Friday, January 21, 2011

Predators Riding High in the Saddle and Friday Wrap-Up

The Predators will celebrate their 5-1 domination victory over the Colorado Avalanche last night with a day of team-building activities in Denver today.

In the past they have done things like going curling and bowling but the team has been tight lipped about this year's plan.

Last night's win gave the Predators control of fourth place in the West with 58 points, one point ahead of the Coyotes who beat the Kings last night to stay close.

It may be premature to start looking up in the standings but the Preds are now eight points behind the Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks and six points behind Central Division leading Detroit.

After today's activities, the Predators will travel to Edmonton where they will play the Oilers on Sunday and then move on to Calgary to play the Flames on Monday. A Wednesday game in Vancouver finished the pre-all-star portion of the schedule.

After the break, the Predators will play 21 of their final 32 games at home. There is only one road trip longer than an overnight trip and it is only four games long.

Sports Club Stats has the Preds at the high water mark of the season with a 93.2% chance of making the playoffs. The Predators have put themselves in excellent shape for the stretch run and a couple of more wins on this trip would really solidify their position.

Predators - Avalanche Round-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, and Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats).

The story from the Colorado side comes from Adrian Dater, Aaron Musick, Mile High Hockey, The Avalanche Guild, Jibblescribbits, and AvsHockeyPodcast.

Shameless Self Promotion...

I received an email from a new web venture called congratulating me for being the #2 Predators "expert" in their rankings. That was well and good and to be taken with many grains of salt, but upon further investigation, the overall list of Hockey "experts" is a really good list of folks to follow for Tweets about hockey. Click on the "Top Expert's Tab" at the top of the page to get a list of 298 Tweeters that are widely followed.

In Preds Nation...

Stunning news on the Predators' net worth, the team is worth more than $50 million. Here is the certification. The Tennessean reports that he actual value is more than the $193 million that was paid for the franchise. J.R. Lind also points out that the Predators budget was approved for the coming fiscal year with no issues.

David Singleton is starting a new Friday Faceoff feature over at Hockey Independent.

Section 303 asks the question as to whether the Predators should claim Evgeni Nabokov off waivers.

The Nashville Business Journal has a locked article about the Predators seeking additional investors.

It was a wild game in Milwaukee on Thursday where the Ads tied the game with 39 seconds left but lost to Oklahoma City in a shootout 2-1.

Around the NHL...

The Detroit Red Wings signed Evgeni Nabokov to a one year contract last night for a reported $570,000. He will have to pass through waivers which is highly unlikely at that price.

The missed goal cal for the Avs in the game last night wasn't the only call that was questionable it appears. The Kings Terry Murry and Dean Lombardi called out the NHL war room post game for making a bad call on a Coyote goal. This will be discussed more today.

As an emergency measure, the San Jose Sharks signed Jordan White from the University of British Columbia to back up Antti Niemi in last night's game against the Canucks.

Ryan Porth and I talked Dennis Bernstein to of the Fourth Period on Tuesday and he did his best to convince us that he Kings were in trouble. Ryan writes about the upcoming critical stretch of games that will make or break this year's team.

Steve Lapore has the latest on the All-Star weekend coverage on Versus.

NBC Sunday game this week is a cup final rematch, Flyers at Chicago. In two weeks, it will be Caps and Pens on Super Bowl Sunday.

Wayne Gretzky is supportive of the NHL's actions on head shots.

Elliotte Friedman points out the issues with an automatic ejection for a shot to the head.

Tomas Fleischmann was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and is out for the season.

Kyle Wellwood returned to the NHL last night at only 180 pounds. That is no fun. He had one shot for the Sharks in a little over 11 minutes of play.

OK, this is a reversal of what we heard yesterday. From @yyzsportsmedia Being told now by multiple sources that Damien Cox, @damospin is staying put at the Toronto Star.

Odds and Ends...

Surfer Magazine has a story about the rivalry between Surfer Kelly Slater and Andy Irons who passed away unexpectedly late last year.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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