The Nashville Predators could not have hoped for a better preseason than the one they got. They were 1-2 during the "evaluation phase" of the camp and 3-0 during the "execution" portion of the camp.
Pekka Rinne picked up where he left off in April going 2-0 with a .957 save percentage and a 0.99 goals against average in four games.They appear to have found their back-up goalie in Anders Lindback unless someone passes through waivers that they can't resist.
On offense, they only scored 13 goals in six games but have three solid scoring lines and an experienced energy line that will also add a few goals.
On the blueline, they have six solid defensemen and several more for replacements and injury call-ups.
It appears that the final reductions on their roster will come today or tomorrow. Word is that Aaron Johnson was waived on Sunday which would leave 25 in camp.
My guess would be that Jamie Lundmark, who has been dinged up, and Jonas Andersson who was a healthy scratch on Sunday will go to Milwaukee. Alexander Sulzer may also go if the Preds start with less than 23 on the roster or only six D-men.
Segei Kostitsyn received a foot injury and may actually have a broken toe. Depending on the severity, he could star the season on injured reserve. That is a shame because fans have enjoyed his play in games and he does possess plenty of potential that could add another dimension to the Preds if he can play "The PredatorWay."
There has never been as much optimism about the Predators in Nashville as there is at this point. Surprisingly, over the last year or so, traditional hockey folks (re:Canada) have finally bought into the teams success and several notable pundits are speaking in glowing terms about the Preds' chances this season.
As Charlie Daniels always says, "Ain't it good to be alive and in Tennessee,"
Due to the Predators Meet the Team Party for season ticket holders tonight at 6 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena, there will not be a POTG Radio tonight.
Our original plan was to have a season preview but Section303.com had a round-table of Pred's bloggers doing the same thing on Saturday. Go here to listen to a great show that includes Ryan Porth, Dirk Hoag, Mark Willoughby, Jeremy Gover, Paul McCann, and me.
It is a well produced and edited show that you will enjoy.
Here is our story from yesterday with the preseason stats leaders at each position.
Josh Cooper spoke with Barry Trotz after the game and Trotz appears pleased with the result and looks to the upcoming cuts that may come today. Here is his game story.
Jay Levin of Preds.com has his report from the game that includes the possibility of only six D-men on the opening day roster.
In the blog world, Amanda at Predlines had the most complete report that was extrapolated from a bad Washington feed. Dirk Hoag has his advanced stats that always gives another angle to the game.
From DC Katie Carrera has her game story and notes from the contest.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper had a story on Colin Wilson's hockey sense on Saturday.
Jim Diamond digs up the story of Pred prospect Charles-Oliver Roussel calling Sergei Kostitsyn "soft." Also, what about 30 goals for Marty Erat? Jim thinks that it should be possible.
David Boclair raises an interesting point that the Predators have few banners in the rafters commemorating their playoff appearances.
Joe Yerdon has his PHT preview of the Predators and gives a fair shake to the team's chances.
Dirk Hoag asks the question as to who will win the Central Division and appears to have gotten a lot of homers responding.
Paul McCann looks at the final cuts for the Preds and has news that Aaron Johnson has been waived.
Renaud Lavoie also reports that in addition to Johnson, ex-Preds Darcy Horichuk and Ben Guite have also been waived.
Jas Faulkner has the latest on the Predators' G.O.A.L. Program. It's a great way to introduce kids to hockey.
Is J.P. Dumont the least valuable right winger in the NHL. One study hangs that title on him based on his sub-par year last season. Puck Daddy has the story.
Dan Bradley doesn't think too much of the Wings in his Central Division preview at Excellence Through Guesswork.
The Canadian Press picks the Preds sixth in the West. There has really been a change in the last year in the Northland's view of Nashville.
Hockey Night in Nashville is excited about the season opening on Saturday and throws props to us, Forechecker and Section 303. I like their idea of trying to get as many fans in the building for warm-ups as they can. It's a interesting part of the game that most fans miss.
The Milwaukee Admirals sent a bunch of players packing and their roster now stands at 23. Goalie Jeremy Smith will return to Cincinnati to start the season. Several more moves are likely as the Preds will send up to four players to the Ads in the next day or so. Ads Roundtable has more on the destinations of the players that are leaving.
The Ads won 3-2 in a shootout over Rockford on Friday, 3-1 over Chicago on Saturday,
Pred prospect Jeremy Smith has a pirate theme to his new mask that incorporated the Predators and Admirals theme. He should have gotten a Cyclones item too, it appears.
Around the NHL...
Ryan Porth released his very nice PDF version of his season preview. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send you a free copy. This year's is the best yet and the price is perfect.
Ryan also has Burning Questions from the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference with input from bloggers from around the league on key issues with each team. Ryan starts whacking away at a list of cup contenders to expose his pick to win it all before the season starts on Thursday.
Craig Custance relates that not all GM's are happy with wealthy team's ability to bury bad contracts in the minors. This is as much circumvention as the Kovi deal according to one executive.
Jose Theodore signed with the Wild for one year, $1.1 million. The Preds should have jumped all over that.
Here is an interesting draft in a keeper league from McKeen's Hockey.
New York Times Slapshot has a discussion of the MSM-Blogger credential debate and includes a quote from Nashville's own, Dirk Hoag.
Brendan Morrison was released by Vancouver. He is a real character guy that we hope turns up elsewhere.
Erik Ersberg will probably pass through waivers. He's no superstar but does have NHL experience. Will this be a test of the Preds' commitment to Anders Lindback?
Here's news of everyone's favorite NHL heavyweight from @RealKyper: Sources say #NHL vet Kyle Wellwood is headed to the KHL. Playing rest of year for Atlant. Here is more from PHT.
Adrian Dater has the story of the Avalanche finally making it to the over the salary floor.
Puck Daddy has the odds from Bodog for the NHL season. I'm really liking the over on the Predators at 89.5. If you go to the original site, you can also do over and unders on Patric Hornqvist, Steve Sullivan, Matthew Lombardi, and Shea Weber.
Down Goes Brown has their Western Conference Preview in their own patented style.
Michelle Kenneth has some interesting comments about MSM and Bloggers in New York in her musings column.
From @DarrenDreger: I just got off the phone with Darcy Tucker. He's retiring to go into business with longtime agent Carlos Sosa. Adrian Dater has a positive piece about Tucker at Versus.
USA Hockey has produced the Intelligym to help you learn hockey sense.
If you plan on attending the Lester Patrick Awards in Boston, here is the info. Tickets are $175.
For those planning on speaking to Finnish players (like Pekka), here is a hockey translation list from Mike Russo.
The Copper and Blue explains re-entry waivers and how it applies to their situation.
Another year, another satellite provider controversy as Dish has dropped MSG, Fox and other sports outlets.
If you were to try to build a crappy team, who would you pick. Read this from PHT.
Odds and Ends...
A special shout out to Bobby Cox of the Atlanta Braves who managed his last regular season game on Sunday. I have been a fan of Bobby since 1978 when he first joined the Braves. He was with Toronto when I worked in their organization in the early 80's and provided some of my best sports memories when the Braves finally made the playoffs in '91 and allowed me to celebrate my 40th birthday winning the World Series on October 28, 1995.
A raid at a a Cocoa Beach strip club finally answers the age old question about where the Deja Vu chain goes looking for the ugly one in their "100 beautiful girls and one ugly one" slogan.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass