Thursday, April 7, 2011

Predators Fall to Fifth Without Taking the Ice In Wild, Wild West and Thursday Thoughts

There was very little going on in the world of the Predators yesterday but it didn't mean that the roller-coaster ride that is the wild, wild, west slowed down at all.

The Predators could clinch a playoff berth tonight if the lowly Colorado Avalanche could somehow beat the Stars in Dallas tonight. Since the odds are slim for that, most likely the Predators will need to beat Columbus in the home finale on Friday to officially secure the playoff spot.

Going into the last night's play, it was a given that the Predators would not stay in fourth place since Los Angeles and Phoenix, who were both a point behind the Preds, squared off at the Staples Center so someone was going to 98 points to move one point ahead of Nashville.

What was not known was that the game would go to overtime and eventually a shoot out so that even the losing Coyotes would end up with 97 points, the same as the Preds. The kings did end up winning in the shootout 3-2 to clinch a playoff spot.

In another west coast affair, Anaheim surprised the red hot Sharks with a 6-2 win and Cory Perry got his fiftieth goal on a hat trick as seen here. This was the game that will clinch the Hart Trophy for Perry. Timing is everything when the whole hockey world is watching.

Earlier in the evening, St. Louis made Chicago fight for every inch of the ice before letting the Blackhawks win in over time by a 4-3 score to move the Hawks to 95 points. This controversial goal may have saved the Hawks season.

Calgary kept their very slim hopes alive by drilling Edmonton 6-1 the day after the Oilers beat Vancouver 2-0. Jerome Iginla had a hat trick to lead the Flames. Before the night was done, the Flames were officially eliminated as they would lose the tiebreakers with Anaheim and Chicago.

In an intra-conference game, Carolina stayed alive by beating Detroit 3-0 but the big news was Henrik Zetterberg's lower body injury that will keep him out of the final two games against Chicago,

For the Predators, their final resting place in the Western Conference will come down to their games against Columbus and St. Louis and the home and aways between Phoenix and San Jose, Chicago and Detroit, and Los Angeles and Anaheim that all begin tomorrow night.

If the Predators win both weekend games they have an excellent shot at fourth place and home ice advantage in the opening round. If that happens, the first two games would most likely be next Wednesday and Friday at the Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators will practice today at 11 a.m. at Bridgestone Arena.

Programming Note...

Yesterday, Ryan Porth of RLD Hockey Radio had another great show lined up for us. Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports was this weeks special guest and we covered a wide range of topics about the NHL Awards, playoffs, visors, the Leafs, and many more points of interest. You can listen to the show at BlogTalkRadio or use the player below.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

In Pred Nation...

The Predators will hold a pre-game meet up outside the Bridgestone Arena next the the big blow up hockey player on Friday at 6 p,m, before the game with Columbus. All are invited.

David Boclair says the Predators are playing the waiting game in the Western Conference race.

Jim Diamond discusses Carrie Underwood's appearance on the tonight show last night. Jim also has a hockey story about Pred prospect Ben Ryan playing in the Frozen Four. Ryan looked great at the development camp last summer.

Bryan Mullen writes about Jordin Tootoo's emergence and Pekka Rinne enjoying the heavy workload.

Robby Stanley has the reasons that the Preds will win their first round playoff game.

Marc Torrence looks at potential first round match-ups for the Predators.

Bleacher Report speculates about ten teams that will come calling for Shea Weber when the season is over. They also have a second story about the Predators silencing critics.

Here are lessons learned from Music City Brand Madness.

The Milwaukee Admirals lost 2-1 to Grand Rapids last night but still claimed home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs when Texas lost. The first two games of the playoffs will be April 14 and 16 at the Bradley Center.

Around the NHL...

The NHL wheel of fortune spins again today as Raffi Torres will have his conference call with the league over his hit on Jordan Eberle on Tuesday night.

The USA Today Salary Database is up and is something to see with all salaries back to 2000.

ESPNers Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun look at their choices for the NHL Awards and Burnside goes with Rinne over Thomas. John Buccigross also hands out his awards.

NHL Players feel that Donald Fehr is doing a great job at re-establishing credibility for the NHLPA.

Per @NHLFlyers: GM Paul Holmgren confirms that Michael Leighton as cleared re-entry waivers and will report to the #Flyers this afternoon.

Craig Custance likes the Sharks in this year's post season.

Ryan at the RLD looks at which teams playoff contenders do and don't want to face in the playoffs.

Manny Malhotra released a statement regarding his surgery and thanking everyone for their support.

Michael Farber writes about 20 things to love about the NHL (and has a shout out to the Preds).

Big news from XM's Hockey this morning yesterday that Shawn Lavigne is leaving after six years to go to the new TSN Radio. The "Paperboy" Aaron Papernick will slide into the number two slot next to Mike Ross. Congrats to Shawnie! We will miss you!

Marty Turco appears to have had a playful bet with a fan during Tuesday's game.

Vintage Leaf Memories takes a look at this year's near miss playoff run for the Leafs.

Inside Hockey has a look at the four teams that are ready for this weekend's Frozen Four in Minnesota.

Odds and Ends...

Mad Men is coming to Netflix streaming this summer. I've seen a couple of episodes so this will make it easier to check it out more thoroughly.

Where does your dog rank in the lastest census by breed?

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

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