Thursday, October 8, 2015

Predators drop the puck on All-Star season

The Nashville Predators will drop the puck on their 17th season tonight at 7 p.m. when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators have high hopes for a season that will see them in the hockey spotlight when they host the National Hockey League All-Star game and all the festivities that are paired with it in January 2016.

The Predators return most of the team that first year Coach Peter Laviolette guided to 104 points in the tough Central Division last season. The Predators expect to battle for this year’s division crown and are driven to go further in the playoffs than their first round exit to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks last April.

Predators General Manager David Poile recently threw down the gauntlet stating "There are a lot of good teams in the League this year, the good news is we're one of those teams...this is our year."

When you look to the heart of the Predators’ strengths you immediately think goaltending and defense. This year will be no different.
In goal, Pekka Rinne (41-17-6, 2.18 GAA, last year) is two years removed from hip surgery and the related complications and should maintain his stature as one of the league’s top netkeepers. Carter Hutton (6-7-4, 2.61) provides a formidable backup and when the workhorse Rinne takes a game off.

The Predator’s defense is said to be the strongest in the league by many pundits. It is led by perennial Norris Trophy (best defenseman) candidate and team Captain, Shea Weber (15 goals, 30 assists). Weber’s partner, Roman Josi (15 g, 40a) finished fifth in the Norris voting last year giving the Preds the top one-two defensive pairing in the NHL.

The remainder of the top six on defense will be rounded out by Seth Jones, Mattius Ekholm, Ryan Ellis and newcomer Barret Jackman. Jackman was signed as a free agent in July and will provide character and grit, which is a much needed addition to the team.

Scoring has always been a concern to the Predators but was much improved last season with the addition of rookie Phlip Forsberg (26g, 37a), Mike Ribero (15g, 47a), and James Neal (23g, 14a).

Another free agent signing that has never reached his projected potential is Cody Hodgson. Drafted tenth overall in the 2008 NHL draft by Vancouver, he slumped to a career low 13 points last year in Buffalo. With a new team he is hoping to return to his 44 point production from two seasons ago.

Other key offensive players will be Craig Smith (23g, 21a), Colin Wilson (20g, 22a), and Carrie Underwood’s husband, Mike Fisher (19g, 20a). Youngsters Austin Watson, Calle Jarnkrok, Victor Arvidsson, and Kevin Fiala stand poised to step up and contribute and hope to claim permanent roster spots.

For fans watching from home, a couple of big changes are in store. All 82 Predators game will be televised for the first time with 78 games on Fox Sports Tennessee and the remaining four on NBC Sports Network.

Additionally, “The Voice of the Predators” Pete Weber will move from the television side to the radio as he returns to broadcasting in his medium of choice. He will be assisted by Brent Peterson and former Preds goalie, Chris Mason. Willie Daunic will take over the TV duties and have Stu Grimson at his side.

Tickets to all Predators games are available at or by calling (615) 770-7800.

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, October 21, 2013

Predators post game audio from Winnipeg

With little local coverage of the Preds-Jets game from Winnipeg on Sunday night, our friends over at Illegal Curve gave us a heads up for clips from Barry Trotz, Carter Hutton, Matt Cullen and birthday buy, Colin Wilson after the impressive 3-1 road win.

Go here to enjoy! Thanks to Dave at Illegal Curve for permission and keeping us in the loop.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, September 30, 2013

POTG picks for the first real NHL season in a couple of years

It is no secret that I was not pleased with last year's strike-shortened season. Due to the "labor unrest" I surrendered my season tickets and gave up my regular seat in the Predators pressbox.

That being said, I am feeling a tinge of excitement on the eve of a new full NHL season. Therefore, I am inspired to share my predictions for the 2013-14 season.

With the new realignment, it only makes sense to make picks by the conference so here we go.

Eastern Conference

1. Pittsburgh
2. Boston
3. Detroit
4. Ottawa
5. N.Y. Rangers
6. Toronto
7. Philadelphia
8. Washington
9. Montreal
10. N.Y. Islanders
11. New Jersey
12. Tampa Bay
13. Columbus
14. Carolina
15. Buffalo
16. Florida

Western Conference

1. Los Angeles
2. Chicago
3. St. Louis
4. San Jose
5. Vancouver
6. Nashville
7. Minnesota
8. Anaheim
9. Dallas
10. Edmonton
11. Colorado
12. Winnipeg
13. Phoenix
14. Calgary

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Get to know Predators' draft pick Teemu Kivihalme

Our friends at Illegal Curve got the opportunity to have a sit down with Predators draft pick Teemu Kivihalme during last Saturday's show from the NHL store in Manhattan.

Go here and enjoy the interview.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stanley Cup Final Prediction

After missing both picks in the conference finals, I will now make my last poor prediction of the season...

Chicago Blackhawks over the Boston Bruins in seven games.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, June 1, 2013

POTG NHL Conference Finals Predictions

After a 6-2 record in the opening round and a 3-1 success rate in the second round, I will put my best ever prediction rate on the line once again for the NHL Conference Finals.

Los Angeles Kings over the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Pittsburgh Penguins over the Boston Bruins in seven games.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Phil Housley named Predators new Assistant Coach

After a few weeks of relative quiet after the Predators recent dismal season, the news was fast and furious in the last 24 hours.

On Monday night, the news leaked out from Blues broadcaster, Darren Pang that long-time associate coach Peter Horachek had been relieved of his duties. Confirmation of the firing came on Tuesday.

Then, it was announced that former NHL defenseman, Phil Housley has been named an assistant for the Predators. Housley is one of the best offensive defensemen to have played at the highest level and should bring a much needed offensive spark to the Nashville team.

Make the jump for the full text from the Predators' press release...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Second round Stanley Cup Playoff picks

After a surprising 6-2 record in the first round of the playoffs where I erred on my picks of the Canucks and the Ducks, I will continue with more picks from the couch in the hastily started second round of the playoffs.

Chicago (1) in seven over Detroit (7)

Los Angeles (5) in six over San Jose (6)

Pittsburgh (1) in six over Ottawa (7)

Rangers (6) in six over Boston (4)

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, May 4, 2013

FCA Hockey Clinics coming to A-Game May 17th and 18th

I got a note from friend and Cellblock 303 founder Mark Hollingsworth about the upcoming FCA hockey clinics that will be held at A-Game Sportsplex on May 17th and 18th. It sounds like a good opportunity for kids at the rock bottom price of $20. With most camps and clinics in the hundreds of dollars, this looks like a bargain.

The official information follows...

FCA Hockey Clinics

May 17th & 18th – A-Game Sportsplex
Youth and Adult Skates

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) will be providing two hockey skills clinics during the month of May at the A-Game Sportsplex.   Details as well as registration information is below.  If interested, please sign up online by clicking on the below link.

Who can join us – All youth, high school and adult hockey players looking to improve their fundamental hockey skills.

What are we doing– Two skills clinics led by Rick Randazzo.  Rick is a former West Point hockey player and former college hockey coach.  After the military, Rick went on to coach the United States Naval Academy team to over 120 wins, as well as represent the United States as a coach at the World University Games in Innsbruck, Austria.   Rick is also an affiliate scout with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. Rick is currently the National Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes hockey ministry and is running skills clinics in all 50 states over a 5 year period.  Tennessee is the 18th  State on the 50 State tour.

Our skills clinic are for players aged Squirt to Midget (High school) and Midget to Adult.  On ice sessions will focus on skill development and are for players of all ability levels. Staff will be working with individual players to improve skills such as skating, passing, stick handling and shooting.

Where – Clinics will be held at A-Game in Franklin, Tennessee.

When –

Adult Clinic (players 15 and older)  – May 17 – 7:05-8:35 on ice, 8:35-9:35 Devotions and Refreshments

Youth Skills Clinic – May 18 – 1:45 – 3:45 on ice (Squirts – Peewees)

                                            3:45-4:45 Devotions and Refreshments

                                            4:45 – 6:45 on ice (Bantams and Midgets)
                                            6:45-7:45 Devotions and Refreshments

There is a $20 registration fee for each clinic which includes a FCA Hockey jersey and a FCA Hockey New Testament Bible.

A recent comment from an Ohio parent…
I wanted to send you a quick email to say "Thank you" for the clinic at Barons arena this past weekend on a couple of different fronts. Trevor really enjoyed himself, as did his little buddies that we invited along. I'm so glad that we could be a part of it and we look forward to seeing you again this Sunday in Mentor.
As for the hockey, I really enjoyed watching you in action with the kids--both in terms of your obvious knowledge and skill level as well as in how you related to the players and their individual skill sets. All too often today in youth sports, there is a dichotomy and a choice that parents must make between "Growing in the child's skill set..." vs "Increasing/maintaining the child's love of the game". It was nice to see a coach that offered the opportunity to do both, and I thank you for that as a parent. My wife and I were Adult leaders of our church's High School Youth Ministry program before we had kids, and I felt like the whole afternoon had a very similar aura to one of our old weekend retreats in those days: You challenged the kids to be better, but yet supported them just as they were.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quick NHL first round picks from the couch

After sitting out the better part of the year with a lower body injury, here is my take on the first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs.

Chicago (1) in six over Minnesota (8)

Anaheim (2) in seven over Detroit (7)

Vancouver (3) in six over San Jose (6)

Los Angeles (5) in six over St. Louis (4)

Pittsburgh (1) in five over the Islanders (8)

Ottawa (7) in six over Montreal (2)

Rangers (6) in six over Washington (3)

Boston (4) in six over Toronto (5)

More Later

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Filip Forsberg could make NHL debut against Red Wings on Sunday

In a season that has been disappointing to fans an the team alike, the Nashville Predators announced that recent acquisition  Filip Forsberg has joined the team and could make his NHL debut on Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Here is the full release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (April 13, 2013) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that forward Filip Forsberg has been added to the team’s active roster and could make his NHL debut tomorrow against the Detroit Red Wings (6:30 p.m. CT). The 11th overall selection in the 2012 Entry Draft will wear No. 9.

Forsberg, 18 (8/14/94), was the recipient of the 2013 Golden Cage Award as the Allsvenskan’s (Sweden-2) top junior player after posting 33 points (15g-18a) in 38 games in 2012-13. He then helped Leksand gain promotion to Sweden’s top division by ranking second in goals (5) and eighth in points (tie, 9) in nine qualification games.         The 6-1, 188-pound native of Östervåla, Sweden was recently ranked 10th in the world among NHL-affiliated prospects not currently in the League by The Hockey News. Forsberg helped Sweden win gold at the 2012 World Junior Championships, and captained the Swedes to a silver medal at the 2013 World Juniors, being named to the tournament’s All-Star Team in the process.

In honor of the Predators new No. 9’s arrival, the Tennessee Lottery $10 Game-Day Tickets will be sold for $9. These tickets – 100 upper level seats – will be offered exclusively through the Bridgestone Arena box office starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Surprise move lands top prospect Filip Forsberg for Predators

Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile appeared to be having a rather quiet day at the trade deadline until a surprising move was announced well after the 2 p.m. deadline had passed.

Nashville picked up a top offensive prospect in Filip Forsberg in exchange for career Predator Marty Erat and prospect Michael Latta.

Earlier in the day, Poile had shipped defenseman Scott Hannan to San Jose for a conditional seventh round draft pick in this summer's NHL Entry Draft and it appeared that little else would happen in Smashville.

However, according to Poile, Erat had recently requested a trade so it was a shrewd deal that one of the top offensive prospects from last Summer's draft became a Predator.

In a season that has been frustrating to the Predators and their fans, if Forsberg pans out, this may end up being a highlights for years to come.

Make the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nashville claims Zach Boychuk on waivers

Per Kevin Allen, the Nashville Predators early March acquisitions continue as the have picked up Zach Boychuk on waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 5'10" left winger was taken in the first round (14th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. He played 73 NHL games with the Canes, picking up seven goals and adding 11 assists before being claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh on January 31. He failed to make the score sheet in seven games with the Pens.

After a disastrous west coast swing, where the team was 0-3, the Predators have today off while they hope to regroup for a rare back to back home set with Edmonton and Minnesota on Friday and Saturday nights.

Make the jump for the press release from the Predators...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Predators make two moves as the calendar turns to March

In a normal season, as March beckons, teams that are in the playoff hunt scramble for talent while the others try to pick up assets for the future as they move players that no longer figure into the organizational plans.

In this abbreviated 48 game season, the trade deadline will not occur until April 3 when the Predators have 11 games remaining.

In the last few days the Predators have made a pair of moves that may be a precursor of what may be a calmer year for the Preds at the trade deadline as speculated by Ryan Porth.

On Thursday, the Predators traded fan favorite, Brian McGrattan, who had only appeared in a pair of games in Nashville this season, to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Joe Piskula.

Piskula, the 28 year old, 6-3, 214-pound blueliner, was assigned to the Preds' AHL team in Milwaukee. This season he has played for Abbotsford of the AHL and has 10 points (2g-8a) and 51 penalty minutes in 46 games. In his career, He has played in 10 NHL games with Los Angeles (2006-07) and Calgary (2011-12), going scoreless and posting eight penalty minutes.

With the emergence of Rich Clune as a shift disturber with more offensive upside, McGrattan no longer fit into the Predators' future plans.

This morning, with the Predators down to 20 healthy players, with Hal Gill being placed on Injured Reserve and Brandon Yip being shaken up in San Jose on Saturday, the Predators claimed Bobby Butler from the New Jersey Devils on waivers.

The 25 year old Butler had an outstanding college career at New Hampshire and was a Hobey Baker finalist in 2009-10.

Butler had an excellent rookie year with Ottawa in 2010-11, when he scored 10 goals and added 11 assists with the Senators. The following year, his numbers headed south when he scored only six goals and had ten assists in 56 games. He was placed on waivers and his contract was bought out by the Senators on July 27, 2012.

He then signed a one-year, two-way contract with the New Jersey Devils for this season. In 14 NHL games he has a goal and an assist for the Devils. Earlier this season, in the AHL, Butler had 27 points (16g-11a) in 37 games.

It is unclear what the Predators' plan for Butler who may benefit from a change of scenery and a move to the Western Conference. According to Chris Johnston, Butler was told of the move while the Devils were on the ice in Toronto.

The Predators will play the Stanley Cup Champion, Los Angeles Kings tonight at 9:30 p.m. before returning home for rare back to back home games against Edmonton and Minnesota on Friday and Saturday nights.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Predators re-acquire Scott Ford

In a minor league deal with the St. Louis Blues, the Nashville Predators re-acquired defenseman Scott Ford in exchange for forward Jani Lajunen.

Ford will report to the Milwaukee Admirals where he served as team captain last season. He played in 279 games with the Ads over the last four seasons and was always a fan favorite.

The 33 year-old, 6'3", 218 pound D-man has been a career minor leaguer but has participated in Predator pre-season camps due to his leadership and mentoring ability with young prospects.

Several other moves were announced by Milwaukee including forward Patrick Cehlin and defenseman Taylor Aronson being reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Also, goaltender Zoltan Hetenyi has been loaned to the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.

Make the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Watch out AHL! Brian McGrattan to patrol rinks for two weeks

The Nashville Predators announced on Friday morning that enforcer Brian McGrattan has been assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals for a two week conditioning assignment. He will remain on the Preds' roster but receive an opportunity to play with the Ads and become more game-ready.

The 6'4" 235 pound winger from Hamilton, Ontario has only played in two contests in Nashville this year, totaling 12:34 in ice time and had not suited up since January 21. In his limited time, he did not make the score sheet in points or PIMs.

Much of his tough-guy role with the Preds appears to have been taken by diminutive irritant, Rich Clune, who has played 13 games and scored his first NHL goal on February fifth in St. Louis. He is currently tied for second in the NHL in fighting majors with five.

It is unclear if this move is truly a "conditioning" assignment or if McGrattan's abilities are being showcased to other teams who may be looking for additional toughness which appears to be becoming more of a factor in this short intense season.

Make the jump for the complete release from the Predators...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Predators lead in NHL Jennings Trophy race

The Nashville Predators have always been known for stingy defense and world class goaltending but have yet to claim the one piece of hardware that goes to the goalies of the team that gives up the fewest goals over the course of  an NHL season.

According to, "The William M. Jennings Trophy is an annual award given to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it. Winners are selected based on regular-season play."

"The Jennings Trophy was presented in 1981-82 by the National Hockey League's Board of Governors to honor the late William M. Jennings, longtime governor and president of the New York Rangers and one of the great builders of hockey in the United States."

After Thursday's 3-0 shutout of the Phoenix Coyotes by Pekka Rinne, the Predators cut their league leading goals against average to 1.64 goals per game. Nashville has only allowed 23 goals in their 14 contests in route to a 7-3-4 record which is tied for the fourth highest number of points in the league at 18.

The Predators continue their homestand at Bridgestone Arena Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop will be at 7 p.m.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Comments from a standing "O" from the cripple beside the couch in Preds 6-1 win

As you probably do not know, the reason for my lack of posting and in person presence around the Predators' rink this year is that I will be undergoing a full hip replacement this coming Thursday which will require a six week period of no driving or public appearances. Therefore, I am limited to comments from the couch for the time being.

In spite of my infirmary, I was able to give a standing "O" when the Preds went up 5-0 against division rival, St. Louis, in the two teams third meeting in this young season. After averaging 1.5 goals per game, it was truly a miracle for the Preds to break out with five goals in 30:09 minutes of play.

With the odd scheduling where they actually returned home during the road trip, I was somewhat concerned that it could have been a distraction but Barry Trotz remains a master in the psychology of the game.

Highlights of the game included...

Ryan Ellis picking up the first goal of the game when he fired the puck at the net on the power play and bounced it off a Blues player for the first goal of the game.

Rich Clune picked up his first NHL goal when he was crashing the net and picked up the rebound off a Colin Wilson shot. His first intermission appearance was classic.

Nick Spalling getting his second goal of the year with aggressive play to end the opening period.

Any goal by Kevin Klein is a masterpiece. Klein is the most unappreciated defenseman in the NHL.

Gabriel Bourque finishing up Wilson's shot on goal with his skate (without a kicking motion).

Wilson having a huge three point game as he tries to solidify his position as a young force on the team. His post game TV appearance exuded confidence in front of the camera not previously seen.

Mart Erat grabbing a goal in the waning minutes of the game to gain his scoring confidence.

Pekka Rinne being on top of his game, stopping 31 of 32 Blues shots.

Low points included...

The Preds' lack of discipline that led to three penalties and a Blues goal at the end of the second period.

Preds going down 5 on 3 early in the third to raise Rinne's blood pressure.

Chris Stewart in a scuffle with Paul Gaustad to end the game.

It was really not surprising that the Preds were out hit 17-6 in a game that was frustrating for the Blues.

The Predators giving up 32 shots while only getting 19 on goal (including only three in the second period) , despite the lopsided win.

The Predators finally return home on Thursday night against the Kings which I hope to be able to watch in a post surgery anesthesia haze.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Predators ink new TV deal with Fox Sports

The Predators and Fox Sports announced a "new long-term television rights agreement." Financial arrangements and term were not announced but there was stated that "FOX Sports Tennessee (would be) the home of Nashville Predators Hockey for many years to come.”

Make the jump for the full release from the Preds and Fox Sports...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Couch notes from Nashville's 3-1 win over Minnesota

After improving in each of the first two games and settling for the loser point in each, the Predators made big strides in the final two periods against the Wild in Minnesota and broke into the win column for the first time this season by a 3-1 score.

Chris Mason started his first game of the year for the Predators and limited the Wild to one goal on thirty shots, including several great scoring chances in the games closing moments.

Gabriel Bourque played 14:15 in his first game of the season, after coming back from injury, and appeared to invigorate the third line that he shared with Brandon Yip and Nick Spaling. Bourque spent considerable time around the net distracting the Wild players and could have been in on Spaling's goal that tied the game late in the first period.

Marty Erat played it smart on his go ahead goal after picking the puck from Niklas Backstrom by gently sliding it into the net instead of being cute. As an older player, he is crafting a career to be proud of as a lifelong Predator.

Speaking of long time Preds, David Legwand  has the market cornered on empty net goals and late game markers as he had tonight, picking up the clincher with 17  seconds left on the power play. The Preds have now scored on the man advantage in all three games.

Richard Clune got in his fight in early when he tangled with Zenon Konopka a couple of minutes into the game. I would think the jury is still out his role with this year's team. He did pick up three hits in five shifts.

After a banner night in the face off circle on Monday, the Preds were only 25 of 58 in their second game without Paul Gaustad.

The Predators continue onward on their marathon road trip and will meet the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday. They will also end the trip in St.Louis which will make three of the first nine games against what appears to be one of conference's top teams.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass