Detroit and Los Angeles are one and two points behind, respectively, and each have two games in hand. While the Kings have struggled, the Wings are playing the best hockey of the year and have to be the favorite for the fifth slot and a first round meeting with the Coyotes.
The Preds meet the St. Louis Blues tonight at the Bridgestone arena in one of those divisional grudge matches where pride is on the line and the record books can be thrown out the window.
The Blues still have not been eliminated from a playoff spot but realistically can only play the spoiler role at this point. They have 83 points with six games left and would have to sweep to get to 95 points and a shot at a position. They have won three in a row and are playing well.
The Predators need to come out and play a full sixty minutes of hockey and be especially aware of a slow start and/or a third period lapse which have been their specialties lately. There is no indication that Jason Arnott will return tonight or anytime soon.
The race in the west tightened up substantially last night with Calgary beating the Coyotes and the Avalanche losing to the Ducks. The Flames are now only two points behind the Avs albeit Colorado still has a game in hand. The Avs have lost three in a row and have not looked good in the process, so anything could happen in the closing days of the season.
April Fools Video???
I was shown the following video by George "What's Brewin' " Brew and Chris Wassel on the Program last night. I seriously thought it had to be an April Fools joke but according to sources, this is real. The truth is much worse than any joke. (This is not meant to ridicule this young lady's size because I am not a perfect specimen myself. I don't understand why someone would want to further sabotage their health for 15 minutes of fame).
History Will Be Made...
My friend, Ryan Porth at RLD Hockey, made the following video for me from a very memorable moment when Daniel Briere scored a goal in overtime in game 6 of the Buffalo-Carolina series to force a game seven. It's memorable to me, because Jackson, Fisher and I were camping in Monument Valley and had listened to the entire game on XM Radio. It was one of those times that words can't describe. Rick Jeanneret rocks!
Predators Playoff Dates...
With a out of town business trip planned for April 20 and 21, I tried to figure how the first round playoff schedule would fall based on other Bridgestone Arena events. It looks like the most likely possible first round home Pred playoff dates would be April 18-19-20 for games 3 an4 and April 25 for game six. The 22nd would also be a possibility for game 4 but that would compress the last three games.
In Pred Nation...
Blake Geoffrion was named a Hobey Baker finalist (or "Hat Trick") on Wednesday. The award winner will be named at the NCAA finals at Ford Field on April 9.
John Glennon looks at possible opponents for the Predators in the first round of the playoffs and has capsules of each team. He also has the Game at a Glance for tonight's game.
David Boclair has a look at the Pred's struggling power play.
Game day previews come from Section 303 (beware) and Chris Burton.
The other side of the story on tonight's game comes from the St Louis Post-Dispatch and the Belleville News Democrat.
Forechecker has a discussion about whether the Preds have run out of gas.
Shorts Shifts has the story about Admirals' 3-2 shoot out loss to the Stars.
I missed this Climer article on Pekka yesterday. Quite a positive piece.
David Legwand makes RLD Hockey's five players that need to step up. Ryan also has the news of Alex Semin joining the flight to the KHL.
Around the NHL...
NBC shows it's true colors with the announcement of their playoff schedule.
Matt Reitz analyzes who to blame in Calgary. He also gets into the spirit of the day with news of the NBC Crosby Clause.
Ted Leonsis ponders the role of luck in his team's development.
Everything you need to know about the Frozen four is at the CCHA web site and Facebook page. The ice going down at Ford Field pictures are cool.
American Hockey Fan discussed their trip to Sean Avery's Bar, Warren 77.
Odds and Ends...
Our Hockey54 friend, Dahlia Kurtz, has a interesting, wide-ranging web site with some good stuff on it. She is really quite talented.
Good news from @belcourt: For those who caught THE EXTRA MAN at our Sundance Film Festival screening, the film is getting a release late this summer. This was a fun film to see in the Nashville Sundance environment. Looking forward to seeing it again.
The new edition of the Dunder Mifflin (Scranton) Newsletter is now up.
Here is an interesting attack on Foursquare users. This writer is highly passionate.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass