Monday, November 30, 2009

Flames Burn Predators 5-0

Coach Barry Trotz

Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne

Brent Sutter, David Moss and Adam Pardy

The Calgary Flames showed the Nashville Predators exactly why they sported a 9-1-3 road record coming in to Monday night's game at the Sommet Center where they blistered the Preds in a 5-0 loss.

The game was never in doubt after the Flames took a 2-0 lead on a Nigel Dawes power play goal at 4:39 of the second period. Barry Trotz described the third goal by Adam Pardy at 8:09 in the third as "game, set, match."

At the end of the third period it got downright ugly as the Flames scored twice on an early empty netter at 16:01 and a Jerome Iginla power play goal with 1:07 left.

The Preds had survived the opening period and remained tied 0-0 through 20 minutes, but the game was not really that close. The Predators were out-shot 12 to 6 and never really looked comfortable with puck possession as the Flames powerful forecheck kept the Preds scrambling for puck possession for the whole period..

Pekka Rinne was stellar at times stopping numerous Flames scoring chances on mismatches and from point blank range but finally gave in to the intense pressure and surrendered 4 goals on 29 shots.

Preds-Flames Storylines...

Flames Play Their Most Complete Game of the Year

The Calgary Flames were already one of the best road teams in the NHL and played their most complete game of the season against the sometimes sluggish Predators.

"I thought for sixty minutes we stayed with it," Coach Brent Sutter said. "Tonight we did a real good job of playing smart hockey and our puck management was very good."

Big Disparity in Special Teams Play

The Flames had a great night on special teams getting two power play goals and a shorthanded empty netter while the Predators fell back into very mediocre play on the power play as well as the Penalty kill.

"I didn't think our penalty kill was very good tonight, and we didn't get anything on our power play," said Barry Trotz. They got two power play goals and a short-handed goal. That's three of their five goals."

Kiprusoff Wins The Battle of Finnish Goal Keepers

Pekka Rinne did not play his best game and did not receive the usual amount of support in front of him from the Predator defense. He finished the game giving up four shots on 29 shots.

At the other end of the ice, Mikka Kiprusoff had an outstanding game stopping all 22 Predator shots and received first star of the game honors.

Pekka Rinne summed the game up well saying, "We battled hard. We did a lot of right things, but tonight they were better."

Next Up...

After practice Tuesday morning the team will leave for Minnesota to play the Wild on Wednesday before heading to Chicago for an important division match-up on Friday. They return home Saturday for a re-match with the Wild which will start another four game home stand.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Preds Hope to Put Out the Flames

Programming Note: Due to tonight's Preds-Flames game, there will not be a POTG Radio this week.

The Nashville Predators (15-9-1) conclude their homestand tonight with a match with the Northwest Division leading Calgary Flames (16-6-3) at 7 p.m. at the Sommet Center.

Both teams have had great records in the month of November and hope to finish with a win. The Preds have gone 9-3-0 while the Flames have gone 9-2-2.

This will be the first meeting of the year between the two teams. The Preds had had a good run against the Flames going 9-2-1 from 2005-2008 but fell flat on their face last season losing all four contests with the Flames in regulation.

The Predators will have their hands full with a Calgary team that has many offensive weapons and an all-star loaded blue line.

Calgary is lead in scoring by Captain Jerome Iginla (16g, 11a), the injured Rene Bourque (7g, 14a), Olie Jokinen (5g, 14a) and Daymond Langkow (8g, 8a).

On Defense, the Flames sport a top defensive threesome of Robyn Regehr, Jay Bouwmeester, and Dion Phaneuf which many consider to be the best group in the NHL.

The Flames are also one of the best teams on the road in the NHL going 9-1-3, while only having a 7-5-0 home record. This is the third of six games on the current road trip after already posting wins in Detroit and Columbus.

Tonight's match in goal will be a a good preview of Finland's Olympic hopefuls in goal with Miikka Kiprusoff (14-5-3, 2.38, .922) going against Pekka Rinne (11-5-0, 2.37, .916). Recently, Kiprusoff pulled somewhat of a power move by saying that if he was not going to be the starter for Finland that he would take the time off.

Along with Kiprusoff and Rinne, the other Finnish hopefuls include Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom (9-9-3, 2.59, .910) and Boston's Tuukka Rask (7-2-2, 2.02, .929). With less than a month before the final three are named, all four of the goalies have to have the Olympics in the back of their mind.

Preds Keys to the Game...

1. Pekka Rinne needs to play like he is fresh from a couple of days off and play one of his best games of the year. The Preds will need every advantage they can have against the Flames and a soft goal like the one against the Blues on Friday will not help the cause. This is a game where Pekka needs to have his head clear of the Olympics and may need to steal one for the home team.

2. The Preds need to get back to throwing pucks to the net and crashing the net for any stray rebounds. Barry Trotz had emphasized not getting shots blocked against Florida to avoid their transition game and it left the Preds looking tentative at times. Tonight, When in doubt, shoot and skate to the net.

3. Special teams will be a focus in this game. The Preds need to avoid the undisciplined penalties that they had against Florida and keep Calgary's potent offense off the power play. Their own power play needs to score at least a goal after missing out the last couple of games.

4. Finally, the line of Legwand, Smithson and Ward will need to continue their recent solid play on both ends of the ice but especially on defense shutting down the Flame's top line of Lundmark, Jokinen, and Iginla.

Tomorrow, the Preds will travel to Minnesota for the year's first meeting (corrected - second meeting, Thanks to AJ for the correction) with the Wild before heading to Chicago for an important division match-up on Friday. They return home Saturday for a re-match with the Wild which starts another four game home stand.

In Pred Nation...

John Glennon compares Jason Arnott and Calgary's Jerome Iginla and has a look at tonight's game at a glance.

John also has an analysis of Mike Santorelli's stay with the Predators and his declining ice time. When Colin Wilson finds his game in Milwaukee, I would assume the two will swap places.

Bryan Mullen has a few notes from the Pred's morning skate.

The Forechecker takes a look at Preds with potential to go to the Olympics. The whole German crew was in her on Saturday to watch Marcel Goc and talk to Alexander Sulzer.

Jim Diamond has an update on Casey Wellman who participated in the Pred's Developmental Camp over the summer as an unsigned player.

Jennifer at Addicted returns with a who are these guys feature.

AJ at Pull My Fang Finger puts a wrap on the weekend's action as does Rachel at What the Puck.

Admirals Short Shifts has a review of the Ads extended road trip and a comment that Colin Wilson will not be rejoining the Preds anytime soon.

Around the NHL...

Mirtle has an interesting comparison of last years records versus the projected records this year. The best and worst are easy to predict but the whole list is interesting to check out.

I'm very excited about the new movie "Forgotten Miracle" about the 1960 US Olympic Gold medal team. It is from the guys that made "Pond Hockey" which is a great movie. I would love to get these guys on POTG Radio one week.

A bad trend is developing with the Coyotes "loaning" another Russian to the KHL. I guess we would feel better about the Radulov situation if it felt like a loan.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Preds Rebound with 4-1 Win Over Panthers

Barry Trotz Postgame

Dan Hamhuis, Jordin Tootoo, Dan Ellis and J P Dumont

Florida Panther's Coach Peter DeBoer, Jordan Leopold, and Stephen Weiss

The Nashville Predators rebounded from Friday night's loss against the St. Louis Blues, that ended their seven game win streak. by beating the Florida Panthers 4-1 at the Sommet Center on Saturday night.

The Preds had three five on five goals and an empty netter to win the first game by greater than a two point margin since last February's 8-0 shellacking of the Detroit Red Wings.

J. P. Dumont had the game winning goal, while Dan Hamhuis had his first goal of the season and David Legwand and Joel Ward also scored.

Dan Ellis, making his first start since November 10, and his first start at home since opening night, was solid in goal stopping 32 of 24 Panther shots.

Preds-Panthers Story Lines...

Preds Rebound from Loss

After having their seven game win streak broken on Friday night Barry Trotz called the game against the Panthers "the most important game of the season". It was critical that the Preds not get in a rut after playing poorly in Friday's loss.

"Sometimes after a long winning streak a loss can change a team a bit but it was a big game for us to battle back,"said Dan Hamhuis. "We didn't want to lose two at home so we were happy with the effort tonight.

Barry Trotz commented on the late arriving offense. I think the team realized that we lost last night and we don't want teams coming in here and winning hockey games so they bared down in the third."

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer had a different view of the third period, "I thought we self destructed. A couple of bad plays and we just can't afford to do that. We battled and I thought we had a good second period and a good start to the third and then we shot ourselves in the foot. It costs us games."

In retrospect, a loss on Saturday would have deadly, considering that eleven of the twelve Western Conference teams that played got at least a point in the evenings action.

Return of the Physical Game

The Predators had only been involved in two fight's all season until Dave Scatchard was jumped by Carlo Colaiacovo on Friday night. Against the Panthers, Jordin Tootoo squared off twice against Kenndal McArdle. Tootoo had not been in a fight all season to that point and has played with great discipline.

Tootoo explained why he decided to fight, "I'm sure he (McArdle) had a target for me before the game started. So in the second period we needed some momentum and emotion on the bench so I thought it was the right time and place for something like that to happen."

On the lack of fights this season, Tootoo said, "I was a little rusty there but in the second fight it was the end of my shift and it was a gutless move on his part. "

On being a target Tootoo explained, "That's when I play some of my best hockey is when guys are coming after me that's when I drive myself more to be better than they are and I think it frustrates them."

Entering the game, Tootoo needed seven penalty minutes to pass Scott Hartnell's career Predator penalty minute record of 544 minutes. Tootoo's second fighting major put him in the all time lead in PIMs for the Preds.

After the game when the record was pointed out to him, Tootoo seemed unimpressed, "O yea? No clue. Perfect. Not much else to say, bottom line is we got two points and have to keep on winning."

"Toots was good," Barry Trotz related. "He played with a lot of energy. He and McArdle had something going on. McArdle was talking to him the whole time and Toots had enough of that."

On the second fight, Trotz said, "It (1st fight) wasn't much of a fight since he went down pretty easily, so he said let's go again. Bad move."

Scoring Five on Five

During the Predator's recent win streak, the Predators had become heavily dependent on the power play. Saturday's game was the second in a row where the man advantage did not produce. Barry Trotz did not see it as a bad thing that the game was won with five on five goals.

"All the goals were basically five on five," Trotz explained. "The good thing is that the power play has been so good for us in this last stretch it was good to win a game when it wasn't their night. You can't expect the power play to score two goals every night."

Dan Ellis' Play

It was a real positive for the Predators that Dan Ellis was able to step in after not playing for 2 1/2 weeks and play a solid game and pick up a critical win.

"They never really got a lot of second shots," said Barry Trotz. "Dan Ellis looked really solid, didn't look like he was rusty at all which was great."

Commenting on the long layoff, Trotz related, "I thought Ellie would be fine. He prepared really well. There were times last year where he didn't prepare the way I thought he should and it showed in his game. He's had really good practice habits and I think that is important and he has matured from last year."

Ellis was happy to be in net in front of the home crowd, "I haven't had a start here since the home opener. It's nice to come back here and play in front of the home crowd and it's a good feeling to feel like a real Nashville Predator."

On the lack of rebounds and second chance opportunities for the Panthers Ellis said, "It's something that I have tried to focus on. In watching Peks in the last few games, he is very strong on rebounds as it limits opportunities and I've had lots of time to practice and I've tried to improve in that area.


The Preds had a day off on Sunday before returning to the Sommet Center on Monday to end the home stand against the Northwest Division leading Calgary Flames. After Monday's game they travel to Minnesota on Wednesday, Chicago on Friday and then return home on Saturday to play the Wild and begin another five game home stand.

More later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Preds Hope to Rebound Against Panthers

After a disappointing effort on Friday night in a 3-1 loss to St. Louis the Nashville Predators (14-9-1) return to the ice tonight to face the Florida Panthers (10-10-4) at the Sommet Center.

Barry Trotz called tonight's matchup "the most important game of the season" pointing out the critical nature of how the team responds to having its seven game win streak snapped.

Trotz also pointed out that the weekend's opponents (St. Louis, Florida, and Calgary) were three of the leagues best teams playing on the road with a combined record of 20-6-7.

The Panthers also had a streak snapped on Friday night losing 6-4 to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs in a home game in Florida. The Panthers had gone eight games in a row collecting a point going 5-0-3.

Florida is another team that has played better on the road (7-4-1) than at home (3-6-3). Scott Clemmensen (3-1-0, 4.12, .878) is expected to start in goal after ex-Pred Tomas Vokoun (7-9-3, 2.74, .921) gave up five goals on 32 shots last night.

Barry Trotz refused to comment on tonight's starter in goal for the Predators, but it is possible that Dan Ellis (3-4-1, 2.90, .900) will get his first start since taking the loss on a muffed shot in San Jose on November 10. Pekka Rinne (11-5-0, 2.37, .916) has played eight straight games, winning seven in a row prior to Friday's loss and may be ready for a night off.

The Predators have become heavily dependent on their power play which failed to register a point for the first time in seven games last night. Florida has been inconsistent on the man advantage as they are ranked 26th (14.0 %) in the league.

Both teams have played with discipline this season with the Predators leading the league in fewest penalties (8.5 per game) and Florida ranked sixth (11.5). The Predators have the advantage on the penalty kill with a 80.8% success rate while Florida is 29th in the league at 73.4%.

Dave Scatchard provided the only score for the Predators on Friday which was his first goal since December 12, 2006. He also was involved in the team's third fighting major of the year when he was attached by Carlo Colaiacovo as he raised his arms to celebrate the goal.

Florida is led in points by Nathan Horton (7g, 13a) and Steven Reinprecht (10g, 9a). Rookie Dmitry Kulikov had his first two goal game in the NHL in Friday's loss.

Florida is missing a couple of key players due to injury in David Booth (concussion) and Cory Stillman (knee). The Predators are injury free at this time.

The Preds will return to the Sommet Center ice again on Monday to play the Northwest Division leading Calgary Flames.

Keys To the Game...

1. The Predators need to come out and play with more jump and enthusiasm than they showed on Friday and score early in the first period so not to let Florida establish a comfort level on the Pred's home ice.

2. In last night's game, the Predators did not have as much net presence as they have had during their recent streak. They need to crash the net hard and pick up rebound goals or tips on shots from the point.

3. Scoring early and often on the power play against the low ranked Florida penalty kill will restore confidence to the power play unit that was shut down on Friday night.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Blues, Mason End Preds Streak with 3-1 Win

Barry Trotz Comments

Dave Scatchard, Steve Sullivan and Pekka Rinne

Blues Coach Andy Murray, Chris Mason and Brad Boyes

The Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues on their home ice to start their seven game win streak and the Blues came back to end the streak on the Pred's ice as the Blues beat the Preds 3-1.

Chris Mason provided a stellar performance in net, stopping 37 of 38 shots, while the Blues got goals from Brad Boyes, David Backes, and ex-Pred Paul Kariya.

The Predators started the game looking somewhat out of sync and never seemed to get back to the play that has driven their success in recent weeks.

"I didn't think we were sharp today," Coach Barry Trotz related after the game. "I've said the last two games that we haven't been as sharp."

The Predators failed to score on the power play, which has been their mainstay in the last few games, going o for 5 for the evening. "They did a good job on the PK, we had some chance but they didn't go in," Trotz explained.

The Predators had a couple of pucks enter the net after a whistle that were disallowed. Trotz simply said "That's the game." The second non-goal was clearly after play had stopped, but the first involved a very quick whistle and would have turned the game completely around putting the Preds up 1-0.

Dave Scatchard scored the Pred's only goal a day after being recalled from Milwaukee. It was Scatchard's first goal since December 12, 2006 when he was with Phoenix. "It was nice but we would rather have the win," Scatchard stated.

In what was a real surprise, Scatchard was attacked by Carlo Colaiacovo as he raised his arms to celebrate the goal. "He just kind of jumped me," Scatchard explained. "If that's the game he wants to play, I'm willing to play it." The ensuing scuffle was only the Predator's third fight of the year.

The Preds return to the ice on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers in a game Barry Trotz called "The most important game of the season."

Trotz ended his comments with a bit of humor. When asked who would be in goal against the Panthers he said, "Yep, we are going to use one of the goalies, definitely, yep, absolutely."

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, November 27, 2009

Preds Face Blues With Streak On The Line

The streaking Nashville Predators (14-8-1) return home tonight to face the St. Louis Blues (9-9-4) at the Sommet (not for long) Center. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. Central and the Preds will sport their new third jerseys for the first time.

The Preds are the second hottest team (Chicago is #1) in the NHL, and have won seven straight and 12 of their last 15. In their last game on Wednesday they eked out a win in Colorado on a David Legwand shot in overtime.

St. Louis is a team still trying to find it's identity playing better on the road (4-1-3) than at home (5-8-1). The Blues are 4-3-3 in their last ten games including a shoot-out win in Dallas on Wednesday.

The two clubs last met on November 12 in St. Louis with the Preds winning 3-1 in the game that started the Preds current seven game win streak. With a win tonight, the Preds would tie for the longest win streak in franchise history dating back to the 8-0 start in the 2005-06 season.

No official word has been given on starting goal tenders but it is assumed that each team will go with their best in tonight's match-up which would pit Pekka Rinne (11-4-0, 2.33, .915) against former Predator, and fan favorite, Chis Mason (6-7-3, 2.28, .921).

Rinne has won seven games in a row tying Tomas Vokoun's franchise record of consecutive games won. He also has won eleven of his last 12 games, dating back to October 22, in Ottawa, the game that broke the Pred's early season six game losing streak.

Chris Mason has played well against the Predators going 2-1-2, 1.34, .958 in his career against his former team mates. His only loss was in the game earlier this month.

Special teams will be a key in tonight's game. After an 0 for 30 period early in the season the Preds have become dominant on the man advantage going 15 for 60 to move from last to 18th (18.9%) in the league. The Blues have struggled on the power play and are 29th(13.1%) in the NHL.

On the penalty kill, the Blues have had more practice and are ninth (83.0) in the league while the Preds are 15th (80.0). The Preds are the leagues least penalized team (8.3 mpg) while the Blues are the 25th worst (15.7 mpg).

For the first time this season the Preds are playing a team with less goals scored that they have with the Preds having 54 to the Blues 53. To be fair, the Blues have played two less games.

Another key to watch will be to see if the Predators continue to pour shots on net. The Preds have the league's fourth best record (8-4) when out shooting the opposition.

Another key will be whether Jordin Tootoo can continue to draw penalties without being drawn into a fight. His second highest penalty minute total is against the Blues with 68 (number one is Columbus at 88). The Predators still only have two fights for the season and Tootoo is a fight and a minor away from claiming the all-time Pred's penalty minute title from Scott Hartnell (544 to 538).

The Preds made a couple of moves on Thursday recalling Alexander Sulzer after he was sent to Milwaukee earlier this week to get a couple of games under his belt after sitting for an extended period of time.

They also swapped forwards, sending Andreas Thuresson to Milwaukee and recalling Dave Scatchard. Thuresson has done what he was asked to do but was not producing offensively. Scatchard is the Ad's leading scorer (7 goals) in spite of spending nine games with the Preds earlier this year.

The Predators will play rare back to back home games on consecutive nights when they host the Florida Panthers on Saturday night and then host the Calgary Flames on Monday. The Blues return home after the game to host the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow night.

In Predator Nation...

Bryan Mullen at the Tennessean has the story of the third jersey debut and what the players think about them. He also has a notes column that shows what a good captain Jason Arnott is.

John Glennon touches on the reason for the Thuresson-Scatchard swap at Inside Predators.

Paul McCann sets the table for tonight's game at HockeyBuzz.

Jeremy gives thanks at Section 303 and includes us as things he is thankful for. Thanks, guys, we love you too!

Mark at The View From 111 analyzes the Pred's winning ways and uses one of Barry Trotz's favorite words, resiliency.

From the Blues side at the St Louis Dispatch, the Blues' big guns are starting to step up and they also are getting bumped off their TV network by high school football. Andy Strickland has an article that is a few days old but discussed the Blues power play and scoring issues.

Ads Short Shifts has an update on Chet Pickard who has claimed the number one goalie slot in Milwaukee.

Hell must be frozen today since the Globe and Mail has positive things to say about the Preds.

Around the NHL...

Alexander Ovechkin got ejected from their game against Buffalo on Wednesday night. Our friend Rick at The Cold War thinks that Ovie's cheap shots have gone on too long. Here is the follow-up with the no action result.

Ryan at the RLD has the top five turkeys of the year and they are not ones you would eat.

Puck Daddy has the five best and worst decisions of the decade.

Adrian Dater rips the Leafs as he should at No Holding Back.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and Daily Updates

We would again like to wish everyone a great Thanksgiving holiday and thank everyone for the support each of you have given POTG in the past year. There are so many things that we are thankful for, it is good to have a day set aside to reflect on how blessed that we really are.

It was interesting watching the replay of the Preds-Sens game on the NHL Network this morning since it was the game that ended the early season six game losing streak. Including that game, the Preds have gone 12-3-0, and winning the last seven games.

Even though it was the beginning of better things to come, in the game you could tell that the team did not have the confidence and swagger that they now have. The team was never as bad as they seemed during the losing streak or as good as they have seemed recently.

Over the long season there will be more ups and downs but I think the Preds have proven to themselves that hey can play with anyone and are indeed destined for the playoffs if they can avoid long term injuries to key players.

Preds-Avs Wrap-up...

Last night's game was a real test against an Avalanche team that is better than I realized before watching the game. Here is our story from last night.

John Glennon has a couple of stories at the Tennessean. In addition to his game story, his note column discusses the streaks and Colin Wilson's play in Milwaukee. John also has a streak comparison at Inside Predators.

Blogger updates on the game come from Forechecker, Paul McCann, What The Puck, See Puck City, and AJ.

For an alternative view from Colorado, Adrien Dater has the story and some post game video.

In Pred Nation...

The whole story on the suit over the naming rights that came out of the blue seemed to be fairly innocuous until the Sommet Group fired back a couple of shots about T-Shirts and David Freeman's IRS tax lien. Here is the latest from the Tennessean.

I was really surprised that the Sommet Group folks actually made a comment on our brief story about the Pred's press release. They seem serious about defending their position. I hope that this doesn't turn into another off-ice distraction that the Predators are becoming famous for.

In Milwaukee, Ads Short Shifts emphatically say that Chet Pickard has taken over the number one goalie position after last night's OT loss.

The has a look at the Preds at the quarter point of the season with input form the guys in the broadcast booth.

In a poll conducted by Dirk Hoag, to no one's surprise, Pekka Rinne was voted the Pred's first quarter MVP.

Ex Pred Ville Koistinen was placed on waivers by the Panthers. So much for the re-match on Friday.

Dan Ellis appeared on the 700 Club this week in a video interview. Here is link to the story that went with the video.

Around the NHL...

In addition to being American Thanksgiving, today is also the birthday of the NHL.

NHL league attendence is down 2% but several teams have been hit much harder.

Last week Ryan at the RLD took a stab at Team USA, this week he gives his prediction for Team Canada.

The hottest topic over the last couple of days has been about the John Bucigross article on Brendan Burke. Puck Daddy has a good followup. He interviews Justin Bourne who got the ball rolling a few weeks back with a USA Today story.

Nick at Let There Be Light (house) has the latest on alternative real estate developers wanting the arena property on Long Island.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Preds Recall Sulzer and Scatchard

The Nashville Predators started Thanksgiving day with a few roster moves. Alexander Sulzer who had recently been sent to Milwaukee as well as Dave Scatchard who had been with the Predators for nine games earlier in the season were brought back to the Preds as they prepare for back to back home games this weekend.

It appears Sulzer was returned to Milwaukee to see live game action since he had not played with the Preds for several weeks. Coach Barry Trotz commented last week that Sulzer needed to get into a game.

The return of Andreas Thuresson to Milwaukee was less clear. Thuresson had played well in his role on the fourth line providing energy and grit to the Preds effort. Scatchard has played well at Milwaukee and is their leading scorer for the season. It appears that the Preds hope that he will contribute with his scoring prowess over the three game in four night stretch that starts tomorrow.

Here is the official release fron the Predators...

-Reassign Thuresson to the Admirals-

Nashville, Tenn. (November 26, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Alexander Sulzer (al-ehx-AN-duhr SUHLT-suhr) and forward Dave Scatchard (DAYV SKAT-chuhrd) from Milwaukee (AHL), in addition to reassigning forward forward Andreas Thuresson (an-DRAY-uhs THUHR-eh-suhn) to the Admirals.

Scatchard, 33 (2/20/76), played nine games with Nashville during his first recall to the club in 2009-10, posting a pair of assists while leading the team in face-off winning percentage (58%). He played in his first NHL game since Jan. 27, 2007 on Oct. 21 at Boston, and posted his first NHL point since Jan. 7, 2007 at Ottawa the next night. In seven games since returning to Milwaukee on Nov. 12, he has four goals and an assist, and leads the Admirals with seven goals in 11 games this season.

Sulzer, 25 (5/30/84), has played in five games with the Predators this season, posting his first career point/assist on Oct. 22 at Ottawa, while averaging 12:46 of ice time and notching a plus-two rating. He played two games during his most recent stint with Milwaukee, and has seven points (1g-6a) in seven games for the club this season.

Thuresson, 21 (11/18/87), has notched two assists in 10 games for the Predators this season, making his NHL debut on Oct. 31 against Dallas.

The Predators take a seven-game winning streak and a seven-game home winning streak tomorrow night’s contest against the St. Louis Blues (7 p.m.), where the team will debut its new third jersey. It is the first of three home games in a four-day span for the club, as they host Florida on Saturday – wearing the third jersey again – and Calgary on Monday. Tickets to these games, and all other regular season contests are now on sale and can be purchased by logging onto Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Predators Slip Past Avs in OT to Extend Streak

The Nashville Predators extended their winning streak with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday night.

David Legwand had the game winning goal at 3:07 in the extra period when he fired a blind shot at the Colorado net that crawled over Craig Anderson s leg pad and trickled over the goal line clinching the Predators seventh win in a row.

The game like three separate mini-games, completely different each period. The Preds started the game like gangbusters, completely dominating the Avs. For the third game in a row, the Preds appeared to take a period off during the second which was all Avalanche. The third period was played very close to the vest by both teams. The Preds returned to form in the overtime out-shooting the Avs 4-0 to clinch the victory.

In the first period, the Predators stated with a lot of jump, controlling the puck and keeping the Avs defense on their heels. The Preds aggressiveness forced a Brett Clark interference penalty at 2:11 in the first period.

On the ensuing power play, Shea Weber fed a cross ice pass to J. P. Dumont who put the puck past Av's goalie, Craig Anderson to give the Preds a 1-0 lead at 3:00 in the first.

The Preds continued the pressure and at 10:42 Jordin Tootoo fed a pass to Marty Erat who skated toward the Avs net, then kicked it back to Marcel Goc who put a shot past Anderson into the net.

For the period, the Predators completely dominated the Avalanche. The Preds out shot the Avs 10-3 and had an even more lopsided 22-6 margin in the Corsi numbers.

The Avalanche started the second period on the power play courtesy of a questionable cross-checking call against Marcel Goc at the end of the first period. The Avs doubled their shot total with three shots but could not convert. It was clear that adjustments were made during the intermission that would give the Avs a better second period.

At 3:39 in the second, Codey Franson let Ryan Wilson get past the Predators defense in the neutral zone to give hi a one on one opportunity against Pekka Rinne which he was able to place in the back of the net for his second goal of the season to pull the Avs within one.

At 11:28 Marty Erat caught Matt Duchene in the face with is stick giving the Avalanche a 4:00 double minor. 45 seconds into the penalty kill, a puck got away from Rinne and slid into the net but the officials ruled that it had been whistled dead.

Seconds later, Francis Bouillon failed to clear a puck from the defensive zone and it was picked up by David Jones who fed a cross ice pass to Milan Hejduk who blew it past Rinne to tie the game 2-2.

At 14:35 the Predators defense again failed to pick up Marek Svatos who had fed a pass to Chris Stewart who returned it to him directly in front of the Preds net where Svatos had the easy score.

The Predators continued to look out of sorts and Dan Hamhuis was called for a slashing call at 15:15 trying to stop another Avs break-away. At 16:40 Joel Ward stole the puck for a Preds short handed chance that seemed to change the momentum in favor of the Preds.

Svatos was called for interference on the next shift which put the Predators back on the power play. With less than two minutes left in the period, Jason Arnot fed to puck to Shea Weber who let loose a cannon shot from the blue line to even the game at 3-3.

The second period was everything that the first wasn't for the Avalanche. The Avs out shot the Preds 13-7 and were up 24-14 in the Corsi numbers.

The third period was a completely different style of play for both teams. Through 16 minutes there were only three shots for the period, two by the Avs and a single shot by the Preds.

The Preds had a good shot at scoring came at 13:01 on their first shot of the period when players from both teams converged in the Colorado blue ice for a scramble that was eventually whistled dead when the net became dislodged.

The Avs best chance at breaking the tie came at 18:45 when rookie Matt Duchene shook loose and put a point blank shot on Rinne that Pekka was able to stop.

For the remainder of the period, both teams seemed content to go to overtime. Shots were even for the period at six.

During the second and third period it became clear how the Avalanche got off to their incredible start to the season. Joe Sacco had the Avs believing in themselves and taking the play directly to their opponents.

The Predators seemed to come alive again in the overtime period. 51 seconds into the period, Steve Sullivan almost won the game with a point blank shot on Anderson that required an incredible save to prolong the action.

The final shot for the Predators was a result of all four Pred players working the puck around the net and creating traffic around Anderson that created the opportunity for Legwand's wrister to have a chance to go in.

Pekka Rinne played well enough in goal stopping 19 of 22 Colorado shots. The win was Rinne's seventh in a row tying Tomas Vokoun's Preds record of a pair of seven game win streaks.

The Predators continued their power play streak, extending it to six games with a two of three effort against the Avs. They are now 10 of 27 in the last six games and are now 12-0 in games where they scored on the man advantage.

Surprisingly, considering the altitude, the Predators energy line of Patric Hornqvist, Mike Santorelli and Andreas Thuresson all played less than six minutes. Kevin Klein was the ice time leader at 25:04 as Barry Trotz has become more comfortable with his protection of the puck.

Another odd bit of trivia is that the win was the first time in seven tries that the Preds had won the game after a victory over Detroit in the prior game. As I wrote earlier this week, the game against the Jackets last Saturday was more of a hangover game than the Detroit game would produce.

The win moved the Predators into fifth place in the Western Conference, three games behind Central Division leader, Chicago, pending the outcome of other games.

The Preds left immediately after the game as they fly back to Nashville to play three games in four nights starting Friday against the Blues who won in overtime in Dallas on Wednesday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Sue Sommet Group, Will Rename Arena

In the out of the blue department, the Predators announced that the Sommet Group was behind on their payments on arena naming rights and they they have had to take them to court in an attempt to recover past due payments and formally terminate the agreement.

The Arena will now have another new name in the near future. After being the GEC, The Nashville Arena, and the Sommet Center, I can't imagine folks are standing in line, in this economy, to stick their name the building.

Here is the official release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (November 25, 2009) – Nashville Hockey Club Limited Partnership today announced that it has terminated its naming rights agreement with Sommet Group of Tennessee f/k/a Sommet Group, LLC (“Sommet”), and has filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee, against Sommet stemming from Sommet’s failure to fulfil its naming rights payment obligations under that agreement. This is the last year of a three year naming rights agreement that the two companies entered into in 2007.

“We have reluctantly terminated our relationship with Sommet Group,” Nashville Predators President of Business Operations, Ed Lang said. “For months, Sommet Group has not met its payment obligations under our naming rights agreement. We repeatedly reached out to Sommet Group and sought its compliance with these obligations. Unfortunately, Sommet Group did not do so, or give us any indication that it would. We regret that Sommet Group left us no alternative but to terminate the agreement and seek legal redress.”

Our intention is to present a proposal for a new name to the Sports Authority in the coming weeks.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Sommet Group responded to the Preds Press Release with this from Nashville Is Talking...

First and foremost, we at the Sommet Group hope to resolve this amicably, in the best interests of all concerned. But the reason we have withheld payments is because our supposed partner in naming rights is not acting like one. We entered into the agreement with the understanding that in partial exchange for our payments, our business units would be the preferred provider of certain products and services. This is in keeping with the Hockey Club’s expressed desire to do business with local companies. Instead, the club has chosen arbitrarily to use our competitors, and the most recent straw that broke the camel’s back was their order of thousands of T-shirts from out of state instead of from Sommet’s BrandCentrik business unit. That in our view is not being a good partner as was promised.

End of statement

John Van Mol
dye, van mol & lawrence

209 7th Avenue North

Nashville, Tennessee 37219

Predators Make Quick Trip to the Mile High City

The Nashville Predators (13-8-1) are making a quick one day trip to Colorado to play the Avalanche (14-7-3) in a Thanksgiving eve showdown at the Pepsi Center with the puck set to drop at 8 p.m. Central.

The game will be a rematch of teams that played in the Predators home opener, a game that the Preds won 3-2 what was Colorado's only regulation loss in their first fourteen games.

The game tonight is a meeting of teams headed in opposite directions. The Predators have won six straight and 11 of the last 14. After only one loss in their first 13 games, the Avs came back to earth and have been 4-6-1 since October 28.

The Avalanche have played well on home ice, going 7-2-0 while the Preds have played .500 (5-5-1) on the road.

The Avalanche will be sporting their new third jerseys for the second time tonight. The new thirds debuted on November 14th. The Preds will play in their new third jersey for the first time on Friday and Saturday night in a pair of games dubbed the "Black and Blue "weekend.

The Avs feature balanced scoring with seven players in double digits in points led by Paul Stasney (23) and Wojtek Wolski (20). They also sport two of the best rookies of the year in Matt Duschene and Cal O'Reilly's younger brother, Ryan.

Pekka Rinne (10-4-0) is set to start in goal for the Predators while Craig Anderson (13-6-3) is set to go for the Avs. Rinne has won ten of his last eleven games while Anderson is 3-5-1 in his last nine games.

The Predators hope that he recent success on the power play will continue as they are 11-0 in games where they have scored on the PP. After a horrible 0 of 30 streak early in the season, the Preds are 8 of 24 on the man advantage in their last five games.

For the season, the two teams are fairly evenly matched statistically on special teams. The Preds are ranked 24th (17.2%) on the man advantage while the Avs are 21st (18.1%). On the penalty kill the Preds are 16th (80.3%) while Colorado is 13th (81.4%).

Avs captain, Adam Foote, who has missed the last three games is expected to return but officially is a game time decision. Scott Hannan, who was hit in the neck by Daniel Brierre on Monday night, skated this morning and is expected to play.

After playing inconsistently in the past two games, including a near melt-down in the third period against Detroit on Monday, the Predators may be in need of a break in the home game routine.

Barry Trotz told Jim Diamond of the Examiner that the brief road trip was coming at a good time saying, “I’m a big advocate of you don’t want to be on the road too much, and you don’t want to be home too much. This should be a good break for everybody, and it comes at a good time right before Thanksgiving.”

After tonight's contest, things do not slow down for the Predators as they play three home games in four nights starting Friday with St. Louis. They will then play the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and the Calgary Flames on Monday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Happy (American) Thanksgiving and Wednesday Update

I want to give a Thanksgiving shout out a day early since our readership is much higher during the week than on the weekends and holidays.

I did not want to miss the opportunity to express my thanks to all our readers and Twitter and Facebook followers who make what we do worth every bit of effort that it takes to produce POTG on a daily basis.

I hope each of you have a Happy Thanksgiving and a fun and safe holiday weekend. Blessings on each of you and may your days and nights be filled with hockey.

Shameless Self Promotion...

Steve Lepore who is the preeminent NHL media watcher and commentator at Puck The Media made his list of best blogs team by team for all NHL teams. We were honored to be the Predators rep on the list. It is an interesting list that is worth a look. Thanks, Steve. The check is in the mail.

Also,, which we are a part of from afar, is throwing another big party on Thursday December 10 in Toronto. If you live in the GTA, plan on attending.

In Pred Nation...

Bryan Mullen piece today is about the Predators locking down leads. He also has a notes column and a game at a glance.

Jim Diamond thinks tonight's road game will be a good change of pace for the Preds.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post is back on Twitter and will have updates on tonight's game with the Avs all day at All things Avs. We do know that Adam Foote will return and that Craig Anderson will be in goal.

Ads Short Shifts has the story of last night's 2-1 victory over San Antonio. Alexander Sulzer was plus one with a couple of PIMs while Colin Wilson had all zeros on the score sheet.

Jeremy at Section 303 has an interesting thought on the Preds trading for Bobby Ryan. I don't see it happening unless they want to get Erat to waive his no movement clause and trade straight up.

Dan Hamhuis has his thoughts on the current streak and a little about ping pong at Inside Predators.

The Preds put out an official release on the third jersey debut on Friday.

Forechecker has an interesting post about Brett Wilson and his interest in purchasing a stake in the Preds. He also has shopping suggestions.

More on the mustache movement on the Preds is found at

For all those who voted on the Preds-Sens game for a Thanksgiving day replay, the game will be shown on the NHL Network at 11:00 Central.

Puck the Media challenges Versus for their choice of the Pred-Wings game on a night that the Titans were playing. I personally had more of an issue with the early start that killed the crowd.

There is an Internet page and a Facebook page about Pekka that denies any affiliation with him. I have been in contact with the creator and she has agreed to appear on POTG Radio in December to talk about the page.

It appears that the Blues are celebrating Thanksgiving in Nashville per @DP_57: "Leaving for the airport in a bit. Dallas then Thanks giving dinner in Nashville with the boys , let's get 2 Ws and a few ginos."

Around the NHL...

The AHL is jumping on the outdoor game bandwagon with the Mirabito Outdoor Classic on February 20, 2010, at the New York State Fairgrounds which will pit the Syracuse Crunch versus the Binghamton Senators. This will be right in the middle of the Olympic break so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the inte

The long awaited Puck Daddy list of the ten best player of the decade has been released. I'd like to see the ones that just missed for comparison purposes.

It seems like the Preds are starting to play teams the game after media attention for dirty hits. Here is Daniel Briere's hit on Scott Hannan on Monday night. Should there be a different "leaving their feet" rule for short players. Briere got two games from the league.

Matt at View from My Seats has a humorous look at John Tavares day in Toronto on Monday.

The Hockey News has a top 10 of one year deals under $3 million. Anyone looking to sign these folks after the season?

Ryan at the RLD also has a top five of off season bargains.

What about the top five injury stricken teams this year from Hockey Insights.

More Islanders/Long Island political explanations from B D Gallof at the Huffington Post.

Red ink in the desert from @walsha: "Report: Court documents in Phx Coyotes case indicate they lost $5 Mil in October and could lose as much as $50 Mil this season."

John Buccigross has an incredibly thoughtful article about Brian Burke's son, Brendan. It is a very well written account of a tough situation for many to discuss. It is a must read for all, not just hockey fans.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Predators Send Sulzer Back to Milwaukee

In a move that is only surprising in that it didn't happen sooner, the Preds sent Alexander Sulzer back to Milwaukee of the AHL.

Sulzer has been a healthy scratch for the last seven games and has not played since November 7th when Shea Weber was injured. Since Codey Franson claimed the sixth D-man spot, the only defensive openings have been due to injury.

You would wonder if another move is eminent since this lowers the Preds active roster to 21 since Colin Willson was also sent to Milwaukee over the weekend. I'm sure that the Preds want Sulzer to see some live game action since he has been idle for 2 1/2 weeks.

Here is the full release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (November 24, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has reassigned defenseman Alexander Sulzer (al-ehx-AN-duhr SUHLT-suhr) to Milwaukee (AHL).

Sulzer, 25 (5/30/84), played in five games during a one-month stint with the Predators, posting his first career point/assist on Oct. 22 at Ottawa, while averaging 12:46 of ice time and notching a plus-two rating.

The Predators take a six-game winning streak into their only road game in a span of 17 days from Nov. 14-30 tomorrow night when they travel to the Pepsi Center in Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche (FOX Sports Tennessee, 104.5 The Zone, 8 p.m. CT). Sporting a seven-game home winning streak, tied for the highest in the League this season, the club returns to the Sommet Center on Friday night at 7 p.m. to host the St. Louis Blues for the first of three home games in four days. Tickets to this game, and all other regular season contests are now on sale and can be purchased by logging onto Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Taking a Deep Breath Before the Next Game

The Preds continued their stellar early season run run against the Wings by winning 3-1. Here is our game story and postgame interviews from last night.

Whenever a team gets on a roll, fans are always waiting for the other shoe to drop as to when it will come to an end. In the past, the Predators have had problems with a post-Detroit hangover after big wins over the Wings.

While the Preds could get beat tomorrow night in Colorado, I don't see a hangover as being the cause. Last Saturday's game against Colorado was more of a classic hangover game after beating San Jose and New Jersey back to back. Fortunately for the Preds, they survived and came out on top.

In spite of the fact that the Wings had the Preds on their heels in the third period, this was not the same Red Wings team that Pred fans have learned to hate over the years. They are a good team with excellent top line players and superior coaching, but having lost Marion Hossa and being decimated by injuries they do not stand out in the Central Division as being a cut above everyone else.

If you check the standings this morning, you may be surprised to see that the Preds leapfrogged Detroit and Columbus last night and moved into second place in the division and seventh in the Western Conference. The Preds are only five points behind the Division leading Blackhacks who have been as hot as the Preds.

As much as Pred fans wish it would never end, the streak will be over at some point in the next few games. Fortunately, the team has learned what it takes to win and that they will carry that with them for the remainder of the season and will have confidence going into each game that they have a pretty good chance of victory.

Detroit vs. Nashville recaps from others...

John Glennon has the complete story, notes, and a story on Marty Erat at the Tennessean and a postgame wrap-up at Inside Predators. John has really raised the bar this year with his Preds coverage, especially on the blog.

Jim Diamond has the story at the Examiner and David Boclair has the recap at the City Paper.

In the blogs, Brandon Felder, Forechecker, Paul McCann, What The Puck, AJ, Big Kev and See Puck City cover every possible angle on the game.

The Detroit side of the story can be found at, MLive, and the Detroit News. There is also a story about Shea Weber regretting the injury to Andereas Lilja.

No one made the top three stars of the night at Puck Daddy but Marty Erat got an Honorable Mention.

In Preds Nation...

Codey Holland has news on the Patron Platinum Club at section 303. No, it is not actually in the Cellblock. has a weekly update from the Milwaukee Admirals.

Here's the week in review of the Pred's ECHL team, the Cyclones from Section 60.

Cellblock 303's Jeremy Gover is now a video star. Check it out.

Our friends Dirk and Mark are now getting their stuff posted at USA Today as they have picked up SB Nation and Bleacher Report.

Around the NHL...

Dater's return... After receiving heat over an incident in Calgary that he Tweeted about, our friend Adrian Dater left Twitter but now vows a return. Dater was on XM204's War Room yesterday discussing old vs new media and Twitter. I sent Mick Kern an email about Dater's Civil War interest and Mick missed it while Dater was on but did give POTG blog and podcast a nice shout out later in the show. Thanks Mick!

The AJC has an interesting article on Rich Peverly and his success in Atlanta.

Another week, more #SaturdayNHLPicks to make.

Newsday reports that other developers may be interested in the land around the Islander's arena if Charles Wang backs out.

David Perron's goal against the Islanders last Saturday is worth another look. So is Steven Stamkos' butt slide goal against the Ducks.

Al Cimaglia has a very thoughtful article on internet credibility at Hockey Independent.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Preds Hang On to Beat Wings 3-1

Coach Barry Trotz post game comments

Marty Erat, Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber and Jason Arnott comment after the game

Coach Mike Babcock, Henrik Zetterberg, and Drew Miller comment after the game

The Nashville Predators withstood a third period onslaught by the Detroit Red Wings to hold on to a 3-1 victory Monday night at the Sommet Center. It was the Preds sixth straight win and 11th in their last 14.

Marty Erat was the offensive star of the game scoring two goals, including the game winner on the power play. Captain Jason Arnott score the other Predator goal, also on the power play, at 10:24 in the first period.

The Predators controlled the game for most of the first two periods but the Red Wings picked up the pace in the third period putting 16 shots on net after only having 15 for the first two periods.

After the game, Shea Weber felt that the Preds let down in the third, "We just got away from out game. We were keeping it simple in the first and second period. I thought we were controlling the puck a lot better and playing in their zone. I think we just sat back too much and gave them too much time and space."

Pekka Rinne was the difference maker in the final period. The Preds were being out shot 16 to 4 and Rinne was called on to make many saves, some from point blank range.

"It was pretty scrambly, bad D-zone coverage, they were all over us," related Captain Jason Arnott, "If it wasn't for Peks we would have probably ended up losing the game."

Arnott went further, "Sometimes you don't (get it out of the zone) and it creates a snowball effect. They kept it in the zone, they are a team that plays with the puck a lot, and fortunately for us we came out with the win."

Arnott's first period back-handed power play goal was a great second effort on his own rebound after taking a pass from Steve Sullivan.

Marty Erat's power play goal in the second was a beautiful play. David Legwand passed the puck to Joel Ward in the corner who cycled the puck to Erat in the circle and he one-timed it past goalie Chris Osgood.

Drew Miller had the Wings only goal at 6:38 in the second as he took the puck from the corner and skated past Francis Bouillon and shoved the puck by Rinne into the net. Miller siad, "I tried to take it out of the corner and got lucky and beat that big goalie there."

Erat's second goal at 17:40 in the third came at a critical time when the Wings were applying full pressure on the Predator defense. "It's always nice when you have the two goal advantage," Erat explained. "It's a breather there and I think it drug them down."

Barry Trotz appeared worn out by the third period charge by the Wings, "I told the guys that it was one of our weaker periods but I don't want to take anything away from Detroit. They came at us real hard. We can be a lot better."

Wings Coach Mike Babcock said, "You have to give them (Preds) credit, they battled hard and had good goaltending."

With the win, the Predators moved past Detroit and Columbus, who lost to the Rangers, into second place in the Central Division, five points behind Chicago.

Pred's goalie Pekka Rinne explained the origins of the teams current confidence level, "The turning point was the long road trip. We came together and beat some key teams and then came home and won San Jose and a couple of other key teams so it's just been growing and the confidence is the big thing. We have a good thing going and hopefully we will keep it going."

This was the second game in a row that the Predators had two power play goals. Trotz credited Peter Horichuk with the improvement, "He's spent a lot of time with the guys. They've talked through it and they are committed. The extra effort and time that they have put in to it is paying off."

Barry Trotz utilized a different looking fourth line to match the speed of the Wings with Mike Santorelli centering Andreas Thuresson and Patrick Hornquist. At times when Cody Franson was on defense with the group, there were three rookies on the ice at one time and they held firm against the far more experienced Wings.

The Predators will practice at Centennial on Tuesday and then fly to Denver to prepare for Wednesday's game with the surprising Colorado Avalanche. They will return home after the game and then play three games in four nights at home beginning with St. Louis on Friday night.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, November 23, 2009

Red Wings Visit Predators in National TV Game

The Nashville Predators (12-8-1) conclude their homestand tonight with a 6 p.m. match-up with the Detroit Red Wings (11-6-4) as the Predators make their only scheduled national television appearance of the year on the Versus Network.

The Predators are the hottest team in the league having gone 8-2 in the last ten games. Detroit is a half of a game cooler at 7-2-1. The Preds have won five in a row, while the Wings are 1-1-1 in their last three games.

While the Red Wings appear to be having an off year based on their recent standards, they are still a dangerous team with many weapons. Henrik Zetterberg (9 G, 15 A) and Pavel Datsyuk 96G, 12A) are off to good starts.

Injuries have decimated the Wings line-up this season. Niklas Kronwall was off to his career best start until a injury on Saturday on a knee to knee hit by Georges Laraque sidelined him for an extended period. Johan Franzen has missed 18 games and is expected to be gone for most of the season. They are also missing Valtteri Filppula (knee), Jason Williams (leg) and Andreas Lilja (concussion) who has not played since he was injured in a fight with Shea Weber last season.

This should be an interesting match-up for the new "shoot from anywhere" Predators playing against a team that has a history of piling up huge shot totals against opponents. The Preds have exceeded 35 shots in a game seven times including 48 against Columbus on Saturday while the Wings have had more than 35 on nine occasions.

The Preds have reached 40 shots in four games this season and only did so four times for the entire 82 game season last year.

John Glennon confirms from the morning skate that Pekka Rinne will start in goal tonight for the Preds. Rinne is 8-1 in his last nine games. In the past, Barry Trotz has given preference to Dan Ellis who has had success with the Wings in the past, but not this time.

Detroit has had trouble in goal this season with Jimmy Howard (5-3-1, 2.75 gaa, .898 save %) getting the bulk of the starts recently since Chris Osgood (6-3-3, 2.70 gaa, .902 save %) has been off to a slow start. reports Osgood will be the starter tonight.

Don't expect many penalties as the Preds and Wings are first and second respectively in the league in fewest penalties. Wade Belak may never see the light of day again after his "hooking to the groin" stunt on Saturday.

When infractions are whistled, Detroit has the advantage on the power play 23.9% (7th) to 15.7% (25th) over the Preds. The Preds have had more success on the penalty kill, 79.7% (16th) to 75.7 (25th).

The last time that the Red Wings played in Nashville was on February 28, 2009 in the memorable 8-0 blowout levied by the Predators. I would not expect an outcome like that now or at any time in the future. That game was a complete anomaly that even the Predator players were a bit sheepish about at the conclusion.

After tonight's game, the Predators will practice at Centennial on Tuesday morning then fly to Colorado for a rematch with the Avalanche. They will then return to the Sommet for three games in four days starting Friday night against the Blues.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Josh "Miracle Speech" Sacco Stars in Minnesota

Programming note: There will not be a POTG Radio tonight due to the Preds game vs. Detroit. POTG Radio will return on Monday, December 7, 2009.

It was a big weekend for Spring Hill resident and Pred's fan, Josh Sacco. We learned last week that he had been invited to Minnesota by the Wild for special festivities on Friday night. Josh has taken on somewhat of a folk hero status in an area that idolized the late Herb Brooks.

There are several videos on the Wild website commemorating his visit on Friday night to Minnesota where he inspired them to victory over the Islanders with his "Miracle" speech in the locker room before the game.

He also got to lead the "Let's Play Hockey" cheer to start the game.

He returned to the locker room after the game for a visit with Josh Harding and a ton of autographs. His dad, Jim was a proud Papa!

Here is a story from the Star Tribune on Josh before his big night.

For those who missed Josh's appearance on POTG Radio a few weeks back, here is the link.

In Pred Nation...

John Glennon discusses the battle of the Swedes on tonight's Preds-Wings game and discusses Colin Wilson's injury and the potential for surgery.

Colin Wilson was sent to Milwaukee late Saturday night and played his first game with the Ads on Sunday and had one shot and a minus one for the game. The Ads won 2-1 over Houston in overtime. Ads Short Shifts have their thoughts on Colin's first game. John Glennon also touches on the debut at Inside Predators.

Mark at the View from 111 has his quarter season report card on the Predators.

Another great edition of the 303:30 was released on Saturday with Aaron Portzline, Pred Prospect Taylor Beck and Jeremy and Codey's insight into the Preds.

Jim Diamond has the Pred's week in review as well as his weekly prospect update.

If you missed it over the weekend, we have our recap from Saturday's big win over Columbus as well as post-game comments from Barry Trotz, new dad, David Legwand, Pekka Rinne and Marty Erat.

Big Kev said the same thing Jackson did on Saturday, calling Leggy's big day the "Legwand Hat Trick", a goal, an assist, and a baby. Jackson didn't write it down unfortunately.

AJ is also very enthusiastic about the Pred's chances at Pull My (Fang) Finger.

Around the NHL...

George Laraque was back at it again with dirty play in the Wings-Habs game as he took out Niklas Kronwall and Darren Helm on the same shift.

Down Goes Brown has developed a flow chart to explain the NHL suspension process.

Glen Miller has a really interesting piece at Inside Hockey that looks at how many draft picks from 1993-2002 have actually played to the 50 game level in the NHL. How surprised would you be if Detroit was in last place?

We would like to congratulate @dani3boyz and @goaliegirl for the positive press they received from Stu Hackel at the New York Times.

Matt Rietz's great series on social media is also highlighted in the article. It was a privilege to be able to participate in the high profile piece.

Also in the same article is another story on Adrian Dater who receives more heat for his tweeting of the dispute in the Calgary locker room earlier this week. We were pleased to have Adrian on POTG Radio a couple of weeks ago after he riled Pred Nation with comments about opening night attendance.

Contrary to the popular view of most Pred fans, we found Adrian to be a decent guy who doesn't mind stirring the masses. He was gracious in his appearance and humbly confirmed that he may have jumped the gun in his criticisms of Nashville. You can't ask for more than that. We are looking forward to meeting him in person when he returns in February.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Preds Beat Blue Jackets 4-3 in Shoot-Out

The Nashville Predators extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-3 shoot-out victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Sommet Center on Saturday night.

David Legwands's wrister past Steve Mason was the difference maker in the 2-1 shoot-out match. Mike Santorelli and Rick Nash had already scored giving Legwand the opportunity to ice the victory.

It was a big day for David Legwand from start to finish. He was not expected to play due to the birth of his son. "The baby came at 5:30 and I got over here (Sommet) about ten after six and got my stuff and went out for warmups so I didn't have much thinking to do so I went out there and played," Legwand explained.

Legwand received first start of the game honors for the game winner in the shoot-out as well as a short-handed goal and an assist during regulation. Leggy was also 11 of 21 in the faceoff circle.

Things did not go well for the Predators in the first period as they were not as sharp as they had been in recent games. They were much improved after the first intermission.

"We started out flat," Martin Erat explained. "We started more skating and get more forecheck and created more turnovers and that was the difference." Erat, for the game, had a goal and an assist.

Coach Barry Trotz commented on the slow start, "We didn't quite have our emotional level very high and I don't think we executed very well and I don't want to take anything away from Columbus, they were pretty good early and we weren't able to do a whole lot and as the game went on, we got our feet a little more under us and started playing with a little more emotion.

The Predators poured plenty of shots on the Jackets with an increasing number each period. The final shot count was 48-29 in favor of the Preds. Six of Columbus' shots came in the last 1:16 of the third after Kevin Klein's tripping penalty as Columbus repeatedly put the puck toward the net trying to end the game in regulation.

Shea Weber had a team high seven shots followed by Jason Arnott with six. Again, the shots were well distributed among the lines with all but three Preds having at least a shot.

The Predators were two of eight on the power play, scoring on two of three early and then went 0-5 in the third and overtime periods. "The power play was good tonight, they got us two goals," Barry Trotz explained. "I can't complain, they were getting chances, even in the four in the third. If they weren't getting chances I would have been disappointed."

Trotz continued, " Special teams were a big part of the game, two power play goals and one shorthanded." Those three goals were all the Preds needed to take the game to over-time.

Pekka Rinne again got the win but acknowledged that his 26 of 29 save performance was not his best. "I don't think I was shining today," Rinne said. "The guys played an outstanding game."

He also commented on Columbus's last goal, "The third goal was one of those that I have to have when the season gets going longer, those goals are huge. Luckily this time we pulled it out in the shootout."

The game was not without controversy as the Jackets first goal at 4:55 in the first was initially called a high stick when R J Umburger swatted the puck into the net giving Columbus a 2-1 lead. Barry Trotz said after the game, "It was a bit controversial and it woke us up a little bit."

Trotz felt that it was played with a high stick but explained that the video review was inconclusive so the four officials conferred and there was a three to one decision to allow the goal. The only dissenting vote was the official behind the goal that originally ruled no goal.

Pekka Rinne agreed that he thought it was a high stick, "The way he hit it like a tomahawk, to me that is a no-brainer but it's a tough call for the refs."

The game was also marred by a couple of ugly situations. Rostislav Klesla received a roughing call in the first period for a horse collar type move on Wade Belak that surprisingly did not result in a fight.

In the second period, Belak used his stick on Jared Boll to inflict intense pain to Boll's groin area from the rear. In addition to a hooking call, Bleak received a reprimand from Trotz and did not return to the game. It was a bit of a surprise that a game misconduct was not levied by the officials.

The Preds have little time to dwell on the victory as they will return to the ice Monday night against the Detroit Red Wings in their first meeting of the year against the Central Division rival. The puck will drop at 6 p.m. in a special start time in order to accommodate the Versus Network.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Colin Wilson Assigned to Milwaukee

As had been expected, based on previous statements, Colin Wilson has been assigned to the Milwaukee Admirals on what is expected to be a "reconditioning" assignment.

Wilson has been plagued by a groin injury that has not resolved completely since training camp. He started the season on injured reserve, came back to play ten games and then missed the last eight contests.

Once he gets in game shape, he is expected to return to Nashville and continue his rookie season at the NHL Level.

Here is the complete release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (November 22, 2009) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forward Colin Wilson to Milwaukee (AHL).

In his first 10 professional games with the Predators, the 20-year-old rookie posted a goal and an assist while averaging 13:57 of ice time. Wilson has missed the past eight games – and 11 games overall in 2009-10 – due to injury.

The Predators return to action on Monday when they take on the Detroit Red Wings at a special 6 p.m. CT start time. To be televised on VERSUS, the game is Nashville’s lone national television contest of the 2009-10 regular season. Tickets to this game, and all other regular season contests are now on sale and can be purchased by logging onto Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blue Jackets to Face "Evil Empire" in Nashville

The Columbus Blue Jackets (12-6-2) visit the Sommet Center tonight for a match with the Nashville Predators (11-8-1) which always seems to stir up bad blood between the two Central Division rivals.

A couple of years back, Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock labeled the Nashville Predators "The Evil Empire" which led to further analogies of Barry Trotz being "Darth Vader".

The moniker came out of the Predators domination over the Blue Jackets when over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons the Preds garnered 31 of 32 possible points in 16 games.

Overall, in the all-time series, the Preds are 25-11-5, including 21-3-2 at the Sommet Center. Last season when the Jackets first made the playoffs, the Predators were a less dominating 3-2-1 but have won 11 straight times at home.

Tonight, the Division rivalry starts a new chapter as this it the first of six regular season meetings this season between the Preds and the Blue Jackets. The teams met twice in the preseason with the Preds wining both the home and away game.

Both teams are playing their best hockey of the season, the Predators have won 9 of their last 12 and the Blue Jackets are 6-1-2 in their last nine.

A big part of the Preds-Jackets rivalry has been based on the physical nature of the games. Even when the Jackets weren't getting points in the standings they were getting plenty of penalty minutes sparring with the Preds including their favorite target, Jordin Tootoo.

Tootoo is six penalty minutes away from the all time Pred's record for PIMs currently held by Scott Hartnell at 544. Toots has amassed 88 minutes against Columbus which is one sixth of his total. This season, Jordin has shown great restraint as he has not received a fighting major and the Preds have the least in the league with two.

When asked about the lack of fights this season, Barry Trotz said, "As long as you play hard, you play an effective game. You don't have to always fight. It's not that we don't want to fight, there are times when you do and times that it is not necessary."

He further commented specifically on Jordin Tootoo saying, "He can get under people's skin and do it legally without having to drop the gloves and fight. He's been pretty effective."

I felt somewhat bad when I promoted the preseason game in Nashville in September as "Fight Night at the Sommet" with over/under projections on fights. The contest was later marred by the dangerous fall taken by Tom Sestito in a match with Jordin Tootoo. Luckily, Sestito recovered and is now back with the Jackets.

Tootoo - Sestito Fight

The Blue Jackets are led in scoring by Captain Rick Nash who has had 14 goals and 11 assists. By contrast, the Preds scoring leader is J. P. Dumont with 3 goals and 12 assists.

The Preds and Jackets feature the two best rookie goalies of last season including, the Calder Trophy winning Steve Mason and Preds star, Pekka Rinne. Mason has struggled at times going 8-5-2 (3.88 gaa, .884%) while Pekka has gone 8-4-0 (2.35 gaa, .916%) including 8-1 in his last nine games.

Steve Mason After Winning the Calder Trophy

The Blue Jackets have the most improved power play in the league this season at 25% (4th) after finising 30th in the league last season. The Predators have moved up to 14.7% (25th) having had 10 power play goals in their last 12 games for a 20.8% clip during that stretch. The Predators are undefeated (8-0) when getting a man-advantage goal.

The Predators penalty kill unit has also improved going 26 for 29 over the last 8 games (89.7%) raising their season total to 80.3% (16th). The Blue Jackets are at 79.1% (19th).

After tonight's game, the Preds will stay home to prepare for another rivalry game with the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. Columbus will reach the mid-point of their five game road trip with a game in New York against the Rangers on Monday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass