Another day and another look at Sports Club Stats to try to make sense of the Western Conference Playoff Race. The Pred's chances for the playoffs fell a bit to 95.6% with a best guess of 4-3-1 for the rest of the season which would give them 98 points and a 99.9% chance of the playoffs. SCS has the Preds pegged for seventh at this point.
Last night's game against the Stars was a real groaner. The Predators toyed with the crowd by keeping it tied until the start of the third period but you could not help but having a nagging feeling that something was wrong and it was just a matter of time before the other shoe fell, and it did.
The line combinations that looked like world beaters last week were in shambles last night with the absence of Jason Arnott and Joel Ward.
It is amazing how winning six games in a row can seem like such a distant memory after you witness a thirty second meltdown that led to a 3-1 loss. Every Predator that we spoke with after the game was ready to put the game behind them and move on to the next one.
Ryan Suter was particularly frustrated and stopped short of going on a rant of his feelings playing against Dallas's trap defense. His blunder at the blue line led to the Star's second goal that basically defined the loss.
Hopefully, this game will act as a wake up call just as the Preds 8-5 loss to San Jose did before the six game winning streak. It would certainly help if Jason Arnott can be ready to play on Thursday night.
As Barry Trotz said at the end of his presser last night, "The most important game of the year is Thursday night against the Coyotes."
Predators - Stars Wrap-Up
Here is our story and interviews from last night.
John Glennon has the game story, notes column and postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond has his story at the Examiner.
David Boclair reports in from the City Paper.
In the blogs there are posts from Forechecker, Brandon Felder, Section 303, View from 111, AJ, and See Puck City.
The other side of the story can be found at The Dallas Star Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon has a note stating that the Preds have once again made their attendance goal and Forechecker elaborates on it. Dirk points to Ken Campbell as being a "relocation jackel". We linked the story yesterday and I failed to express my true disgust. I got on it in Dirks comment section saying:
Ken Campbell’s article yesterday (Monday) is a piece of crap intended to preach to the Canadian choir and inflame the Make It Seven crowd. Unfortunately, at the most inappropriate time during the playoff run, some local TV station or hack journalist will point to it as a reason to distract potential fans from enjoying the playoff push. I really think some in the local media set a diary as a reminder to stir the “Preds are leaving town” story on a regular basis.
Nate Rau at the Tennesseean also writes about the Preds making the attendance goal.
A new poll at On The Forecheck as to whether Kevin Klein should be scratched when Grebeshkov returns.
I have been told that Pekka Rinne will be Wade Belak's guest at Blackstone tonight. PekkaRinne.com creator Sheri Magrini will also be in the house so if you see her, give her a big Nashville welcome.
Crash the Crease has an interview with Pekka Rinne from Curtis Tudor.
Lance Wilkerson, who is the Sports Director at WEHT in Evansville, came down for last Saturday's game against Columbus and shared a photo essay with us. Yes, that is Section 303's Codey Holland in a few of them. It's always fun to see an out of towner's view od Smashville.
Preds.com has the story of Ravenwood High School winning this year's Predators Cup.
The Milwaukee Admirals did better than the Preds on Tuesday as the beat the other Stars (Texas) 3-2.
Red Light District Radio...
I appeared as a guest host on Ryan Porth's RLD Radio yesterday with The Hockey Guy's Anthony Curatolo and guests Bill Kellett, a Western Canada scout, and Joe Gladziszewski of InsideCollegeHockey.com. It was a good show with plenty of prospect and college hockey discussions.
Around the NHL...
Big controversy developing after last night's decision by the NHL Board of Governors to try to implement a "head shot" rule immediately that involves only supplemental discipline. The NHLPA is not happy that the sequence that is laid out by the CBA wasn't followed.
Paul Kukla looks at the video of Anton Volchenkov's hit on Dan Carcillo last night. From what I understand this is still legal.
A new steroid investigation involved a visit to the Washington Capitals training facility by police. No specific allegations have been made so it will be interesting to see what develops.
Ryan Porth looks at how the schedule would have looked yesterday with a three point per game system. The Wings would be on the outside looking in at this point.
The Penguins are giving away a cool metal commemorative ticket for the last regular season game at Mellon Arena. Brian Metzer has the story. Make sure and watch the video. It is really cool.
Steve Mason had his boyhood dream fulfilled when he faced Marty Brodeur last night.
If things weren't bad enough in Edmonton, they couldn't find anyone to ride the pine pony with goalie gear on last night.
Here's a video of the bench clearing brawl from the Barrie Colts at Sudbury Wolves game on March 20, 2010.
Odds and Ends...
The "Big Middle" has disappeared in the consumer market. This is an interesting look at price and quality in the marketplace.
A new study shows social networking at work boosts productivity. Who knew?
Here's an academic look at Twitter and the influence of Social Media.
75-100 dead snakes in a house is not something you hear about every day.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass