel back to Dallas on Wednesday, face Chicago at home on Thursday, and then head to D.C. to play the Capitals a week from tonight.
In Pred Nation...
Late Breaking news from John Glennon is that Belak will sit out tonight and Triston Grant will play. Also, Colin Wilson appears closer to a return.
John Glennon also has a look at Barry Trotz and Lindy Ruff, the two longest tenured coaches in the league. I am always shocked to see old pictures of Barry Trotz when he had more hair. He also confirms the return of Joel Ward and that Triston Grant may get another start in stead of Ryan Jones.
Patric Hornqvist is featured in a Jim Diamond article where he discusses the difference a year has made in his development.
Sabre Noise fondly points out that last years Preds-Sabres game was the most boring game ever.
Rachel at What The Puck has the good and bad from Thursday night as only she can do it. One thing that she points out I haven't mentioned and kind of forgot was just how quiet the building was at times in the first two periods. Great photos from the game are at Predators.com.
Mark has his weekly Friday post of My View at the View From 111 and gives the Aggregator props. The real props need to go to all the new Predator bloggers that have doubled the number of listings on the site. Mark also has a post at Hockey Independent that points out that Patric Hornqvist was the last pick in the 2005 entry draft.
Mark also Tweets @TheViewfrom111: "Woo Hoo!! Just confirmed that I am going to do a parachute jump (my first) next Friday with the Army Black Knights at Ft. Campbell"
Alan Bass at the Hockey News has an article on Colin Wilson that gives the impression that he is in Nashville to stay, not just for rehab.
Late breaking news from @Forechecker: "Colin Wilson on the ice at Preds' morning skate"
Also from @NHLPredsInsider: "New pants to go with the Third Jerseys...coming soon!"
From Friday's practice @predsradio: "Ward should be back in tomorrow night. Tootoo not on the ice today. Grant wins shootout contest!"
The Milwaukee Admirals lost in a shoot-out to the Peoria Rivermen by a 4-3 score on Friday night.
See Puck City talks hockey Voodoo!
Kelly at Confessions of a Preds Fanatic asks "Are You a Horny Fan?"
Still putting the wraps on Wednesday's SMC-Nashville event, Codey at Section 303 gives his take on the evening. Forechecker has also checked in with his takeaways.
The last Preds news is what the Meet the Team Party is all about. The Parker family had a great time at the event and shared photos of their star struck kids meeting the players. These kids and others like them are the future season ticket holders that the franchise needs.
Around the NHL...
Michelle Kenneth was teasing everyone yesterday before leaving the country. Today she breaks big news on Matt Sundin at Inside Hockey.
Matt at View From My Seats previews a week of special articles that discusses the relationship of hockey and social media. I was honored to be involved along side some really impressive folks that have far more noteriety than me.
In Phoenix, there will be a white-out tonight as the Coyotes have their home opener in a sold-out Jobbing.com Arena. The Arizona Republic celebrated opening night with a detailed look at Jerry Moyes and his perspective on what has transpired over the last year or so.
Thursday night's action brought more ill will between players and coaches. Sean Leahy has the story about Scott Hartnell's alleged biting of Kris Letang's finger. Here's what Scotty had to say about it.
The Calgary Sun has the synopsis of Oiler's Coach Pat Quinn's tirade against Jerome Iginla for his roughing up of Sheldon Souray. You don't often hear an NHL coach complain that the "vigilantes" can't do their job. Quinn was fined for his remarks.
A big blow to the Wings as Johan Franzen will miss four months. Unfortunately, that means that he will be fresh for the playoffs.
From @xmhomeice: "Full slate of games on XM tonight -- NHL ON THE FLY debuts Monday night on NHL HOME ICE!"
One of our favorite sites is Cap Geek. Puck Daddy has the story of its creator, Matthew Wuest.
Our friend. Tim Rosenthal has a new name and look to his column at Inside hockey. Check out Rosie's Rebounds.
Finally, watch who you poke on Facebook. You could end up in jail like this woman.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass