Programming Note: There will not be a POTG Radio show tonight due to the conflict with the Predators game with the Panthers that begins at 6:30. The game is not available on television anywhere. Predators radio appears to be the only option tonight.
The Predators head to Florida tonight for their last game against the Eastern Conference this season. The Preds are 11-4-2 against Eastern opponents this year and the Western conference was 151-85-28 against the East through Saturday's games.
Over the years, many folks have felt that the Predators should play in the Southeast Division in a grouping with Carolina, Atlanta and the two Florida teams to enhance natural geographic rivalries that have thrived in other sports.
Just for fun, let's look at simple math and extrapolate the Pred's record against the East and West to see how they may have fared playing in the Eastern Conference this season.
The Preds have played 59 games versus Western teams and have averaged 1.15 points per game. In 17 games versus the East the Preds have gained 1.41 points per contest.
Reversing the number of games against the East and the West and applying the corresponding points per game numbers would give the Predators 102.74 points for the season, eleven more than they currently have.
That would give the Predators the second best point total in the NHL, behind the Capitals with 109 points and clearly make them a favorite to go deep in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Will the Predators move to the East? It would be highly unlikely in the near future. However, in the long term, anything is possible. By that time, the balance of power could have shifted the other direction.
Today, the Preds need to focus on playing a full sixty minutes against the Panthers and not let this become a "trap game" against a weak team that has distracted them on several occasions previously this season. The Predators can't afford to let up as a loss could cause them to fall from fifth to seventh.
Dan Ellis will start in goal for the Predators in what may be his last start wearing the Pred's colors. Barring injury, Pekka Rinne should start the remaining games.
The other side of the story of tonight's game can be found at the Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel.
Predators - Wings Roundup...
Here is our postgame story with interviews from Saturday.
John Glennon has the game story, notes and postgame ponderings from the game.
David Boclair has the story for the City Paper.
In the Pred Blog world stories come from The View from 111, Brandon Felder, Forechecker, See Puck City, Fan Huddle, Paul McCann, Section 303,
Puck Daddy has a video of the low point in the Preds-Wings shoot out when Patrick Eaves fell down.
The Red Wing story comes from MLive.com, the Detroit Free Press, and The Detroit News.
Blake Geoffrion Watch...
Pred's prospect Blake Geoffrion had a great opening weekend in the NCAA sweet sixteen as Wisconsin advanced to the Frozen Four next weekend. As he competes for the Hobey Baker Award, he was named the Regional MVP.
John Glennon has a few thoughts about Geoffrion heading to the final weekend.
Here's the story on Friday's win over Vermont.
Here's a link to Madison.com, the hometown paper for the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badger Herald is on Spring break this week but has the Saturday night story.
Puck Daddy has the wrapup of Sunday's two games including Miami's double overtime win last night.
I met the visiting Sheri Magrini who runs the PekkaRinne.com web site on Saturday. She was in town for the Coyotes and Wings games and was really enjoying her visit. Be watching over the next few days a she will provide updates from her trip.
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon discusses more one goal games and Dan Ellis' return in goal. He also has the game at a glance.
Jim Diamond has his weekly prospect report including some playoff schedules for the Windsor Spitfires.
David Boclair discusses the need for a cure for the Pred's third period blues.
Section 303 has a Preds-Panther's preview.
AJ has a really good perspective piece on Jason Arnott and his concussion history.
Mark Willoughby has been working on nominations for the "Hattie" Award and I think all can agree that The Hockey News' Ken Campbell is a great first winner.
Section 303 has a new 303:30 with Brandon Felder and Ken Kal.
The Admirals were swept in the home and home series against Grand Rapids. Short Shifts has the story.
Patric Hornqvist is featured in a story at NHL.com.
Jim Diamond has some interesting information from Paul Fenton about some potential collegiate signings.
Dirk has a good article about Jon Blum with an assist from Short Shifts. He also has the story of the ruckus over Tennessee's privilege tax.
Bridgestone obtained their domain name, Bridgestonearena.com according to a Nashville Post story.
Around the NHL...
The usually reliable Chris Botta has jumped on the bandwagon of folks stating that next year's winter classic will be at Heinz field and feature Pittsburgh and Washington.
From @DamoSpin: Players rip Bettman #NHL for years for knowing nothing about hockey. And Donald Fehr is somehow different? This is definitely a point worth pondering. If Fehr takes over the NHLPA, the chance of another lock out goes up substantially.
Puck Daddy has a discussion and a poll about who should win the Hart Trophy? Thankfully, it's not an automatic for Ovechkin this year.
NHL.com now has a "destination playoffs" page with ongoing updates of who is in.
Down Goes Brown and Blogesalming team up on a video introducing Canada's teams to the US audience for NBC.
Good to see that Travis Hair at Five for Howling is back with a new episode of Barking at the Moon podcast on BTR.
Mike Chen has some good news on attendance trends at the Coyotes' games.
It has been delayed over twenty years but the "greatest game never played" will finally happen next Saturday with players from all over the country competing.
Here's a video from NHL.com explaining legal versus illegal hits to the head.
Odds and Ends...
Congratulations to Bruce Perle and the Tennessee Vols who made it to the elite eight for the first time before losing in the final second to Michigan State on Sunday. I don't advertise it often, but I am a Volunteer alumni. Too many criminals on the football team during the Phil Fulmer era drove me away from being a Vol fan. I have payed slightly more attention with the current regime that appears to want to decriminalize the program.
The Tennessean has a photo gallery of the top 25 things to see in Nashville. This would be a good guide for visiting relatives that want to go sightseeing (other than country music stars homes). I don't get out much as I've only been to 13 of the 25.
Amy Dawson has a post showing you what a visiting movie star likes about Nashville.
We here much about pollution on earth but the Europeans have designed a min-satellite to clean up all the space junk that is clogging up outer space.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass