The Nashville Predators are coming off a timely win on the road in Atlanta on Monday and now move into the meat of the road trip facing the Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks.
Tonight's game is critical for both teams. The Sharks need a win to maintain their first seed and the Preds need every point they can get as they are trying not to lose ground in the race for the top eight spots.
Dan Ellis will get his second start in a row as he returns to the scene of one of the worst goals allowed this season. On November 11, the Predators were tied in the closing moments of the game and Dan Ellis let in a softie that cost them at least a point. Ellis had played well up to that point and it was a bitter disappointment for all.
Hopefully, the Predators will build off that loss and bring home a point or two in tonight's play. John Glennon reports that Shea Weber skated yesterday but I would think he is still doubtful with back to back games today and then tomorrow in Anaheim.
I hope that the Preds are looking upward in the standings and have their eye on capturing fifth or sixth place instead of worrying about Calgary and Detroit. They would have a far better chance of advancing in the playoffs if they can avoid the seventh or eighth seed.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon has a notes column and the Game at a Glance this morning. He also has news that Ellis will start tonight and Shea Weber is getting closer to a return.
David Boclair has a post on Colin Wilson's improved play.
Predators.com has set up a daily tracker of the Western Conference playoff chase.
Chris Burton has the Game Day Preview at On The Forecheck.
Short Shifts has the story of the Admirals 5-1 win over Lake Erie last night.
Hockey's Future has their monthly feature, On The Rush and list Alexander Sulzer as a player not meeting expectations.
In a real head-scratcher type move, the Preds "reassigned" Peter Olvecky to Manitoba and received a "loan" of Marty Murray to Milwaukee.
The Ads submitted their Clear Day roster and it has several Preds on it.
Michelle Kenneth pegs the Predator trio of Dan Ellis, Steve Sullivan and Jordin Tootoo as the best Tweeters in hockey. Michelle also has a new Facebook Fan Page.
Paul McCann's latest Hockey Buzz Podcast is now up.
Around the NHL...
The big news of the day on Tuesday was that Matt Cooke will not be suspended.
From TSN, here is the specific language that the GMs decided upon to present to the NHLPA and the Board of Governors. If this were in place now, Cooke would have been suspended but for the rest of the year, careless head shots appear to be fair game.
Kevin Weeks has the word to end all words from a players perspective on head shots.
Puck Daddy has a round-up of proposals from the GM meetings. He also points out an article where it says flights were delayed because folks wouldn't get on the plane at the end of the Olympic gold medal hockey game.
Here's a story everyone should read about Ryan Cristian, the daughter of Jeff and Dori Christian. Jeff is a 20 year pro hockey veteran who is a player coach with the Missouri Mavericks in the Central league. Ryan has been diagnosed with Pedriatric Adrenalcortical Carcinoma, cancer near her kidney that is considered to be a one-in-a-million case. Folks are coming out of the woodwork to help and all money and prayers are welcomed.
Ever since we were able to speak with Natalie Darwitz in January, we have followed the US women's team closely. Here is a video from their appearance on the Ellen Show yesterday.
In the area of out of the blue comes this Tweet from @Sean_Leahy: NHLPA announces all matters with Ian Penny has been resolved
I've never used Bing before, but I ran across an interesting feature where you can see pictures of 725 NHL players in an interesting display.
Cool graph from @Savage_steve: Water consumption graph for Edmonton during Gold Medal hockey game on 2/28 vs 2/27
The March 9th edition of the View from My Seats podcast is ready for your listening pleasure.
Dirk had this one yesterday but it is worth another listing. The guys at Kurtenblog discuss the must read folks in blogosphere.
The Goal Crease interviews one of our favorite writers, James Mirtle.
Here is the latest top thirty prospects in this summer's NHL Entry Draft from The Hockey News.
A flurry of #cheliosissoold jokes came from this information. From @Real_ESPNLeBrun: Chelios to me a few minutes ago via text message: ``Can't wait. Got to make the most out of this chance." All jokes aside, I hope he does well in his comeback and wish that it had been with the Preds.
David Shoalts looks in to all the recent ownership issues with the Coyotes. I can't imagine the NHL will get much else out of Moyes.
Here's the "making of" video of the chocolate Stanley Cup that we noted in yesterday's post.
Twackle has been relaunched with a ranking of the most Tweeted stories by sport. If you have been off Twitter for a while and whan to see what the main buzz is, it can be a quick way to catch up.
Odds and Ends...
In-N-Out Burger is the number one Fast Food Chain at The Top 13. We knew that!
From KFWB in LA comes a 911 call of a child hiding in his bathroom while armed gunman were in his house. Is POTG stooping to a new low in dramatic journalism with this post or is it simply and oddity worth posting?
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass