After a frustrating start for players, coaches, and fans, the Nashville Predators return home this week with a 3-3-1 record and basically a no harm, no fowl position in the standings. All are hoping to recapture their magic and move in a positive direction.
The first seven games have not been pretty but they have been played with key players out and others hobbled. Pekka Rinne was back in Vezina form behind an improved, but not great, defensive effort on Saturday when he tied Tomas Vokoun's career shutout record with the Predators.
Today starts a new week and a new life for a team that has sent an unhappy player to Europe and hopes to have a few true "Predator way" guys back in the fold and on the bench in the near future.
Slow starts have not been uncommon for successful Predator teams in the past. David Poile confidently stated that this year's team would be better in the second half than in the first half. The team is still young and will mature over the next couple of months. The keys will be to get a little better every game and putting more pucks on net.
This week the Predators will face three playoff teams from last season in San Jose, Tampa Bay, and Anaheim, who will be out to revenge their first round loss to the Preds last Spring. Go here for discount tickets to all three games.
Make the jump for all of today's news and links...
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper explains the hard lessons learned on the Predators' recent road trip.
I didn't do a "Morning After" for Saturday's win because I had more fun doing the "Morning Skate" for Ryan Porth, who had a much needed day off at Smashville 24/7. Expect to see more here from Ryan when I disappear next weekend.
Anyone who missed our Smashville on the Glass Radio last week needs to tune in for Ryan's Mitch Korn interview if nothing else.
Don Cherry gave the thumbs up to Brendan Shanahan for not suspending Shea Weber. Here's the "Coaches Corner" from Saturday night.
Amanda DiPaolo has a unique story of a new Preds fan from the other side of the world who saw his first, but not last, Predators' game during the opening homestand.
Ryan Porth has a proposal to solidify the "Thrash to Smash" crowd next season.
Patten Fuqua does the math to find 52 shots by the Preds on their recent road trip. That is about how many the Red Wings get in a single game against the Preds on a bad night.
A.J. has a look at the "angry" Shea Weber.
Mark Willoughby discusses the ins and outs of Barry Trotz's rare public outrage of the past week.
In the latest Hockey News "Best of Everything " piece, the previously under-represented Preds received 26 recognitions in 23 categories.
Hockey Night in Nashville has a look at the week ahead in Predland. The Predatorial also has a preview of the coming week in Nashville.
The Nashville Predators were named the smartest spender in pro sports by Bloomberg.
Would you consider J.P. Dumont the icing on the cake for a European team? He is set to report to Bern in the SEL on Tuesday.
The latest edition of the 303:30 features Ryan Porth.
J.R. Lind has tough talk by the Predators and the 'Dores at The Scene.
The Milwaukee Admirals continued their point streak with a 3-1 win over Abbotsford on Saturday night.
Not only are the Predators the youngest NHL team, the Milwaukee Admirals are the fourth youngest AHL squad.
Around the NHL...
In the only game of the night last night, Phoenix went into Anaheim and slowed down the Ducks 5-4. Mike Smith made this great save on a point blank shot from Bobby Ryan.
In an early season surprise move, the Vancouver Canucks traded Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm for David Booth, Steve Reinprecht and a third round draft pick in 2013. The Canucks took on a ton of salary and lost one of the clubhouse favorites in Samuelsson.
It's hard to believe Make My Day Monday (#MMDM), that was originated by agent Scott Norton, is a year old. If you are in Chicago, head to Public House tonight for a celebration.
The Winnipeg Jets returned their first round draft pick, Mark Scheifele, to juniors after seven games.
Kevin Allen looks at the Washington Capitals, the last team that remains unbeaten in the NHL.
At the other end of the spectrum, you would have thought that the Blue Jackets had a chance to win on Saturday in Ottawa but they lost 4-3 to keep their streak intact with eight losses. It won't get any easier with a road trip to Detroit, Buffalo and Chicago this week.
Patric Hornqvist and ex-Pred Steve Sullivan land on Puck Daddy's top ten players not to have a goal this year.
With all the media hype about fighting in the NHL being a bad thing, the NHL GMs have a different view.
Bucky Gleason wants to dumb down re-alignment by trading Nashville and Winnipeg between conferences and divisions. Not so fast Bucko! It looks simple on paper, but of the teams being considered, the Preds have squawked the least about being in the West.
For those who missed it, here is the Hal Gill 1000th game ceremony. Amazingly, he and Joe Thornton played in their first game together and Thornton scored in his 1000th game.
The ultimate jersey foul involves Justin B**ber and Selena Gomez. I disagree with Puck Daddy. Anything involving B**ber is a FAIL.
Odds and Ends...
If you are stuck at your desk and dreaming of Autumn foliage, then the U.S Forrest Service site may give you something to pass the time.
How stupid do you have to be to have someone steal your credit card and run up $717 on it over a two month period at Burger King.
Say "Na, Na, Hey, Hey Goodbye" to Paul Leka who composed the 1969 arena standard and died on October 12. That was a big song when I was in high school. I'm feeling very old this week.
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