The Nashville Predators limped into Anaheim yesterday with what looks more like a pre-season split squad lineup than one that you would expect them to use to attempt to extend their three game winning streak.
Since they hit the ice last Saturday, the Preds have lost Shea Weber (foot), Colin Wilson (groin), and J. P. Dumont (back). Marty Erat also does not appear ready to play.
The Predators are returning Captain Jason Arnott and Jordin Tootoo, who has not played in a game this season.
The Predators recalled Andreas Thurresson from Milwaukee yesterday and potentially could call up another player today from Milwaukee.
The Predators will face an Anaheim team that has struggled out of the gate going 4-7-2, most recently losing 4-3 to Pittsburgh at home on Tuesday in a game that was considered one of their best efforts this season.
This will be the season's first game between the Preds and Ducks and will be a key test for both teams who are playing without key players as they try to kick-start their seasons.
The Ducks are without defenseman James Wisniewski who was suspended for two games after a hit on Shane Doan last Saturday. His absence allegedly contributed to the Penguins dominance around Jonas Hiller's net in the Ducks loss on Tuesday.
The key question for the Predators will be offensive production once again. The Predator are averaging 2.08 goals per game wile the Ducks are at 2.77.
The Preds power play has been much improved over the last two weeks but still is at 12.5% on the year. By comparison, the Ducks are at 22.2%. The Preds have a slight advantage on the penalty kill 76.6% to 72.7%.
No official announcement has been made but you would assume that Pekka Rinne would be in goal for the Predators as he is coming off three straight wins an an NHL Second Star of the week for last week. Jonas Hiller will be in net for Anaheim as J. S. Giguere continues to be hobbled.
John Glennon projects the following lines for the Predators:
According to the Ducks site the defensive parings at practice yesterday were:
It should be a true challenge for the Predators to bring home a victory in spite of the adversity presented by the rash of injuries. With H1N1 spreading to teams around the league, make-shift line-ups may become more common for all teams as the season progresses.
In Preds Nation...
John Glennon, from the Tennessean, has the latest line combos for the injury decimated Predators. He also has more information on the injury situation and a preview of tonight's game.
Bryan Mullen discusses the reasons for the Preds three game win streak.
The Ducks took a day off from the ice yesterday to prepare for the Preds game tonight.
The Pred's Dave Scatchard is critical of Chris Chelios's NHLPA actions on an XM 204 interview with Mike Ross on Wednesday.
Mark Willoughby has all the sad details of the Preds injury situation at Bleacher Report. Mark was also on HockeyBuzzRadio Paul McCann and Pete Weber last night. Here is the podcast.
The Milwaukee Admirals are showing signs of suffering from all the injury call-ups as they lost the the Chicago Wolves 4-3 in a game where Chris Chelios had two assists for the Wolves.
In keeping with our fixation on all things In-N-Out Burger we were pleased to see this from Tom Callahan @predsradio: @IN_N_OUT_Burger soooo excited to be back in SoCal for my double animal style low carb madness! :-)
The Ottawa Citizen has an article about Tara O'Reiley, Cal and Ryan's sister, who is Captain of the Carleton Ravens hockey team.
Our guest on Monday's POTG Radio, Adrian Dater, calls out the Avalance fans for having the smallest crowd in years at the Pepsi Center last night in a game that showcased the two biggest surprises of the year in the Western Conference.
Around the NHL...
The outcome of a race that will play a major part in the future of the Lighthouse Project on Long Island is still pending a recount. Nick Giglia has the latest. B D Gallof has a piece at The Huffington Post too.
Matt Reitz feels a great injustice was done to the Dallas Stars that lead to their defeat at the hands of the Calgary Flames last night.
In a rare move, the OHL suspended Michael Liambas for the rest of the season for a hit that he put on Ben Fanelli that left him in the hospital in criticle condition. Slapshot has the story and video.
What are the top 5 NHL Rivalries. Ryan at the RLD opens the debate with his list.
Our guest on next Monday's POTG Radio Adrian Dater has a good profile piece on Joe Sacco, the Avs new coach, who would have to be the front runner for Coach of the Year at the season's 30 day mark.
From @kausatoday: Ex-NHLers Karri Ramo and Dmitri Kalinin were named KHL's top goalie and defenseman for October. Oilers draft pick Linus Omark was top rookie
Episode 52 of the Rink Podcast is now up. Tapeleg also has a few thoughts for a November evening. Our friend @jackmac teased this: latest @rinkpodcast gets interesting about 36 min in. Should probably listen a bit before that to get the full context tho. @Forechecker adds: Listening to the Rink Podcast right now; Tom Luongo has really lost his mind and I'm not even to the 36 minute mark. I listened to the podcast and it bore a close resembalence to things Chris Wassel and I discussed in our "Apocalypse" articles.
Team USA announced that the roster would be announced during the Winter Classic on January 1. Here are the dates for the other announcements. If you are ready to mark your calenders, here is the full Olympic Men's Hockey schedule.
Psycho Puck Lady has the latest in her travelogue with the first segment from Colorado where she was at the Yotes-Avs game last night.
This is something new where we are trying to reward our readers. The first person to leave a comment below that gives me an email address or twitter name along with a comment that "I want the tickets" will receive two tickets to the Predators game vs San Jose Sharks on Tuesday Nov 17, 2009. They aren't the best seats but they are free to the winner.
Not hockey related but big news for Nashville and The Belcourt Theater is that it will be one of eight theaters from across the country that will have the Sundance Film Festival experience at a location other than the main site in Park City , Utah. On Jan 28, 2010, the Belcourt will host a film and it's filmmaker as well as receive a video simulcast from the main event. Tickets will be available in early December. Follow @belcourt on Twitter for ticket info.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass