Last night's Predators game may have been an example of what happens to a decent Western Conference team that plays three teams from the much weaker Eastern Conference and gets lulled into playing a different style of game that doesn't hold up in the West.
Amanda DiPaolo lays out the argument for Western Conference dominance in an article yesterday that clearly shows that top to bottom the West teams are better as a whole.
Columbus is on a hot streak and Rick Nash is playing the best hockey of his career, winning the NHL Player of the week honor yesterday.
I have been a non-believer of Columbus being a potential playoff team until now. I'm not fully ready to jump on their bandwagon but could possibly change my mind prior to New Years if they don't go into an extended swoon in the next thirty days.
For now, I will admit that Columbus played the best game against the Predators that we have seen this year. The Predators were not bad last night. Columbus was very good which caused the Preds to be unable to do much of what they have been doing in their recent improved play.
Here is our game story from last night.
The Tennessean has the AP Story and Josh Cooper has his postgame ponderings.
Jim Diamond was at the game in Columbus and was also impressed with the Jacket's play. Jim also found a little trash talk among dads.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), What the Puck, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
The other side of the story comes from the Columbus Dispatch, The Dark Blue Jacket, and The Cannon.
In Pred Nation...
Jim Diamond was in Columbus for the game but has an interesting note at the end of this post about a rumored relocation to Quebec for a number of teams. I would not categorize this to be anything serious at this point. Jim also has a story about Columbus coach Scott Arneil discussing the development of Cal O'Reilly.
Congrats to the Section 303 gang as their 303:30 podcast won the A.I.R Award for Best Locally Produced Podcast.
On The Forecheck has the weekly fantasy update for the Preds.
The news we've been waiting for comes from @kcwilson: Congrats to Ryan Suter on the birth of his first child, Brooks William - 8 pounds, 13 ounces - on Sunday.
George Scoville, who we saw in Raleigh, is the winner of What the Pucks donation to Movember this week.
Around the NHL...
Down Goes Brown reveals The Code that allegedly doesn't exist in hockey.
We've been hearing that Alex Kovlev was on the verge of getting his 1000th point for what seems like forever. He finally got it in last night's 3-2 Sens win over the Kings. There was a horrible call against the Kings with three seconds left when a goal was ruled to have been tipped with a high stick.
Puck Daddy has another one for the Islander's media hit list as TV announcer Howie Rose had a little gaff on Sunday during a break in the action of the Isles-Thrashers game. Losing 13 in a row is tough on everyone.
Amanda DiPaolo discusses faces of the East and the teams of the West at Too Many Men on the Site. She also has her weekly Central Division Shakedown at Predlines.
I missed the preview of 24/7 since I was in Raleigh but now my next road trip will be to the Winter Classic so this makes this a little more interesting.
Kent Wilson has a good analysis of new media and the MSM and ties it to the Chris Botta situation. This is a good read.
ESPN has the latest speculation on Stamkos and Doughty contracts and Iginla rumors.
Pat Hoffman at RLD looks at where Chris Drury fits in among Ranger Captains.
XM Home Ice has an interview done by Scott Laughlin with Pat Burns from March of 2009 where he reflects on his career.
Dee Karl, the Isles seventh woman, remains hopeful on the Island. It's good to see that.
B.D. Gallof offers seven suggestions for the Islanders to clean up their act.
Odds and Ends...
For fans of The Office, this site catalogs almost any quote you would ever want to find.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass