The Predators huge win in Detroit last night helped them to keep pace in the jam-packed Western Conference. At the beginning of the evening, Nashville had 30 points and were officially in eleventh place. There were nine other teams that had between 30 and 32 points.
At the end of play last night, the Preds had 32 points and were in seventh place place but had the same number of points as fifth place Phoenix who had a game in hand. The spread on the same ten teams is now between 30 and 33 points with Dallas now in second at 34 points.
The Predators seem to be finding a degree of consistency going 4-0-2 in their last six games since the debacle in Minnesota the day after Thanksgiving.
The team appeared to get a lift after getting David Legwand in the lineup again, but he was forced to leave with the "lower body injury" at the end of the second period. I would assume that Barry Trotz will call it 'day to day" which really means nothing.
Anders Lindback was the unquestioned first star of the game last night. It was easily his best game in North America and he was aided by a Predator defense that picked up rebounds and allowed few second chances all night. Lindback was also doing a better job at stopping the puck as apposed to deflecting it.
The new line combinations continue to work well and pay dividends as there was scoring from three different lines last evening. Nick Spaling continues to grow in his role as a defensive forward and played instead of a mostly healthy Jordin Tootoo who was scratched.
With the rise in the standings, the Preds do not need to let up, playing teams from the Eastern Conference lower tier in three of the next four contests. Detroit appeared to be running away with the division a week ago, but three straight losses for the Wings has tightened the race up a bit.
Here is our game story from last night.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings. David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Amanda DiPaolo, What the Puck, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
For news from the losing side, check out MLive, the Detroit Free Press, Winging It in Motown, and the Detroit News.
In Pred Nation...
Dirk Hoag finds a little gem of info that Jamie Lundmark is a Wings killer based on past experience against them.
Barry Trotz finally gives more than a one word answer about J P Dumont's status.
3D Link continues his uniform color scale series with the reds, yellows, gold and Orange.
Paul McCann had a few game day thoughts and a remembrance of John Lennon.
Mac MacDonald points out that Pekka's injury is a real break for Anders Lindback.
The Milwaukee Admirals lost to Grand Rapids 3-2 with Jeremy Smith taking the loss in net.
Around the NHL...
Chris Botta sums up Gary Bettman's take on the winter meetings. Other than the Phoenix deal, the status remains quo.
Ryan Porth has a double post with conversations with Jeffrey Skinner and Paul Maurice.
Matt Reitz sizes up the Norris Trophy race at the quarter pole of the season. It appears to be a wide open field this year.
Adrian Dater has video from the Avs "bag skate" yesterday in Georgia.
Speak of the Devs puts together a holiday gift list at The View From My Seats.
Puck Daddy has the video of the massive brawl in England last Saturday. NHL Home Ice had the play by ply guy on to discuss it on Monday, but this gives a much clearer picture of the mass hysteria.
Ex-Pred Brendan Witt blames Scott Gordon for ending his career in a candid interview at Isles Point Blank.
Individual game tickets to the World Junior Tournament go on sale on Saturday. The pricing structure is directly related to the proximity of the teams involved. Russia vs Canada is the top dollar ticket other than the medal rounds. Bob McKenzie has labeled team USA as the early favorites to repeat.
Odds and Ends...
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the additional space shuttle flight STS-135 will get funded which leaves three more shuttle flights instead of just two.
There is astounding news at the end of this video on the Space X launch where NASA is considering recruiting volunteers to go go live on Mars on a one was trip with no means of return.
The Billabong Pipe Masters started yesterday and is available on webcast until it is completed.
The new Chrome internet based laptops should be available next summer. It sounds like a large version of an Android phone.
If you watched the movie "The Social Network" then you can see the real Mark Zuckerberg here on 60 Minutes.
I am so excited that my University will allow me to buy a lasting legacy for $2500 in the form of a nameplate with three lines, 34 spaces each, on a marble bench in the newly re-designed Ayres Hall on the hill in Knoxville. Maybe I'll sell a piece of artwork to fund my legacy.
Finally, on a day with an abundance of odds and ends, here is an ESPN video of the story of the Columbia Lions winning the Tennessee 5A state high school football championship on the day one of their players, Dylan Rebeor passed away.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass