One of those weird things that happens in NHL circles that is so unbelievable that it can't be planned or made up, got the ball rolling on the pre-playoff hype on Monday. It was proof of the power of Twitter and social media in NHL fan circles.
The seeds were planted late Sunday night when our friend Travis Hair of Five for Howling struck a nerve with the Wings faithful with his list of how to deal with Wings fans. He also Tweeted a couple of opening shots on Twitter to further arouse the Wing faithful. Travis was then abused on on Twitter by some Wings fans that take things like that a little too seriously.
Then something unbelievable happened. @felixpotvin of Pension Plan Puppets made a post saying "Convince Coyotes blogger @TravisHair to throw a rattlesnake on the ice before game one of Coyotes - Red Wings. #THROWTHESNAKE" and started a hashtag on Twitter for #ThrowTheSnake.
From that point, things went viral. For a good part of the day on Monday @TravisHair and #throwthesnake were the two biggest items in my Tweetdeck "cloud" and eventually trended as the number one topic in Canada. Even Coyote color man Tyson Nash got into the mix wanting folks to Throw the Snake.
The whole thing came to a crescendo with a Puck Daddy story yesterday afternoon. About the same time TSN, CBC and CP24 ran with the story as evidenced in this clip here.
As the day ended, Travis was trying to bring some sanity to the situation with a plea to his readers not to do anything that could cost the Yotes a penalty on the ice.
It's hard to believe that two days before the playoffs started that the Coyotes and the NHL were already are issuing warnings to the fans, no less, about thrown objects. I can just imagine how this will play out on opening night at the Jobbing.com Arena on Wednesday night.
POTG Radio Podcast...
We would like to thank Ryan Porth of the Red Light District, Brandon Felder of Hockey Buzz and Chris Wassel of The Program for joining us last night for our Playoff Preview edition. It was a fast moving hour with plenty of comments and predictions for each series.
Brandon Felder released his massive breakdown of Hawks-Preds information last night after the show.
RLD Hockey Radio had their Eastern Conference Preview show on Monday and I will be joining Ryan today at noon CDT with several special guests to look at the Western Conference. Ryan will also release his entire playoff preview this morning.
Chris Wassel at The Program is also going to unleash tons of stuff at his site today and everyday as the playoffs get underway. Help Chris celebrate his birthday today with a special edition of The Program on BTR tonight at 7 p.m. CDT.
If you missed the live edition of the POTG Radio playoff preview, you can catch it on the player below or on iTunes.
In Pred Nation...
This morning John Glennon discusses the Pred's preparations for the playoffs and has a notes column.
Yesterday, John Glennon reported that Denis Grebeshkov may be ready for game one. John also has the first round TV schedule that offers no surprises. He also has word that the "Blake Geoffrion watch" should probably begin soon in Milwaukee.
Short Shifts fans the Geoffion flames in this post.
Patric Hornqvist won the Espo Award for most improved player and was on NHL Home Ice yesterday with Phil Esposito and Scott Laughlin.
Jim Diamond has five questions with his counterpart at the Chicago Examiner.
David Boclair reports that Patric Hornqvist is excited to have a couple of extra days before game one on Friday.
Mark Willoughby breaks down the series match-up between the Hawks and Preds and is also a believer (with me) in his prediction.
On the Forecheck has ten questions with a Blackhawks Blogger. Dirk also carried the Pred flag on Rink Side Radio last night where sixteen SB Nation bloggers each discussed their team's chances.
Section 303 will have a 303:30 extravaganza released later today with some really big names giving their input. Be on the lookout for it.
Paul McCann ponders the upcoming series at Hockey Buzz.
Jas Faulker write about the shock to many Nashvillians that we have a hockey team now that the playoffs are starting.
POTG was named the Official Predators blog for Bring Back Byakin, an Oilers blog, that has adopted the Preds as their team for the playoffs. They even off a prayer for Denis Grebeshkov.
The Canadian Press downplays the Pred's chances in a post which included a quote from Jordin Tootoo, "Stats are for losers." Way to get the ball rolling Jordin.
Tim Sassone at the Chicago Daily Herald looks at the six games between the Preds and Hawks earlier this year.
Also from Chicago at Blackhawk Up comes an interesting look back at the six meetings between the two teams based on the movie Rounders.
Around the NHL...
The draft lottery will be on Versus tonight at 7 p.m. CDT. On the eve of the lottery Bob McKenzie at TSN updated their top ten list and had a story to go with it.
The offseason got a quick jump start when Tampa fired Brian Lawton and coach Rick Tocchet. Phil Esposito discusses the moves on Hockey This Morning.
Ryan Lambert has the results of preseason predictions and a few more for the post season at Puck Daddy. At least he thinks the Preds will go seven.
In the midst of playoff fever in Phoenix an important city counsel vote will take place today on the lease agreements that are on the table for the arena. Travis Hair has the letter sent to the residents of Glendale from the Ice Edge group.
The Hockey News ranks the playoff goaltenders. I think Ryan at the RLD's list from last week is a better representation.
Also from THN, Ken Campbell has his "Campbellnomics" to look at award winners.
Everyone has picks for the playoffs. Here's the Globe and Mails picks from the heart of Canada-centric thought. No love for the Preds. Very surprising they picked the Coyotes. Dater has his picks here. The Hockey News has a complete analysis of each match up. The Sporting News also has some good stuff and included Patric Hornqvist on the "all-debut" team.
In the non-playoff arena, Team USA is taking shape for the World Championships with Brian Burke as the GM, David Poile as the Associate GM and Scott Gordon as coach.
Hockey54.com has a playoff beard contest that allows female participants.
Sheldon Souray has demanded a trade. Players don't seem to like living in Edmonton. It's in my top five places to visit.
Sports Illustrated has a gallery of the 10 Toughest fighters in the NHL. I'd call it ten players you love to hate.
Odds and Ends...
Here is an interesting article about Millennials and work ethic.
Follow the progress on the Nashville Convention Center build with this time lapse photo site.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass