Programming Note: I'll be a guest on the Team 990 in Montreal at 7:25 CDT tonight to discuss the Pred's chances against the Hawks. Go here and "Listen Live" to see how "Hockey with an accent" fares in the hockey hotbed of Montreal.
Last night's games set the tone for what hockey fans everywhere want to see for the next two months.
The first three games of the evening came down to a goalie pull in the closing minute in tight one goal games. The home favorites were surprised in the first two games with Ottawa beating the Pens 5-4 and the Flyers surprising the Devils 2-1. My adopted Coyotes made the Wings show their age as they completely out worked Detroit in the second half of the match in route to a 3-2 win.
The final game of the night was the biggest surprise of all with the lowly Colorado Avalanche stunning the San Jose Sharks 2-1 when Chris Stewart scored with 49.3 seconds left in the game.
The best game of the night, to me, was the Coyotes making a statement to Detroit in front of a wild white-out home crowd in Glendale. The Yotes were down twice and really out worked the Wings during the second half of the game to spark the win. It was fun to watch the scrappy Coyote team skate past the older Red Wing team that has been the best team in the west for the last decade.
By the way, Puck Daddy reports that someone did #ThrowTheSnake when the Yotes scored their first goal.
I don't see how there could be a better night of hockey than last night's four games provided, but we still have two months to go. We still haven't seen an overtime, so the odds are we'll see one tonight.
There are three games on tap tonight with the opening game of three more series leaving only the Predators and Blackhawks that are yet to play.
Montreal at Washington 6:00 PM CDT Versus/TSN/RDS/CSN-DC
Boston at Buffalo 6:00 PM CDT CBC/NESN/MSG
Los Angeles at Vancouver 9:00 PM CDT Versus/CBC/RDS/FS-W
In Pred Nation...
John Glennon also went Behind Enemy Lines for an interview yesterday with a Hawk's blog. He also has a story about the team playing "young" (as opposed to looking like Detroit last night). He also reports that Patric Hornqvist is ready to play and that the Hawks Brian Campbell has returned to practice.
Several Preds and GM David Poile talk about why this year's team is different at Inside Predators.
Jim Diamond discusses the signing of prospects Gabriel Bourque and Michael Latta by the Preds. He also compares Pekka Rinne and Antti Niemi.
David Boclair looks at the Pred's chance of a road win.
Brian Mullen has the update from Wednesday's practice session.
Hockey's Future looks at the Preds Junior prospects at the season's end.
Short Shifts has the grim story of the Ads 6-5 loss in Chicago last night.
Chris Burton looks at the Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis' season in net in this review piece.
Teresa Walker explains why the Preds and Hawks are enjoying the extra days before the opener.
Matthew Fazio writes about the Blackhawk's goaltending issues at Inside Hockey.
Funny from @dellis39: Sitting at Boscos grabbin some chow and these guys next to me are chatting up the Preds. Best thing about Nashville I can sit within 2 FT From these guys and they have no clue that I am a hockey player. Gotta love Nashville! This guy is talking about goalies now....haha
First Round Playoff Picks...
Here are the POTG first round picks.
The View From 111 picks are here.
From @brandon_felder: Not enough time to do a proper picks column. Here they are: WSH in 5, NJ in 7, BUF in 6, PIT in 7, SJ in 5, VAN in 6, DET in 6, and CHI in 7
Section 303 has the whole panel's picks.
The Puck Daddy Team each gives their picks. Thanks to Dobber for picking the Preds.
Forechecker had his East and West Conference picks.
Steve Lapore gave the Preds some love in his picks.
At the RLD Ryan Porth and Anthony Curatolo give their picks.
The Odd Man Rush adds his picks.
Finally, Intent to Blow does their picks in their patented fashion. They also have a complete breakdown of what to throw on the ice.
Ryan at the RLD has moved on from the first round to predict the second, third and final rounds.
It's still not too late to join The Hockey Zen's Playoff Pool. Adrian was 0-4 last night and Jackson and I were 1-3 so it wouldn't take much to make up ground.
Around the NHL...
There was a major shakeup in Atlanta on Wednesday with all the coaches being fired and Don Waddell being promoted. Has anyone ever considered that Waddell may be the problem?
To all the Coyote fans that have supported their team in spite of the situation, this front page special edition from yesterday had to feel good.
More details have come to light in the City of Glendale's decision to work with Jerry Reinsdorf for a new lease for the Jobbing.com Arena.
Tim Rosenthal breaks down the choice between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin at Inside Hockey.
Ryan Porth is looking for Cinderella.
Eklund reviews the upcoming "Broad Street Bullies" movie on HBO that debuts May4.
NHLTweetUp gets a new look.
Scott Burnside has ten players to watch in the playoffs. One Pred and one Hawk are included.
For those who are interested, here is the video of the entire Glendale City Counsel meeting from Tuesday.
Ashley Glatz says good-bye to Walt at Inside Hockey.
Odds and Ends...
This is about the strangest new fashion statement that I have ever heard of. Michelle Kenneth has a post about "I See Naked People" and the legal ramifications of such fashion.
Worried about viruses on your Blackberry? I'm going to give Lookout Mobile Security a try. It's got some other neat functions like backup, remote wipe, and an alarm to find a missing device.
Dearly Beloved gets a good plug from the Torontoist.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass