Monday, January 31, 2011

Predators Trainer Dan Redmond Wins State Award

The hardest working man in the Nashville Predators organization this year may be Trainer Dan Redmond. Today he received kudos for the work that he does by being named the Trainer of the Year by the Tennessee Athletic Trainer's Society.

Here is the full release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (January 31, 2011) – Nashville Predators Athletic Trainer Dan Redmond was named Professional Athletic Trainer of the Year by the Tennessee Athletic Trainers’ Society (TATS) at the organization’s annual meeting this week. Redmond has been with the Predators since their inaugural season (1998-99) and has been in the athletic training profession for 22 years.

“This award could not have been bestowed on a better person,” Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz said. “In the 20 years I have worked with Dan, he has exemplified professionalism and ethics to the highest standard. Dan’s work is a model for athletic training and the honor is well deserved.”

Redmond is a certified member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and has worked more than 1,600 professional hockey games. Prior to joining the Predators in July 1998, Redmond spent five seasons as the athletic trainer of the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League (where he worked with Trotz) and four seasons with the AHL's Baltimore Skipjacks. He also spent three years (1987-89) in the Cleveland Indians organization as the athletic trainer for their developmental clubs. He served two stints as a graduate assistant with Radnor High School (Radnor, Pa.) and Temple University Sports Medicine Center.

Redmond cites his most memorable professional moment as working in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Washington Capitals while working with their affiliate in Baltimore.

He resides in Lebanon, Tenn., with his wife, Barbara, daughter, Danielle and son, Sean.

The annual award is named after former Vanderbilt University athletic trainer Joe Worden and has been given annually since 1990 to the individual who best exemplifies the qualities that Worden demonstrated in career.

TATS, the state organization of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, is a non-profit organization compromised of over 300 athletic trainers across Tennessee. All of the members are nationally and state licensed health care providers recognized by the American Medical Association and regulated by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. For more information, visit

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Halischuk and Mueller Recalled from Milwaukee

As many expected, Matt Halichuk and Chris Mueller were recalled from Milwaukee after they were send down after the Predators game against Calgary last week. Both participated in a pair of game with Milwaukee over the weekend.

Additionally, Francis Bouillon who has a concussion per Jim Diamond and Marek Svatos have been placed on injured reserve.

Here is the release from the Predators...


- Team also places Francis Bouillon and Marek Svatos on Injured Reserve -

Nashville, Tenn. (January 31, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forwards Chris Mueller and Matt Halischuk from Milwaukee (AHL). The team has also placed defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Marek Svatos on Injured Reserve.

Halischuk, 22 (6/1/88), played his first five games as a Predator during the club’s six-game road trip just before the All-Star break, posting three points (1g-2a) and a +3 rating while logging 10:08 per game. The Toronto, Ont., native, acquired from New Jersey in the offseason, made his Nashville debut on Jan. 16 at Chicago, then recorded his first career two-point/assist performance at Phoenix two nights later. Halischuk then notched his first goal with the team on Jan. 20 in the Predators’ 5-1 victory at Colorado. The 6-0, 185-pound winger has 17 points (9g-8a) in 31 games for the Admirals in 2010-11.

Mueller, 24 (3/6/86), signed a one-year contract with the Predators on Dec. 27 and has played in 13 of the club’s 15 games since that date, posting three assists while averaging 8:31 of ice time. He notched his first career NHL point/assist on Jan. 16 at Chicago and recorded his first multi-point/assist outing the following game, a 5-2 victory at Phoenix. The West Seneca, N.Y., native ranks second on the Admirals in goals (13), and fourth in points (21) despite playing in only 35 of the team’s 47 games.

The Predators take to Bridgestone Arena ice for the first time in more than two weeks tomorrow night when they host the Calgary Flames at 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.9 FM The Buzz). The game is a Daily's Super Tuesday night with two upper level tickets for $42 or two lower level tickets for $92. There are also special $2 concession stands and a reduced $2 ticket service fee. In addition, Daily's is offering a $5 coupon good towards gas or merchandise to fans who purchase Super Tuesday tickets. Tickets may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-PUCK (7825) or online via

Off the ice, the Predators are gearing up for several key fundraising events. The inaugural Predators Foundation GnashVegas Casino Gala and Auction, presented by Grand Avenue Luxury Transport Services, takes place on Thursday, Feb. 10 over the ice at Bridgestone Arena and the Fangtastic 5k, presented by Action Nissan, which takes a winding tour through downtown Nashville, kicks off on Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. For more information on these and other off-ice happenings, visit

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Pekka Rinne Named NHL Third Star for January

Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators was named the NHL Third Star of the month for January. After being out twice this season for injuries, Rinne is finally hitting his stride and catapulted the Preds to fourth place in the Western Conference at the All-Star break.

Here is the full release from the NHL...


NEW YORK (January 31, 2011) -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the month of January.


Bergeron led all NHL scorers with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and posted a +13 rating in 14 games, helping the Bruins (28-15-7) hit the All-Star break first in the Northeast Division. Highlighting Bergeron's month was a streak of four consecutive games with multiple points, beginning with a pair of goals and +2 rating in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 8. He notched two assists and +2 rating in the Bruins' 4-2 comeback victory at Pittsburgh Jan. 10, a game which Boston trailed 2-0 with fewer than four minutes remaining. Bergeron recorded his first career NHL hat trick and a +4 rating in a 6-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 11 and tallied a goal and an assist in a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 13. The 25-year-old native of Ancienne-Lorette, Que. leads the Bruins in scoring with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 50 games.


Yandle also tallied 17 points, tallying three goals and 14 assists, and posted a +9 rating in 14 games as the Coyotes (25-17-9) went 8-4-2 in January, climbing to sixth place in the Western Conference. Yandle tallied points in 11 of 14 games, closing the month with a nine-game point streak -- the League's longest active streak at the All-Star break. He earned his first career selection to the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25. The 24-year-old Boston native leads the Coyotes and all NHL defensemen in scoring with 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in 51 games. He already has eclipsed his single-season career highs in assists and points and is on pace to surpass his career-high 12 goals set in 2009-10.


Rinne started 11 of the Predators' 13 games in January, tying for first in the NHL in wins (eight), ranking first in goals-against average (1.71) and second in save percentage (.947). He allowed just a single goal five times. Rinne kicked off 2011 by winning seven of his first eight games, four of which came on the road; the team played only three home games during January, a franchise low for home games in a month. He picked up two of three wins during Nashville’s second-ever sweep of California Jan. 5-8, making 40 and 42 saves in defeating Anaheim and San Jose, respectively. Two of Rinne’s eight wins came via shootout, where he hasn’t yielded a goal in three consecutive appearances. The Kempele, Finland native ranks second in the League in goals-against average (2.11) and save percentage (.929).

Here is a link to the release.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

A Mid-Season Look at My Preseason Predictions and Monday Musings

Now that the All-Star break is winding down and teams are reuniting and returning to practice today, this is a good time to take a look back at my preseason predictions to see hits and misses at roughly the 50 game mark of the season.

There have been major disparities in games played up until this point but the gap has narrowed now with the Rangers, Thrashers and Ducks have the least games left with 30 and ten teams have 33 games left, and everyone else in between.

Here are my preseason predictions along with the current standings in parentheses and thoughts at the All-Star break.

Western Conference...

1. Detroit (2) The Red Wings have performed about as expected but have been hit with a rash of injuries again this season including to both Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood. They will still win the Central and be in the top three at the end.

2. Vancouver (1) The Canucks have really been on a roll since the first of December and stormed to the top of the West. Roberto Luongo hasn’t lost in regulation since December 5. They should easily win the Northwest and most likely compete for the President’s Trophy.

3. Los Angeles (11) My darling team of the preseason has not performed as expected and are facing a long string of road games in February. I still think there is too much talent not to make the playoffs.

4. San Jose (8) The Sharks have mucked along for most of the season and the only consistency they have shown is that of mediocrity. Again, I find it hard to imagine that they will not make the top eight in the end.

5. Nashville (4) The Predators have surpassed most folk’s expectations to this point, especially considering the loss on numerous key players to injury. Their call-ups from the AHL are a testimony to their number one prospects ranking. I am not surprised with their standing but find it hard to believe that they have lost most of their games in two five game losing streaks, a four gamer, and the current two game slide.

6. Chicago (7) The Hawks have performed about as expected and have made the transition from Marty Turco to Cory Crawford as their leader in goal. They should battle the Preds for second in the Central as the season winds down.

7. Phoenix (6) Ilya Bryzgalov has carried the Coyotes again this year and the team has played well in the competitive Pacific Division and Keith Yandle has turned into a scoring machine and was a deserved late addition to the All-Star game.

8. St. Louis (13) The Blues have struggled with injuries to key players and have not done well with replacements from their farm system. Jaroslav Halak has been the key to keeping them in range of a playoff spot. It will be interesting to see if they make a run as players return.

9. Colorado (9) The Avs are right where I projected them at this point. The youngsters have played well and a return of Peter Forsberg could really be an asset in their development. At this point, I think they have a better than 50% chance to make the playoffs.

10. Calgary (12) The Flames have made an incredible 6-1-3 run leading up to the break and are a total surprise after I had declared them the second most mismanaged team in the NHL a month into the season.

11. Anaheim (5) Last year I picked the Ducks to win the West and I think my preseason pick of eleventh showed a bit of bitterness from my big miss before. Even though they are currently in fifth, I think they have less than a 50% chance of the playoffs.

12. Edmonton (15) I overestimated the ability of the young core to win games for the Oilers. Their goaltending has been horrible, giving up a league worst 168 goals.

13. Minnesota (10) The Wild have also been a surprise but I don’t see them making the top eight. Jose Theodore was a great off season pick up.

14. Dallas (3) What can I say? I thought they has nothing to offer. Kari Lehtonen has been healthy for the second season in his career and has lived up to the potential everyone has always expected. I think it is 50-50 on them wining the Pacific but they will make the playoffs.

15. Columbus (14) The Jackets are about I as expected. They are consistent, being very average on the road as well as at home. They may play better down the stretch but will be sellers at the trade deadline, once again.

Eastern Conference and Finals Predictions...

1. Washington (5) After charging out of the gate at the start of the season, the Capitals have come back to the pack and are four points out of the Southeast Division lead. Surprisingly, I think Tampa may hold on to the lead at the end of the season.

2. Pittsburgh (4) The Penguins have weathered the storm of injuries and should be getting back into form as Sidney Crosby appears ready to return. I think they have at least a 50% chance of getting past the Flyers for the Atlantic title.

3. Boston (3) The Bruins have been playing well and have the second best road record in the league. In spite of the injury to Mark Savard, they should be able to hold on to the Northeast lead as they will get little pressure from the rear.

4. Philadelphia (1) The Flyers remain solid this year and show no signs of a Stanley Cup hangover. No one could have imagined that Segei Bobrowsky would have had the rookie year that he has had. I still feel that they have a cool spell coming that could allow the Penguins to pass them.

5. New Jersey (15) Along with Dallas, this was my huge miss of the year. I didn’t expect the team to challenge for the division lead after the Kovalchuk fiasco, but I never expected them to be last in the league. They wave shown a resurgence lately so 12th or 13th is not out of their range by year’s end.

6. Buffalo (10) I expected more out of the Sabres and they still may be able to make a run down the stretch and get back in the top eight. They will need better defense and Ryan Miller to play lights out for that to happen.

7. Tampa Bay (2) I expected a major improvement this year and felt sure that the Lightning would make the playoffs but they have really gelled and become a force in the Eastern Conference. The addition of Roloson may be the move that carries them deep into the playoffs.

8. Ottawa (13) The Sens were a minor miss for me. I thought they would sneak into the playoffs but I was wrong. They seem to be getting worse and will be big sellers at the trade deadline.

9. Montreal (7) The Habs have done a little better than I expected, primarily due to Carey Price playing much better than anticipated. I still will be surprised if they make the playoffs at season’s end.

10. Toronto (12) I keep waiting for Brian Burke’s magic to kick in but it won’t be this year. Look for a flurry of activity at the trade deadline as the Leafs try to continue to build for the future.

11. Atlanta (8) The Thrashers are a difficult team to figure. I think they will be around the eighth position going forward but I don’t think they will be in the playoffs at the end of the season.

12. New York Rangers (6) Every year, I look at the Rangers on paper and see a very mediocre team but they always seem to do better than expected. I still believe it will come down to the end for them to try to sneak in the playoffs.

13. Carolina (9) I had high hopes for the Hurricanes last season and they let me down. This year they have played much better and have gotten a huge shot in the arm from Jeff Skinner. If they can figure out how to score more consistently and Cam Ward plays well, I would think they have at least a 50% chance of the top eight.

14. New York Islanders (14) The Islanders are in grave danger to being buried in 15th place once again. Everything possible has gone wrong for them again this year. The good news is that they will get another top pick to add to their stable of young talent.

15. Florida (11) The Panthers have been better than expected this year and I’m not exactly sure why that is. I expect that they will slip a bit as the season winds down and will be sellers at the trade deadline.

As for the playoffs, This is what I said in the pre-season.

In the West, I see first round winners being the Wings, Canucks, Kings and Predators. The Kings will exorcise demons and move on to defeat the Predators in the finals.

In the East, the Caps, Pens, Bruins and Flyers will advance to the second round. The Pens and Caps will meet in the finals to help the league in their negotiations with NBC and the Pens will reign.

In the Stanley Cup Finals, we will see Sidney Crosby end any speculation about who the best player in hockey is as the Penguins will beat the Kings in a fun series to watch.

I'll stick with that at this point and acknowledge that the Kings are a long shot to go deep at this point. We will see how things develop between now and June.

All Star Game...

We would like to thank Ryan Porth of RLD Hockey for our complete POTG All-Star Weekend coverage. Check out more from Ryan at RLD Hockey. His latest is the top five plays of the weekend.

Amanda DiPaolo and Jeremy Gover were also in Raleigh over the weekend and also have plenty of coverage. Jeremy has an AS edition of the 303:30.

Gary Bettman gave his "State of the Game" speech in Raleigh on Saturday. Aaron Wood has the complete transcript.

Dirk Hoag hs his take on the live Guardians at the All-Star game.

In Pred Nation...

The Predators return to the ice this afternoon at 2:00 at the Bridgestone Arena.

The best news on the Predator front this weekend came from AJ at PMFF who ran into Jordin Tootoo who indicated that he would "be back soon."

Ryan Porth looks at the elephant in the living room that everyone wants to ignore... re-signing Shea Weber. His big game in Raleigh just upped his value.

Amanda DiPaolo has the story of Nashville being voted the most under-rated team by the NHLPA. Here is the complete poll.

Brandon Felder returns after a long absence with a look at the Preds at mid-season.

Jas Faulkner has her weekly greetings from Smashville. She also reveals the truth abut Shea Weber and a few other all-stars.

On the Forecheck opens voting on the play of the month for January.

Rachel at What the Puck has come out of hiding.

Patten Fuqua has the story on Linus Klasen stealing the show at the AHL skills contest.

The Milwaukee Admirals had a big weekend with a blowout on Friday and Roman Josi scoring a game winner in OT on Saturday. Blake Geoffrion may have come of age in the process with 4 goals and 2 assists for the weekend.

Hockey's future looks at the Predators 2006 draft which may be filled with late bloomers. Blake Geoffrion, Mark Dekanich and Ryan Flynn all went the college route which generally is slower to send players to the NHL.

Last but not least is Mark Willoughby's weekly My View.

Around the NHL...

Ryan Porth looked at what the standings would look like at the break with an Olympic format point system.

It just never ends on the Coyotes sale front. The NHL confirms that there are not troubles in how the sale is proceeding. Here is an audio clip of Bill Daly dispelling the rumors. Gary Bettman has his discussion on the topic too.

David Shoalts shoots at a different target for relocation, the Atlanta Thrashers.

Rob Blake has joined the NHL hockey ops department. They really seem to be loading up on ex-players before the upcoming NHLPA negotiations.

This would never happen in the USA. A curling match delayed the CBC coverage of the all-star game.

Odds and Ends...

I am growing impatient waiting for a Netflix app for the Droid. It may be available soon but it sounds like only initially for phones running Snapdragon.

This may be the stupidest lawsuit ever. A woman has sued Diddy for a trillion dollars for being responsible for the World Trade Center attacks and fathering her child.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Team Lidstrom beats Team Staal, 11-10

For Team Lidstrom, it wasn’t how they started periods – it’s how they finished them. The men in blue watched Team Staal begin each period with a goal, only to have a response every time.

Nicklas Lidstrom and company wrapped up an 11-10 victory at RBC Center in the 58th NHL All-Star Game, hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes. Patrick Sharp took home the game MVP (and a car) with his spectacular three-point performance.

Team Staal didn’t waste any time to please the home crowd. Alex Ovechkin scored the icebreaker just 50 seconds into the game when his backdoor feed was re-directed into the net before reaching Daniel Sedin.

Sharp stole the show for the next three minutes, tallying two primary assists to put Team Staal up 4-0. Sharp found Paul Stastny for a one-timer at 2:48 and, then he picked up the assist with a saucer pass to Claude Giroux, who deposited a back-hander at 5:41. Patrik Elias also scored for Team Staal (Sharp had an assist taken away).

Then the ‘home’ team showed that 4-0 is the ‘worst lead’ in an All-Star Game (kidding).

Team Lidstrom responded quickly with four goals of their own. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Byfuglien scored a couple nice goals to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. Dallas’ Loui Eriksson capitalized on a Kris Letang turnover to bring Team Lidstrom within one.

Matt Duchene tied the game at four on a slick breakaway goal, going top-shelf on Cam Ward at 16:30 courtesy of a great pass from Lidstrom.

Marc-Andre Fleury responded to some heckling from the Carolina fans with two great saves late in the period to keep the game tied.

Team Staal once again flew out of the gates to start the period. Sharp collected his fourth point with his goal at 1:18, assisted by Giroux. Kris Letang extended their lead to 6-4 with a wicked wrister from the slot five minutes later.

However, Team Lidstrom responded to score three goals to finish the period. Kopitar slammed home the team’s fifth goal of the night at 10:50 after trading multiple passes with Eriksson. There wasn’t much room on Carey Price’s short-side, but Steven Stamkos found it to tie the game at 14:11. Danny Briere gave Team Lidstrom the lead heading into the third when he beat Price glove-side with 4:29 remaining in the period.

Eric Staal scored his first of two goals at the 3:49 mark of the third, tying the game at seven. After Duchene missed on a penalty shot opportunity, Letang gave Team Staal the 8-7 lead with 11:14 to go in the game. Once again, Team Lidstrom fired back.

Briere and Henrik Sedin combined on a beautiful goal at 9:57 to tie it up again, followed by a slick goal by Jonathan Toews 48 seconds later to put Team Lidstrom up 9-8. Martin St. Louis extended their lead to two goals as his back-hander trickled over Henrik Lundqvist and across the line.

Team Staal didn’t go down without a fight, though. Rick Nash’s point-blank shot found the back of the net with 4:49 remaining; the goal was setup by a great pass from Corey Perry.

Eriksson seemed to put the game away with his empty net tally with 1:11 to go. However, Staal gave the crowd more the cheer for as he snuck one five-hole on Tim Thomas. They couldn’t send the game to overtime, however, and Team Lidstrom walked away with an 11-10 victory.

Team Staal held the advantage in shots, 46-45

Team Lidstrom was led by Kopitar, Briere and Eriksson, who scored two goals each. Staal and Letang also scored twice for Team Staal.

Carolina’s Jeff Skinner was given plenty of chances to score in front of his home fans, but he came up short on a few golden opportunities.

More to come from Raleigh…

Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

All-Star Game Preview

58th NHL All-Star Game
Team Lidstrom vs. Team Staal
4:00 ET… TV: Versus, CBC

Five intriguing storylines

Team Lidstrom-
Tim Thomas (2010/11 stats: 24-5-6, 1.81 GAA)
Marc-Andre Fleury (2010/11 stats: 23-11-2, 2.19 GAA)
Jonas Hiller (2010/11 stats: 25-16-3, 2.50 GAA)
Team Staal-
Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 21-16-3, 2.29 GAA)
Cam Ward (2010/11 stats: 22-15-5, 2.70 GAA)
Carey Price (2010/11 stats: 24-16-5, 2.36 GAA)

Players to watch:
TL- Brad Richards
Richards is a quiet MVP candidate and could either play alongside old buddy Martin St. Louis or teammate Loui Eriksson.
TS- Alex Ovechkin
We all know ‘Ovie’ is a showman – so this kind of event is one that he could really shine in.

Game Thoughts:
If today’s game is as much fun as the last nights have been fun, this should exceed expectations. This All-Star Weekend has been a lot of fun, more than in past events like this. Team Lidstrom has the better roster; but as we saw last night, Team Staal has the decisive home-ice advantage. They’ll be looking for the sweep today after dominating the skills competition. I don’t see it being as high scoring as other games in the past… but I do see Team Lidstrom hitting double digits and overcoming the crowd.

Prediction: Team Lidstrom 10, Team Staal 7
Game MVP Pick: Matt Duchene (2 G, 1 A)

Video of the Day:

More to come from Raleigh...
Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

SuperSkills Quick Summary

Team Staal: 33
Team Lidstrom: 22

Fastest Skater
- Michael Grabner recorded the two fastest times: 14.061 and 14.238.
- Cam Ward beat Tim Thomas in the head-to-head goalie race as Thomas fell down.
- Kris Letang barely beat out Duncan Keith in the backwards race.
- Team Staal led Team Lidstrom 5-3 after the first round.

Breakaway Challenge
- Alex Ovechkin won the challenge with a goal from his knees and deked around Marc-Andre Fleury, who was lying down on his side nonchalantly.
- P.K. Subban came in second despite not scoring a goal. He energized the crowd by putting on Jeff Skinner’s jersey.
- Loui Eriksson had a nice goal where he wrapped around the net twice before deking out Carey Price.
- Corey Perry also showed off some skills, doing a few tricks with the puck on his stick.
- There were only three goals on 23 attempts.

Accuracy Shooting
- Daniel Sedin became the fourth player to nail all four targets in four attempts. In his next round (worth two points, not one), he hit four of five.
- One the third round, Jonathan Toews did not hear the whistle to go and Patrick Sharp won. The ‘officials’ rewarded a do over and Toews ended up winning, not leaving the crowd too happy.

Skills Challenge Relay
- Two groups from each team participated in the new event. Team Lidstrom came out on top, with the fastest time of 2:09, courtesy of Toews’ rapid fire target shooting.
- I thought this new event was pretty cool. It had a lot of different aspects – one-timers, passing, stick-handling, shooting – and was something refreshing. The passing was fun to watch, including saucer passes.

Hardest Shot
- Zdeno Chara broke his own record with a 105.9 mph slapshot in the final round. He also touched 105 mph.
- Shea Weber was the leader in the clubhouse when he registered a 104.8 mph slapper on his second shot.
- Alex Ovechkin broke his stick on his second shot, had a couple shots that didn’t register on the radar gun, and then tripped over a loose camera cord.
- Rick Nash brought up the rear with an 88.5 mph ‘rocket’.

Elimination Shootout
- Corey Perry won the shootout with three goals; he beat out Martin St. Louis, who had a couple nice backwards moves.
- Henrik Lundqvist and Fleury were stout in net, stopping 10 of 11 shots they faced.
- Eric Staal made the hometown crowd happy with a goal to complete the first round of shooters, but failed on his second attempt.

More to come from Raleigh...

Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SuperSkills Participants

Tonight's SuperSkills competition is one my favorite annual events. Everyone's skills are on display and the event is a lot of fun. Below is a list of participants, courtesy of The festivities begin at 6 pm et with a mascot game! The SuperSkills competition begins at 7 pm et.

NHL Fastest Skater
Team Staal
Michael Grabner, Islanders
Mike Green, Capitals
Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler, Canucks
Marc Staal, Rangers
Kris Letang, Penguins
Team Lidstrom
Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
Taylor Hall, Oilers
Matt Duchene, Avalanche
Martin St. Louis, Lightning
Steven Stamkos, Lightning
Keith Yandle, Coyotes

NHL Breakaway Challenge
Team Staal
P.K. Subban, Canadiens
Corey Perry, Ducks
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Team Lidstrom
Evgeny Dadonov, Panthers
Anze Kopitar, Kings
Henrik Sedin, Canucks

NHL Accuracy Shooting
Team Staal
Rick Nash, Blue Jackets
Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Eric Staal, Hurricanes
Logan Couture, Sharks
Patrik Elias, Devils
Ryan Kesler, Canucks
Passer: Dan Boyle, Sharks
Passer: Paul Stastny, Avalanche
Team Lidstrom
Brad Richards, Stars
Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks
Martin Havlat, Wild
Derek Stepan, Rangers
Passer: Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings
Passer: Danny Briere, Flyers

NHL Skills Challenge Relay
Team Staal
Group 1
Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Eric Staal, Hurricanes
Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Erik Karlsson, Senators
Dan Boyle, Sharks
Tyler Ennis, Sabres
Paul Stastny, Avalanche
Corey Perry, Ducks
Group 2
Kris Letang, Penguins
Mike Green, Capitals
Claude Giroux, Flyers
Patrik Elias, Devils
Jamie McBain, Hurricanes
David Backes, Blues
Marc Staal, Rangers
Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes
Team Lidstrom
Group 1
Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings
Brad Richards, Stars
Loui Eriksson, Stars
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes
Henrik Sedin, Canucks
Martin St. Louis, Lightning
Matt Duchene, Avalanche
Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks
Group 2
Shea Weber, Predators
Dustin Byfuglien, Thrashers
Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs
Keith Yandle, Coyotes
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
Martin Havlat, Wild
Kevin Shattenkirk, Avalanche
Danny Briere, Flyers

NHL Hardest Shot
Team Staal
Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
David Backes, Blues
Tyler Seguin, Bruins
Rick Nash, Blue Jackets
Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks
Team Lidstrom
Anze Kopitar, Kings
Steven Stamkos, Lightning
Dustin Byfuglien, Thrashers
Brent Burns, Wild
Shea Weber, Predators
Cam Fowler, Ducks

NHL Elimination Shootout
The battle between Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will be decided as all of the All-Stars and Rookies compete in the NHL Elimination Shootout. Shooters who score will move on to the next round in the shootout, with the All-Star goalies rotating after every third shooter. Rounds of the shootout will continue until only one player scores and the other(s) don't; the last scoring shooter wins.

For more info, check out

More to come from Raleigh...

Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

All-Star Fantasy Draft Recap

Suffice to say, the draft lived up to expectations tonight. The event didn’t drag out like regular drafts in every sport. In fact, it didn’t even have a draft-like setup; it looked more like a game show than anything.

Here are the results of the draft with some thoughts from different players, along with my quick opinion of how the rosters shaped out.

Team Staal
Eric Staal (C)
Ryan Kesler (A)
Mike Green (A)

1. Cam Ward, G
2. Alex Ovechkin, F
3. Daniel Sedin, F
4. Zdeno Chara, D
5. Rick Nash, F
6. Henrik Lundqvist, G
7. Marc Staal, D
8. Patrick Sharp, F
9. Dan Boyle, D
10. Carey Price, G
11. Jeff Skinner, F
12. Kris Letang, D
13. Claude Giroux, F
14. Erik Karlsson, D
15. Corey Perry, F
16. Patrik Elias, F
17. David Backes, F
18. Paul Stastny, F

Team Lidstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom (C)
Martin St. Louis (A)
Patrick Kane (A)

1. Steven Stamkos, F
2. Duncan Keith, D
3. Henrik Sedin, F
4. Shea Weber, D
5. Tim Thomas, G
6. Danny Briere, F
7. Dustin Byfuglien, D
8. Jonathan Toews, F
9. Marc-Andre Fleury, G
10. Jonas Hiller, G
11. Brad Richards, F
12. Keith Yandle, D
13. Brent Burns, D
14. Martin Havlat, F
15. Anze Kopitar, F
16. Matt Duchene, F
17. Loui Eriksson, F
18. Phil Kessel, F

Post-Draft Observations:
- Team Lidstrom has the talent, but Team Staal has the crowd behind them, which will make for a very interesting weekend between the Skills Competition and All-Star Game.
- When you look closer at Team Lidstrom, they have some previous chemistry. Stamkos and St. Louis are obviously together, but St. Louis also played with Richards for a handful of years in Tampa. Martin Havlat could be re-united with Kane and Toews. Also, Keith and Weber played together sparingly with Team Canada last winter.
- The thing that really gets to me about Team Lidstrom is how they were able to draft Kopitar and Duchene in the 15th and 16th rounds, respectively.
- Team Staal isn’t bad, but it felt like Eric was almost obligated to get all of his Hurricanes teammates and his brother, especially early on. Giroux and Perry were nice late-round steals, though.
- The Sedins were not drafted to the same team, which will make it the first time ever that they play against each other.
- One of the funniest moments was when Eric Staal said into the mic: ‘With the sixth pick, from the New York Rangers… Henrik Lundqvist.’ I think once he said New York, everyone expected it to be his brother Marc.
- Poor Kessel. By around Round 15, you had the feeling that he could be the last pick. Well, he turned out to be Mr. Irrelevant. Hey, at least he got a car!

Post-Draft Quotes:
Marc Staal on the event…
“There were a lot of questions going in and I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was well-run. It was actually a little nerve-racking sitting down there waiting to be picked – more than you’d think.”

Marc Staal on being picked after Lundqvist…
“That probably pissed me off more than sitting there longer! (Laughs)… It was funny and it was a good pick by him.”

Marc Staal on playing with Eric…
“We’re going to have to (talk) now. We’re teammates – we have to get along!”

Shea Weber on the ‘awesomeness’ of Team Lidstrom…
“Obviously, both teams have great teams. It’s going to be an exciting and fun time this weekend.”

Shea Weber on playing with a few Blackhawks…
“It’s a totally different situation being here. Obviously during the season they are a heated rival of ours and the games are always intense. But here, we’re here to have a good time and have some fun.”

Nicklas Lidstrom on picking Weber…
“We all liked him, we know what he brings to the table and how good of a player he is. It wasn’t really hard for us to pick Shea that high.”

Nicklas Lidstrom on line combinations…
“I’m sure the coaching staff will do some of that – they have to do some work, too! But I like the team we put together.”

Patrik Elias on the event…
“I kind of wanted to go three rounds later (laughs). At that point I at least could have gotten a car maybe – get it for charity and do something nice.”

Patrik Elias on the teams…
“I think both teams did a good job with balance. The way it’s setup, it should be a good game and good skills competition. I’m glad we got Chara on our team!”

More to come from Raleigh…

Ryan Porth for Preds On The Glass

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hello From Santa Fe New Mexico

I'm on the road again for the weekend. That guarantees another Travelogue will be on the way soon. Ryan Porth will pe providing coverage of the All-Star Weekend festivities from Raleigh starting later today and throughout the weekend.

I woke up this morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico and will be hiking at Chaco Culture today and Acoma Sky City tomorrow and will be home Sunday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Predators Reassign Halischuk and Mueller to Milwaukee

The Nashville Predators have reassigned Matt Halischuk and Chris Mueller to the Milwaukee Admirals.

The Ads have two games remaining before their all-star break and are in a dogfight for in the AHL's Western Conference so this is a matter of bolstering their chances than a reflection on the players performances.

Both Halischuk and Mueller were impressive in their stay with the Preds and will probably see more NHL action later in the year as the need arises.

Here is the full release from the Predators...

Preds Reassign Halischuk & Mueller to AHL

Nashville, Tenn. (January 27, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has assigned forward Chris Mueller, and reassigned forward Matt Halischuk (mat HUH-lihs-chuhk) to Milwaukee (AHL).

Halischuk, 22 (6/1/88), played his first five games as a Predator during the club’s just completed six-game road trip, posting three points (1g-2a) and a +3 rating while logging 10:08 per game. The Toronto, Ont., native, acquired from New Jersey in the offseason, made his Nashville debut on Jan. 16 at Chicago, then recorded his first goal with the team at Phoenix two nights later. Halischuk notched his first career two-point/assist performance last Thursday in the Predators’ 5-1 victory at Colorado. The 6-0, 185-pound winger has 16 points (9g-7a) in 29 games for the Admirals in 2010-11.

Mueller, 24 (3/6/86), signed a one-year contract with the Predators on Dec. 27 and has played in 13 of the club’s 15 games since that date, posting three assists while averaging 8:31 of ice time. He notched his first career NHL point/assist on Jan. 16 at Chicago and recorded his first multi-point/assist outing the next game, a 5-2 victory at Phoenix. The West Seneca, N.Y., native returns to Milwaukee where he is ranked second on the team in goals (12), and third in points (20).

The Predators now enjoy a five-day break from the rink while captain Shea Weber represents the team in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game this weekend in Raleigh, N.C. All-Star Weekend festivities begin with the first-ever NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. CT and continue with the Honda SuperSkills Competition on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. The weekend concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, Jan. 30. Live television coverage of all three nights will be provided by VERSUS.

Off the ice, the Predators are gearing up for several key fundraising events. The inaugural Predators Foundation GnashVegas Casino Gala and Auction, presented by Grand Avenue Luxury Transport Services, takes place on Thursday, Feb. 10 over the ice at Bridgestone Arena and the Fangtastic 5k, presented by Action Nissan, which takes a winding tour through downtown Nashville, kicks off on Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. For more information on these and other off-ice happenings, visit

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Lose But Still in Good Shape Heading into the All-Star Break and Thursday Thoughts

Predator fans and players would have loved to have gone 6-0 on the Predators' road trip that ended the pre-all-star game portion of the schedule. The fact remains that 3-3 on a 10 day trip with quality opposition in the Western Conference is a successful venture.

It is amazing that the Predators remain in fourth place in the West after a January that had only three home games and considering the tightness of the race from fourth though fourteenth, where only nine points separate eleven teams. Nashville was 9-4 for the month.

In the preseason, if you were told that the Preds would be in their current position at this point, I doubt many folks would have asked for more.

After the break, the schedule tilts in the Predators' favor with 21 of the remaining 32 games being played at Bridgestone Arena. There will be two or three home games a week from now until April so fans need to rest up over the next few days and be ready for the stretch drive.

Shea Weber is the only Predator participant in the All-Star festivities but the Preds' "Bloggers Row" will he heavily represented with Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, and Jeremy Gover in attendance.

I am heading for New Mexico for the weekend and leaving the duties of POTG in the hands of our special on-site correspondent, Ryan Porth. He will do a great job manning the fort in my absence.

Predators - Canucks Wrap-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and a special 100th edition of postgame ponderings.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

The winning side of the game comes from The Province, Vancouver Sun, Nucks Misconduct, Kurtenblog, The Canucks Way, and Canucks Hockey Blog.

In Pred Nation...

Puck Daddy gets in on the "Shea Weber leaving" chain of stories.

Dan Bradley checks in on the great one on his birthday.

The Province had a video of Shane O'Brien after yesterday's morning skate. Someone needs to show him where Tootsies is so that he can be true promoter of the city of Nashville. They also had a feature on former Canuck, Brent Peterson.

Paul McCann's SlapShot Radio featured XM Home Ice's Mike Ross and Ryan Porth and Jeremy Gover on last night's show. The podcast is up now. Paul also had a few comments about the NHLPA's decision to hire Richard Rodier.

Around the NHL...

Jeff Skinner moved from the rookie skills contest to the main squad for the All-star game, giving Carolina a third player in the game. Skinner will be the youngest to play in the All-Star game under a pure stars format (not the world champs as in the old days).

Puck Daddy has more additions with Paul Stasyny being added to the draft and P. K. Subban and Jamie McBain being added to the rookie crop.

NHL Network announced their plans for the All-Star weekend. Steve Lapore has the details.

Chris Botta reports that Dough Weight may be moving into the Islanders front office next season.

No rest over the all-star break for five Rangers who are getting sent down to Connecticut.

John Forslund, the Carolina Canes TV man, will have plenty of duties during All-Star weekend.

Kingscast celebrates two wins in a row in Episode 88.

Adrian Dater may not be able to watch the All-Star game due to a sinus infection.

The rumors about the Coyote sale will never end. They are still hoping in Winnipeg.

A year ago today, Vancouver set out on their 46 day road trip.

Intent to Blow has the story of Kyle Wellwood being upset that the #wellwoodissothing meme has not taken off.

Odds and Ends...

Overlooked with all the recent news about a surfer being injured is the fact that this year's Mavericks event will include the best line-up ever including 10 time World Champ, Kelly Slater.

Social Media accounts are now contestable in court since they have alleged value.

The New York Times has a "hangover" room for it's employees. Many years ago, when I worked at Safeco, they had a "sick" room that served the same purpose. I think a "power nap" room should be required of all workplaces.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Canucks, Behind Rookie Sweatt, Beat the Predators 2-1

Rookie, Lee Sweatt, playing his first NHL game, scored the game winning goal in the third period to give the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 come from behind victory over the Nashville Predators.

All the scoring took place in the final period after two periods of defensive scoreless hockey. Shea Weber scored first for the Preds and Alexander Burrows tied the game before Sweatt gave the Canucks the victory on his first NHL goal.

It was a classic match between two of the best goalies in the Western Conference for two periods with neither team able to score. Roberto Luongo got the win stopping 26 of 27 shots. Pekka Rinne played well, allowing only two goals on 35 Vancouver shots.

Vancouver improved their home record to 17-3-5 while Luongo extended his point streak to 17 games going 12-0-5 since December fifth.

The Canucks are now tied with Philadelphia with 71 points for the best record in the league. The Predators finished their road trip 3-3 and remain in fourth place in the Western Conference with 60 points.

The first period was very competitive with both team's aggressive defense creating penalties accounting for half of the period involving special team play. The Canucks were whistled for three infractions while the Preds took two.

The Predators led in shots 12-4 and also in the Corsi 17-12. The Predators had a couple of excellent scoring chances late in the period but could not convert.

The second period was more of the same intense end to end action but the tide appeared to be turning in the Canuck's favor. Vancouver picked up a pair of penalties while the Preds only had one, but the Canucks had several scoring chances on their man advantage.

The Canucks were more wide open in the second, out shooting the Preds 14-8 and leading the Corsi 24-16.

The final period was an offensive explosion compared to the first two. Weber scored his ninth goal of the season to give the Preds a 1-0 lead at 37 seconds on a second chance goal from the slot after Luongo went down and opened up the top of the net.

Burrows came back to tie the game 1-1 at 10:39 on a rebound shot in the crease after defensive confusion in front of the net.

The go ahead goal came from Sweatt at 12:31 after Joel Ward fell at the blue line and Daniel Sedin recovered the puck and sent it to Sweatt who had an open shot on Rinne from the right circle.

In the final period Vancouver out shot Nashville 17-7 and led the Corsi 14 - 9.

The Predators charter returned to Nashville on a red-eye flight immediately after the game. Shea Weber headed to Raleigh for the All-Star game while the rest of the team had other plans before reconvening in Nashville on Monday for an afternoon practice on Monday.

Nashville's next game is at the Bridgestone Arena against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators Face Challenge in Vancouver and Wednesday Wrap-Up

The Nashville Predators (27-16-6) awake this morning in Vancouver ready to have a showdown with the Canucks (30-10-9) tonight at the Rogers Arena at 9 p.m. Central.

The Preds and Canucks have not met this year. Last season the teams split the series, each winning a game at home and on the road. The Preds are 5-5 at the Rogers Arena in the last five years going 1-1 there each year.

This will be the first meeting for Dan Hamhuis and Shane O'Brien against their former teams. It is also a home game of sorts for Shea Weber, Cody Franson and several other Predators who hail from Western Canada.

The Predators are 10-3 in the last 13 games including winning seven of ten on the row. Monday's game against Calgary was the first time that the Preds had been held to less than two goals since December 26. The Predators are 3-2 on the current road trip that is on the tenth and final day. Vancouver is 4-2-4 in their last ten games.

Tonight's contest will feature two of the best goalies in the Western Conference. Pekka Rinne (17-12-4) is second in the NHL in GAA (2.11) as well as save percentage (.928). Roberto Luongo (22-8-7, 2.31, .923) has not been beaten in regulation since December 5 and is 11-0-5 during that run.

While Shea Weber leads the Preds offense with 29 points, the Canucks have four players with more than 30 points including the twins Henrik (61) and Daniel (63) Sedin. Ryan Kesler is tied for the team lead in goals at 27 with Daniel.

Vancouver is averaging 3.3 goals a game while the Preds average 2.6. Both teams allow 2.3 goals to their opponents. Vancouver is second (23.9%) in the league on the power play while the Preds are 27th (14.2%). On the penalty kill the Preds are fourth (84.9%) and the Canucks are seventh (83.9%).

A win tonight is not a make or break situation for either team but would be a nice send off heading into the long weekend. For the Canucks, it would place them in a tie with Philadelphia for the most points in the league. A win for the Preds would cap off a successful road trip and potentially put them within two points of the Central Division leading Detroit Red Wings.

After the game, Shea Weber will make a bee-line to Raleigh for this weekend's All-Star festivities while the rest of the Predators will scatter in every direction before reconvening in Nashville for a Monday afternoon practice.

Other Predator previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, The Tennessean, David Boclair, and

Previews from Vancouver can be found at The Province, Vancouver Sun, Nucks Misconduct, Kurtenblog, The Canucks Way, and Canucks Hockey Blog.

Ryan Porth will features the Preds-Nucks match-up as his game of the week.

Programming Note...

I was co-host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio yesterday with Craig Custance of the Sporting News. It was a great half hour with a wide range of topics from throughout the NHL. The show ended with Ryan and doing our own draft of all-stars. I'll put my starting line-up of Ovechkin, Toews, Kane, Lidstrom, Byfuglien and Thomas against anyone else s' anytime.

Listen to internet radio with Ryan Porth on Blog Talk Radio

In Pred Nation...

Chris Burton has a level-headed analysis of the "Shea Weber is leaving" rumors that always pop up when the Preds head to Canada. Here is the original Ed Wiles story from The Province that inspired Chris' piece. Robby at Hockey Night in Nashville also comments on the story.

Josh Cooper writes about the new SOB and his return to Vancouver. Josh had notes this morning including Marik Svatos having knee surgery. Who saw that coming?

Ryan Porth and Jeremy Gover will be guests on Paul McCann's SlapShot Radio tonight at 6 p.m. XM Home Ice's Mike Ross will also be featured.

Section 303 has news of Preds prospect Anthony Bitetto being named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week.

Dirk Hoag let's us know that Colin Wilson's slick goal against Colorado made the week's top ten as it should have.

Puck Report marks the ten year anniversary of Steve Sullivan's famous fan taunting episode.

W. Brett Wilson has an updated website that says that he is "close to the goal line" on becoming a Predator owner.

The weekly Milwaukee update is up at The Ads are second in the AHL West which is as tightly bunched as the NHL West.

Around the NHL...

Wayne Gretzky hits the big 50 today and Chris Johnston looks at his career. Amazingly, only one of his records has been broken since his retirement in 1999.

It is now official that Evgini Malkin is out of the All-Star game. Others that have pulled out include Sidney Crosby, Ales Hemsky, Jarome Iginla, Tobias Enstrom, and Jordan Eberle. Martin Havlat was added to the squad on Tuesday. A leak late yesterday also indicated that Keith Yandle will also join the team.

Team Dater and Team Russo square off in their own all-star fantasy draft.

Adrian Dater is almost giddy with the return of Peter Forsberg. Here is the latest video from Denver. Dater also plays out all the scenarios of what could happen in the coming weeks.

Justin Bourne looks at fighters versus hitters in the current NHL.

Darren Eliot looks at the neutral zone "sludge" as the league slips back toward the pre-lockout slow down in the center ice area.

Ryan Porth takes a look at the Calder race that has a crop of quality candidates.

Nick Cotsonika takes a look at rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky who is 20-6-3 and has backstopping the Flyers to the most points in the league this year.

This is an odd story where former prospect Jason Bailey is suing the Anaheim Ducks for anti-Semitic slurs.

Intent to Blow has the true story of why Evgeni Nabokov refuses to report to the Islanders.

Odds and Ends...

Here's an eyewitness report and video of the accident at Mavericks on Saturday. Jacob Trette is now alert and recovering.

The Oscar nominations are out and the top ten is an impressive bunch. I really liked six of them and want to see the other four.

Google and Apple are kicking Blackberry's butt. I really hate it for Jim Balsillie... not! It would not have been pretty had he gained control of the Coyotes, moved them to Hamilton, and then ran out of money.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Hockey Gods Even Things Up in Calgary and Tuesday Tidbits

There should be no reason for hand-wringing amongst the Predator faithful after last night's 3-1 loss to Calgary. It appeared to be one of those nights where the stars were aligned in favor of the Flames and Calgary solidified their opportunity by playing sixty minutes of solid hockey.

The Predators were not at their best and were out muscled at times and were too soft on the puck at others. The Predators also found themselves in the penalty box more that the would have wanted too.

There was also a little accounting by the hockey gods. After Pekka's stick saved the game on Sunday in Edmonton, a floating puck sailed high over Rinne and he had no idea where to find it. As the hockey gods would have it, a puck found the net when it shouldn't have to even things up.

The Calgary team that the Predators faced on Monday was not the same team that has been the subject of ridicule for most of the season. If the Flames can play with the same patience and intensity for the remainder of the season, there will be a playoff spot waiting for them in the Western Conference.

Wednesday's game in Vancouver should be interesting. It's close to home for several Predators like Cody Franson and captain Shea Weber. Dan Hamhuis and Shane O'Brien will each be facing their old teams.

Most importantly, the Preds are trying to chase down the Canucks for the Western Conference lead. Who could have said that a month ago with a straight face?

Hopefully the Preds will show up ready to play and realize that they have a four day vacation after the game and leave everything they have on the ice in beating the Canucks in their own barn.

Predators-Flames Round-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

Josh Cooper has a quote from Barry Trotz that pretty much says it all.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Chris Burton, Fang Finger Fever, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

The happy side of the story comes from The Calgary Sun, The Calgary Herald, Matchsticks and Gasoline, FlamesNation, Battle of Alberta, and Hit the Post.

Programming Note...

I will be the guest co-host on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio today at noon. Craig Custance of the Sporting News is scheduled and a special surprise guest may be added. Check it out.

In Pred Nation...

Jim Diamond has everything you wanted to know about the Predators' tattoos including a slide show with a bunch of pictures that seems to be very popular.

Barry Trotz gives Mitch Korn credit for sending Cody Franson out for the shoot out on Sunday.

Rory Boylen gives props to Barry Trotz for the Jack Adams award for this year.

Admirals Roundtable has part two of their Darren Pang interview. It sounds like he enjoyed his trip to Milwaukee.

Jas Faulkner has her weekly Greetings from Nashville at The Hockey Writers.

From @coreypronman: #Preds Ryan Ellis on a 12 game point streak, 6 goals and 25 points in that span.

Here is a revived Twitter account of former Predator Ryan Jones from @brandon_felder: A former Pred re-joins Twitter. @jonesry28 is back. Welcome back Jonesy.

Around the NHL...

I would have liked to have seen Pekka Rinne get a little more respect for three stars of the week but he is holding out for the three stars of the month. Tim Thomas, Steven Stamkos, and Marty Brodeur took the honors.

It was reported over the weekend that Sidney Crosby would not play in this weekend's All-Star Game but now it appears that he will not attend at all.

In the hard to believe category from @mirtle: The NHLPA announces it "has retained Richard Rodier as a lawyer & economic consultant." Dirk Hoag reminds folks of accusations from a couple of years ago about Rodier. George Malik also has a few barbs about Rodier. I don't understand why the PA would associate themselves with someone of Rodier's kind when they want to have the public on their side.

The RLD has the latest power ratings leading up to the All-Star break.

Matt Reitz looks at the number of wins each team will need to make the playoffs.

Bleacher Report recounts all the good players that came out of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft that was held in Nashville.

The Goldwater Institute is jumping into the fray of Matthew Hulziser's purchase of the Coyotes. The Save the Coyotes folks have some ideas on the topic.

Chris Johnston says the business of Gretzky is still booming ten years after retirement.

The Preds-Canucks was not on Scott Burnside's games to watch this week. How do you omit that when you have the hottest team in the NHL vs the west leader?

Elliotte Friedman's weekly 30 thoughts includes a shout out to Josh Cooper.

The Fourth Period has their top 25 players for the trade deadline.

The Tampa Bay Lightning's presser set for yesterday was postponed due to the shootings in St Petersburg.

Here is a video for Kings fans who need a little picker-upper. H/T to Kingscast for pointing it out.

Odds and Ends...

Will The Palms in Las Vegas still be standing after MTV makes it the Spring Break 2011 headquarters. There really isn't any place cooler than the Palm's pool.

The USPS is looking at closing 2000 post offices. That's probably not enough if they are to remain competitive. It is amazing that FedX and UPS get by with few locations.

The waves are finally getting big at Mavericks at Half Moon Bay in California. This CNN report about an injured surfer has no idea of context of why folks are there or anything. Here are some photos of the situation from ESPN. Here is raw footage of the waves from KTVU and some still pictures from the cliff.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calgary Dominates Nashville as They Power (Play) to 3-1 Win

The Calgary Flames appear to be playing the best hockey of their season as they out-muscled the Nashville Predators in a 3-1 win at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night.

Led by power-play goals by Jerome Iginla and Brendan Morrison and an even strength goal by Curtis Glencross, the Flames dominated the Predators as they cruised to their third win in a row over the best teams in the Western Conference. The Predators lone goal came from David Legwand.

Miikka Kiprusoff probably wishes that he played the Preds every night as he won in an overtime shutout in their first meeting this year and stopped 23 of 24 Nashville shots on Monday.

Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on 27 Flames shots and all three tallies were due to rebounds or deflections that left him with no chance to stop the secondary shots.

The game started with both teams wanting to establish the neutral zone early and the Flames did a much more effective job slowing the Predator attack and beating them on the boards.

Calgary got on the board first at 10:14 on a freak play that was payback from the hockey gods for the Pekka-less stick save in Edmonton on Sunday. Glencross shot the puck and it bounced up off Shea Weber's shin guard and floated over Rinne into the crease where even a diving Chris Meuller couldn't stop it.

In the opening stanza, Calgary out shot the Predators 8-6 and led the Corsi 22-14. Both teams had a pair of penalties that resulted in five of the Preds shots and four of Calgary's.

The second period produced more penalties on both side with the Preds picking up three and the Flames having two. The Predators got on the board with their only goal at 10:32 when Kiprusoff tried to dump the puck into the right corner. Joel Ward grabbed it and sent it to Colin Wilson who shot it at the net and Legwand finished it off to tie the game 1-1.

After a high-sticking penalty on Ward, the Flames got a power-play goal at 13:01 to take the lead 2-1. Matt Stajan picked up his second assist of the evening when he shot at the net and Rinne did not control the puck and it went to Iginla who had a shot at the empty side of the net.

For the period, the Flames were in full control, outshooting the Preds 14-7 and dominating the Corsi 24-9. The Predators continued to be out-worked and struggled moving the puck in the neutral zone.

The Predators showed more life in the third than they had earlier in the game. Jerred Smithson was called for hooking to give the Flames their sixth man-advantage of the evening and Morrison made the most of it by putting the Flames ahead 3-1 with 5:42 left in the contest.

In the final period the Preds out shot the Flames 11-5 and doubled Calgary in the Corsi 22-11. Unfortunately, for the Predators it was too little too late.

Calgary potentially could jump from 14th to 11th with the win, depending on how games on the West coast ended. The Predators remained in fourth place with 60 points.

The Preds are 3-2 on the current road trip and looked like they were in need of some post All-Star game home cooking when they will play 21 of 32 games at the Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators headed for Vancouver after the game where they will face the Canucks on Wednesday before breaking for the All-Star weekend.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

NHL All-Star Game Conference Call Transcript with Nicklas Lidstrom, Patrick Kane, and Martin St. Louis

In preparation for this weekend's NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, the NHL had the leadership of Team Lidstrom answer questions from the media this afternoon about the upcoming events.

Here is the full transcript from the NHL...

Lidstrom, Kane, St. Louis Conference Call Transcript--Jan. 24, 2011

DAVID KEON: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm David Keon of the National Hockey League's Public Relations Department. And I'd like to welcome you to today's call. With us we have the three captains of Team Lidström. Detroit Red Wings Captain Nicklas Lidström will be in charge of the All Star team named after him. He will be assisted by Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This Friday, January 28th, the NHL All Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Nick will be assisted by Patrick and Marty as they select the members of Team Lidström for Honda Super Skills and NHL All Star game which will be held on Sunday afternoon. Thanks again to all three of them for taking the time to join us and answer your questions. Operator, we'll open it up now.

Q. This is for Nicklas Lidström. Do you like the change in the format for the All Star game? And do you think that the old way was kind of getting stale and a change was needed at this point?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: Yeah, I like the new format. I think I played when we had World versus North America or East versus West. I've been part of some other formats, and I like the change. I like something new and different. Having a draft like this, is something we've never done before. So I'm looking forward to the new change.

Q. What are your feelings on All Star games in general? Do you think fans still get interested in that, being that they get to see players all the time now whereas before you see a special case they didn't see guys from the other conference and things, but do you think that All Star games are still a popular thing?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: I think they appreciate having a chance to see world?class players, the best players in the league playing against each other. I don't think they're expecting physical game or intense game, but I think they enjoy seeing the skills come out in all the games I've been part of.

Q. Nick, I'm just wondering if you've spoken at all with Eric Staal and figured out maybe how this draft might go and who might be hanging around until the end?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: No, I haven't spoken to Eric about that. We were on a few conference calls together. But we've never spoke in private about how this is going to go down.

But we're going to have fun with it. It's a new format and something we'll try out. But I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun with it.

Q. Nick, Team Lidström strategy, are you going to pick friends? Foes? Are you going to lean on Patrick for some of the young guys, what he might know? Or are you going to lean on Marty for some of the eastern guys? How are you going to plan this out?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: We're going to have a talk amongst each other here and try to figure it out. I don't have a teammate that's going to be part of this All Star game but they do. I want to get their input, see what they want to do as well. Maybe there's some guys teammates they don't want on their team either. So we'll have to discuss that.

Q. You want to have fun with this. So, I mean, do you look down the list now and say: Boy, I'd really want to play with that guy and I'm going to pick him just because I've always wanted to play with him? Or do you pick guys because, you know what, they might help you in a skills competition, and it's all about you want to compete, too, you know?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: I think you have to look at it both ways. Some of the guys you played against and you'll have a chance to play with them. And other guys are good at specific skills in the skills competition. So that's another thing that we'll talk about amongst the three of us and trying to figure it out.

Q. When do you guys plan to talk? Is it going to be right before? Are you going to actually take this seriously?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: As soon as I have a chance to chat before we start doing it. I'm sure we'll have a chance to discuss what we want to do here.

Q. Nick, I'm just curious, when did you find out that it was called Team Lidström, and what do you think of that? What do you think of having a team named after yourself?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: Well, I'm honored. I'm honored to have my name put to the team. And I think I found out when I saw it in the papers. They didn't tell me beforehand or when they were asking me about the different captains. So I just found out in the paper about it.

Q. And does that carry ? does it now carry a little extra incentive for you to do well for your own team to do well?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: Of course you want to do well. I think we're all competitors, and we all want to win. We're going to have fun with it. But I think it's still the competitiveness is going to come out, too. So being the first time and everything, you want to win that game.

Q. Marty, I'm wondering what you're going to say to convince Nick and Patrick that Steven Stamkos should be at the top of the list of addressed eligible players here?

MARTIN ST. LOUIS: Well, obviously 38 goals so far. That guy, that's all I have to say. But, you know, he's pretty good, too, for the skills thing, you know? He's got some good moves, and I don't know, obviously it would be nice to be on the same team. But we'll see. I know Staalsy's picking first. So hopefully he goes with his teammate Cam Ward, and we can make an educated first pick.

Q. Nick and Patrick, I know you don't see a lot of Stamkos playing in the West, but from what you've seen, what do you think of him?

PATRICK KANE: I got a chance to play against him in Junior and he was just a rookie, and you could just really tell how good he was going to be even back then.

So obviously you see some of the highlights, you can't really believe he scores all those goals from the wing on power play. Marty does a great job setting him up and actually talking to Stamkos in the summer he was saying he was probably the highest guy in Tampa when Marty got resigned. He’s a fun player to watch. He's really explosive. Got a great shot and he's a hell of a player.

Q. And Nick?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: I think the first thing that comes to mind is the quick release. Got a great quick shot. Whether it's a slap shot or quick wrist shot. He looks to be a strong skater, too. Very quick and strong strides. So that's what I've seen just from watching him on TV and seeing some of the highlight goals he's been scoring.

Q. Marty, I know you didn't get a chance to hear your name called at the entry draft, and being an alternate captain is quite an honor here. But would you have preferred maybe to hear your name at the All Star draft?

MARTIN ST. LOUIS: Well, it's an honor obviously to be alongside Nick and Patrick, you know, but when this all came out I thought about for once that put the hat on or the jersey and take a picture, I thought it would be neat. But, you know, in all honesty it's a nice place to be just to be in an All Star game amongst all the other elite players in the league. But everybody finds their way and everybody has different stories.So it's just nice to be part of that weekend like everybody else.

Q. Pat, I'm curious news of the day is Sidney Crosby won't be able to play in the All Star game. I guess, what's your response to that? Does that change anything for you?

PATRICK KANE: I don't know. Some players go through injuries. And sometimes the rest is better than being part of the game. For me, personally, obviously coming off an injury, I'm just honored to be going to the All Star game. I wasn't really expecting to get my name called for the game, let alone be an assistant captain. So I'm just going to soak it all in, have a fun weekend and really try to enjoy it. But it doesn't really change anything for me. I'm just happy to be going.

Q. Marty, Brendan Shanahan, when he came up with this idea, the thought process was he really hoped players would be more competitive in the All Star game than maybe in years past. Do you think this format kind of creates that competitive edge that maybe that's lacked in games in the past?

MARTIN ST. LOUIS: You know, I think everybody, you know all the games, there's not that much intensity out there and stuff. But in reality all the elite players that are out there, the main thing is obviously entertaining but not get hurt, probably, is probably right behind it because all of us have a playoff push to make and try to go far in the playoffs. And you're not going to let one game like this hurt your team. But at the same token this format Nick said earlier you've got a chance to play with different formats, but with this one I think it's going to bring a little more competitiveness to it, because of how the teams are going to get formatted. So you'll probably see a little more intensity. But I don't think it's going to be to the point where guys are putting themselves in a vulnerable position or situation to get injured.

Q. Nick, one of the things you've got this job to be the captain of Team Lidström, and you said it before: There's nobody else from the Wings that's going to be in this game. I know it's a fun thing and whatnot. But that means you don't have anybody in your ear chirping about pick me, pick me, does it take the pressure off?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: Maybe. I talked to Pavel the other day. He's not going to be back until after the break. And he said: Would you have picked me if I was there? So a few questions like that were, guys that are having fun with it. But I still enjoy, even though I'm the only Red Wing going, I still enjoy going in there, and with the format that we have set up here now, I think we're all going to not take it too seriously and just have fun with it.

Q. And one more for you, you have Ken Holland there and I've read something that you've talked to him about this and he said he'd get back to you. Have you had a conversation with Kenny about this, and perhaps is this their future of you picking in future drafts, as a man in a suit?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: I guess we have to wait and see what happens here over the weekend. But the same thing with Kenny, too, we were joking about it. He said gotta go with defense first, defense wins games. But I don't think that's necessarily right for this one. This game coming up. But I've been having fun with it with some of the teammates and some of the guys around the team.

Q. Nick, I'm just curious. There's a lot of people wondering out on the West Coast about the possibility of splitting up the Sedins. Have you any interest in doing that just to see what would happen for yourself?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: We all know they're great together. They really have a knack of finding each other out there on the ice when they're playing together. So it might be something to look at, seeing how they would do when they're facing each other.I'm sure that will be discussed before we have to sit down and do the draft, too. But that is a possibility.

Q. Obviously you're not going to be standing there waiting to hear your name called because you're not going to be drafted. But do you think for the final four or five guys, when it gets to that point that they'll be feeling nervous they don't want to be the last one picked? Obviously you won't have to wait to hear if you're picked but do you think the final four, five guys when it gets down to the end they'll be nervous having to go last?

PATRICK KANE: I'm definitely sure you don't want to go last, kind of a tough situation. But I've been talking to some of my teammates about it. I think me and Sharpy, Patrick Sharp, joking about it a lot, of maybe someone being the last pick. It's just, I don't know, I think it's kind of a tough situation, but at the same time there's 600 other NHL players that aren't in the All Star game that you're still playing. So I guess you gotta take the positives from a bad situation.

Q. Any of the three, following up on Craig's question about Sidney Crosby, how much of a hit do you think the game is going to take with him not being there and being that he's probably the most recognizable face of the league and he's not going to be at the marquee event?

MARTIN ST. LOUIS: I guess it's my turn to speak. Obviously everything he's done in the league so far ? and he's lived up to that times two for the game, not just on the ice but off the ice, too. And he's having another great year. Tough situation that he can't be there. Disappointing. But I mean is the league going to take a hit? I don't know. There's a lot of other great players in this league having great years. In terms of marketing?wise, obviously he's the face of the NHL. And it's tough for him not being there. But obviously we wish him a speedy recovery. But hopefully other guys will step up and try and fill his shoes. It's a tough thing to do. But hopefully collectively we can do that.

Q. There's already new rules this year about head shots and things like that. With an injury like this to Sid, do you think that will reopen the argument that goes even further as far as what things might not be allowed anymore?

MARTIN ST. LOUIS: I think it's something that they mark that every year and try to improve. I think we made a huge step. There's still gray areas. But a lot less than before. And heavy head shots are reviewed for face games, physical. Guys are getting stronger. And it's just nice to see that they're making steps to try and keep the guys healthy.

Q. Question for Pat. You touched on a little bit about drafting your teammates. You're going to have the most now that Crosby's out. Do you care if you play against anybody, or do you want to play with all three of them? I know you've already faced Keith and Toews in the Olympics, but what's your thoughts about playing with and against those guys?

PATRICK KANE: I don't know. It's a fun weekend overall. So I think no matter if I play against them or with them, you know, we're just going to have fun with it. No, I think it will be pretty fun to match up against Toews. Kind of been together our whole careers and played together a lot. So it would be fun to be away from him for a bit. But we'll see what happens. Maybe Nick and Marty want to play with him. So we'll see what the captains think. Either way, I'm just happy to be going. Hopefully we'll play against a few of them. And I think obviously Joel Quenneville and Havi are going, too. So maybe fun to play against them.

Q. Nick, is there any chance you would try and get to Cam Ward before Eric Staal did?

NICKLAS LIDSTRÖM: That's a good question. We'll see. I know he wants Cam on his team being in front of the home crowd and everything. So might be a good strategy to take him and maybe take the crowd out of it and get the crowd on our side a little bit. But that's another thing that we'll have fun with and talk amongst ourselves there what we're going to do. If you want to do something like that, we'll have to wait and see.

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Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass