Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shea Weber Scenario

Well, the most important arbitration deadline in Preds history came and passed this morning. All indications and guesses by those "in-the-know" said a deal would get done before today. So let's ponder what this means from many angles.

1. David Poile/Shea Weber's promise- both parties said this would get done before arbitration and Shea would be a Predator for a long time. They are committed to each other, the city and the franchise. Somebody told a story to be determined later. This should not have went to arbitration.
2. David Poile/Preds- The fans have seen minimal free agent signings because of small market limitations. The salary purge of Timmonen, Vokoun, Hartnell(and others) still stings to this day. If the Preds can't sign Weber for more than 2 years, the fans have every right to stop supporting a franchise who can't pay the best players to stay in Nashville.
3. Shea Weber- We have heard nothing from him other than he wants to be here but actions speak louder than words. Leak some info to the newspapers, ESPN, etc. if the Preds aren't making a good faith effort. Show the fans you are trying to get a deal done. I haven't seen anything to make me believe he wants to remain in Nashville long term. I hope I am wrong.
4. Poile/Preds ownership- Saw a recent stat concerning the 16 teams that made the playoffs this past season. Counting the top 5 salaries already committed to for 2011-12 season, the Preds were at the bottom of the list at $20.1 million. The Capitals were #1 at 32.6 million. I would say there is room to sign Shea Weber. Who cares if you overpay some? The fans and franchise need a leader. Quit worrying about how Rinne and Suter's deals come into play. Just get it done.

Interest details should be coming out later today. I just hope the Preds ownership have not lost a large block of fans playing moneyball with Weber. All the momentum from last year looks to be in jeopardy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Playoff Roller Coaster Continues, Game 4 Tonight

They say playoff hockey is an emotional roller coaster. And I must say I am exhausted after round 1. Can you imagine if the Preds go to the finals what this would be like?

GAME 2- The Preds get a crazy goal from behind the net to tie in the final minutes and then win in the 2nd overtime. Pekka Rinne makes several saves that had Vancouver victory written all over them. Game winner scored by unlikely hero Matt Halischuk.

GAME 3- The Preds miss chances early to go up 2-0 or 3-0 but only get 1 goal. The second period was something to forget and then the Preds tie things up 2-2 with 6 minutes to go on Joel Ward's wraparound. If emotions weren't high enough then, toss in the questionable penalty call on Shea Weber 10 minutes into overtime. Then sudden death strikes on the Kessler goal for Vancouver.

GAME 4- Preds offense has to get going and I hope I finally get to see Colin Wilson play since Steve Sullivan is injured. He is the top stick handler and one of the best offensive players on the roster. Steve Sullivan is not known for defense, so Colin's lack of 2 way play is not going to be any different that what we are getting now. Jared Smithson can't take penalties waving sticks in Roberto Luongo's face either. Vancouver's power play now has confidence after GAME 3(2 for 4), the Preds have to stay out of the box.

The roller coaster cranks up again tonight at 7:30. Have your Tums ready.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Game 1 to Canucks 1-0

Had it not been for Pekka Rinne, the Preds would have lost 5-0 tonight or worse. In a game resembling the 1998-2002 Preds, it was a case of no offense and many shots on goal against the goaltender. Nashville will have to pick things up, especially on offense to have a chance in the series. For 2 1/2 periods last night, it was men(Vancouver) playing against boys(Nashville).

Other observations from Game 1:
* Kevin Klein had a defense breakdown like he was doing the first half of the year that led to the only goal of the game. Hope it is an isolated incident.
* Somebody please tell the Vesus channel play-by-play man that Kevin Klein is #8 and Jonathon Blum is #7. For most of the game he was announcing Blum as #7 and #8.
* I did enjoy the Versus broadcast team high praise for Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber.
* Martin Erat didn't look 100% healthy
* Patrick Hornqvist took 2 penalties and couldn't get his normal disruptive offensive game going. That led to the first line struggling on offense all night.
* With our solid scoring chances going to be few and far between in the series, Mike Fisher really needed to bury the breakaway in the 3rd period.

Game 2 Saturday night is almost a must win. If we go home down 0-2, there will be so much pressure to win the 2 home games. A split in Vancouver would give us room if the Canucks happen to come into Nashville and win either game 3 or 4.

I look for a better showing out of the Preds in Game 2 offensively. Let's hope Pekka Rinne can continue his great play and sneak out of western Canada with the series even at 1-1.

Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks-Round 2

The reward for beating Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs? You get the best team in hockey in round 2-the Vancouver Canucks. During the regular season, Vancouver was the #1 team in goals scored, fewest goals allowed, best power play and best penalty kill. The teams split their 4 regular season games against each other this year, but the Canucks were the best team top-to-bottom in the NHL.

How do the Preds pull off the upset?
1. P-E-K-K-A R-I-N-N-E. He has to be sharp and on his toes from the start. Vancouver will bring offense in waves. Pekka Rinne and all 6 defensemen have to be on their game.
2. Stay out of the penalty box. After the Anaheim series, you hope Shane O'Brien and rest of team will not put the #1 power play on the ice much.
3. Disciplined hockey. Be smart on offense. Don't get caught in too deep and give Vancouver any more scoring chances than you have to.
4. Score on the power play. The Preds did a decent job against Anaheim, but against Vancouver they have to score as much as possible in power play situations to pull off the upset.

Prediction time- the Preds have to win 1 of the first 2 games in Vancouver. If they do that and score on the power play, they could squeak out a victory in 6 or 7 games. But if my life depended on getting the prediction right, I say Vancouver in 6.

But I sure pray that I am wrong. Let's go Preds.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

History is Made, Preds Defeat Ducks in 6 Games

The Predators win their firt playoff series ever over Anaheim. It was raining catfish and rally towels in Bridgestone Arena Sunday afternoon. It was an electric atmosphere and so fun to watch David Legwand's empty net goal seal the deal. Going back to Friday night, it was an amazing 3 days in Preds history.

Game 5- When in Anaheim and Disney's backyard, why not a fairy tale ending? Shea Weber's wrister with 36 seconds left to tie will go down as the biggest goal in franchise history. If that doesn't happen, Jerred Smithson doesn't win the game in overtime and the Preds are in a deep hole. Jordan Tootoo played his best game ever as a Pred. David Legwand will be forever remembered on Bobby Ryan's unreal goal that will be shown in NHL highlights forever, but the Preds get the last laugh in the 4-3 win.

Game 6- The Preds stayed out of the box and rallied from an early deficit to close out the series 4-2. Pekka Rinne made big saves when he had to and Nick Spalling added 2 goals on top of his solid defensive performance. And who would add the empty net goal to finish it off? Of course, David Legwand.

As I predicted before the series, the Preds won in 6 games. The 2 games won by Anaheim were from the Preds taking too many penalties and getting their lethal power play on the ice. Discliplined Preds hockey led to 4 wins and also showed the Ducks to be no match for the Preds at even strength across all 4 lines.

Since San Jose closed out their series with the L.A. Kings last night, that means the Preds will not have home ice in round 2 of the playoffs. The Preds will face Vancouver if they defeat Chicago, Detroit if Chicago beats Vancouver.

Get your rest, round 2 is coming soon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HUGE Game 4 Wednesday Night

With the Preds up in the series 2 games to 1, a victory at home Wednesday night would have Nashville in great shape to win their first playoff series in franchise history. That would leave the Preds only having to win one of the 3 games remaining.

Bobby Ryan finishes his 2nd of a 2 game suspension Wednesday night for stomping on Jonathon Blum's skate in game 2 of the series. It is safe to say it was a big loss for Anaheim affecting their top line. The Preds took advantage in game 3 as Anaheim could only scratch out 16 shots on goal for the game.

The Preds must continue to avoid time in the penalty box. In even strength play for the series the Preds have the upper hand. Anaheim's scoring has mostly come from the power play. Shane O'Brien in particular has to stop taking penalties. Three times his penalties have resulted in Anaheim goals.

So here is what is at stake. If the Preds take game 4, they lead the series 3-1 and have to feel very good about winning the series with tons of momentum. If Anaheim can pull off the victory, they regain home ice, tie the series at 2-2 and get a big lift from Bobby Ryan's return for game 5.

Tons of pressure on both teams. Let's hope the Preds dominate like they have in games 1 and 3. They have shown to be the better all-around team so far in the series.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Preds Take Game 1 in Dominating Fashion

Any road win in the playoffs is good, but the Preds sent a message in the 4-1 win last night over Anaheim. Anaheim has to be worried about their offense against a stingy Preds defense backed up by hot goalie Pekka Rinne. The confidence of Anaheim has to be rattled as well with their only goal coming on a 5-on-3 power play. Now all the pressure is on Anaheim in game 2. The Ducks can't go down 0-2 with 2 losses on their home ice to start the series and feel they have a reasonable shot to come back and win the series.

Other notes:
* Mike Fisher showed why the Preds traded for him with 2 laser shots for goals. His 2nd (and the 4th overall) sent Dan Ellis to the showers early.
* The Preds must be disciplined and not take penalties. The 5-on-3 was a situation where Kevin Klein lost his cool against Corey Perry. Anaheim's power play is deadly (#3 in NHL), but the Preds showed Anaheim last night that in even-strength situations they will have a tough time scoring against our defense.
* Anaheim really went after the body early and then got chippy at the end of the game. Again, Preds must keep their cool and know this is going to happen again if the Ducks can't get their offense going.
* Even though Preds won, I don't like Colin Wilson not playing. He is one of our top 5 players in terms of offensive skills. I would have him in instead of Halischuk.
* Will Cal O'reilly get back in lineup during the series? He is skating again now with the team since the broken leg suffered midway through the season. He is ideally situated to take Jerrod Smithson's place as center on the 3rd line in my opinion.

Friday night at 9:30 for game 2. If the Preds can withstand Anaheim coming out in full force and pull this game off, they would be in the driver's seat to win their first playoff series. It will be a war because Anaheim must win. The Preds better be ready.

Predators vs. Ducks, Playoff Time in Smashville!!!!

It's playoff time again. The Preds face Anaheim in the western quarterfinals starting tonight in Anaheim. The Preds won the season series 3-1, scoring at least 4 goals in each contest. Good sign? I think so. Also it looks as if Anaheim's goalie could be former Predator Dan Ellis because of injuries and #1 goalie Jonas Hiller suffering from vertigo. If that is the case, the advantage goes to the Predator forwards who know where to shoot against Ellis, due to all the practice time spent with him while a Predator.

As far as what to watch for, this series boils down to one thing in my opinion. Anaheim has one of the top 3 lines in all of hockey(Getzlaf, Ryan and Perry). They are good and they log a lot of ice time. Can the Preds manage them? Yes, especially when Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are on the ice against them. On games in Nashville, the Preds get last line change and can match Weber/Suter against them at any time. While in Anaheim, can Cody Franson/Shane O'Brien and Kevin Klein/Jonathon Blum hold their own until the Preds can dump the puck and get Weber/Suter on the ice against Getzlaf/Perry/Ryan? The good news is if they do slip up, the Preds have Pekka Rinne as the last line of defense as well.

My Prediction- Preds in 6 games. If the Preds can pick off game 1 or 2 in Anaheim, they are in great shape. Any games in Nashville should be wins for the Preds because they get last line change and can neutralize Anaheim's top line. Anaheim's defense allowed the Preds an average of 4.5 goals in their 4 matchups this year. Pekka Rinne and the boys on defense should win any game where they hold Anaheim to 2 goals or less, which they are very capable of doing. 9;30 tonight can't get here soon enough.

Let's go Preds!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Preds in Playoffs, Awaiting Opponent

The Preds finished the season strong down the stretch, but if they lose in the first round of the playoffs a lot of folks will look back to last night's season ending 2-0 loss to St. Louis. A victory would have meant the #4 seed in the playoffs and home ice in the first round. Now the Preds will finish anywhere from #5 to #7 based on the outcome of Detroit/Chicago today. Did you know the Preds are 1 of 6 NHL teams to make playoffs 6 of last 7 years? And Barry Trotz is the only coach that has done it. I will blog about the first round opponent after we know later Sunday. It will be either Anaheim, San Jose or Detroit. The Preds have winning records against all 3 this year, but the playoffs are another story. I hope it is Anaheim.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Preds Thrash Atlanta, 2 Games Left

Kudos to the Preds for coming fast out of the gate last night and putting their boot on the throat of Atlanta. Three goals in the first period put the game away early and the Preds cruised to a 6-3 win. Great goal by Matt Halischuk with his back to the net to get things started. Atlanta outshot the Pred but it was not the quality chances to make you think the game was in any danger of slipping away. Preds currently sit 4th in the western conference standings, 1 point ahead of Phoenix and Los Angeles. Both of those teams have played 1 less game than the Preds though. If the Preds win their last 2 games, that should be enough to keep them either a 4 or 5 seed and substantially increase their chances of finally winning a first round playoff series. Lose a game or two and you could be looking at playing San Jose or Detroit in the first round. Time to do a little scoreboard watching the next few nights until the Preds close out with back to back games Fri/Sat. Also look for Steve Sullivan to try to get on the ice to show he is healthy and worthy of a playoff roster spot. He has to show in one of the last 2 games he has recovered from the groin surgery and has his speed back. The Preds can't take a chance of having him on the roster and he is unable to go. I had posted previously I thought he was done as a Predator, we shall see. I don't see the Preds paying him what he wants next year at his age and injury risk.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preds Rolling Along, Stars are Next Big Game

The Preds keep answering the bell against teams they are fighting with in the western conference standings. The latest was the 5-4 win over Anaheim(8th place) last night. The Preds sit currently in 6th place with a Godzilla-huge game Saturday night versus the Dallas Stars. A Preds win Saturday would put them 6 points ahead of 9th place Dallas and get some measure of breathing room in the playoff race.

Schedule- 7 games left with 5 at home. 2 vs. top tier(Detroit, Vancouver), 4 vs. bottom feeders (Atlanta, St. Louis, Colorado, Columbus) and the big one vs. contender Dallas.

Quick Thoughts:
* Anaheim not a team you want to play in playoffs. It seemed like they had extra players on the ice all night. Other teams I don't want to play if Preds get in: L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks.
* Pekka Rinne continues to carry the team. Hope the Preds can win a few more to solidify a playoff position and get him a little rest. The last 2 games of the season are back-to-back games and you don't want Pekka having to play both in order to secure a playoff spot.

25 hours and 20 minutes from the biggest game of the year. Let's go Preds!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Reason for Buffalo to Hate Nashville

Were you watching Sunday afternoon for Music City Miracle #2? Okay, it didn't happen in Nashville but it involved a Nashville/Buffalo match up. The Preds scored twice in the last 2:30 of the game to tie it up and then win on the first rush in overtime, 4-3. Blake Geoffrion is now the #2 most hated Nashvillian in Buffalo right after Frank Wycheck. His hat trick, with 2 goals coming in the last 2:30 of the game, was gritty and showed he is as good as advertised. Geoffrion now has 6 goals in his first 11 games in a Preds uniform. Across a full season that would have him in the 40-45 goals range.

Are the Preds ready for a serious playoff run? I think tonight's game with Edmonton will tell you a ton about the team. The Preds are on a roll. They are playing a team who has struggled all year and spent most of the year in last place of the western conference. If the Preds are dialed in, ready to solidify a playoff spot and carry momentum into the playoffs, they come out hot early and put Edmonton away. If they lay back, play conservative and lose tonight, I think you will see them struggle the rest of the way to hold onto the last playoff spot.

* Mike Fisher needs to score. He has played so solid but now the pucks are not finding the net. The Preds need a scoring binge from him. Once he gets hot, I think the rest of the team will start scoring as well.
* Pekka Rinne is good. Just look at the amount of goals the Preds have scored this year and tell me how they are in playoff contention. The answer-Pekka Rinne.
* Jonathon Blum has a knack for knowing when to pinch in and help on offense without putting hit team at a defensive disadvantage. He is a very good offensive defenseman. Watch for him to start getting more and more praise around the NHL as people notice him.
* Thanks to Russell and Amanda Mundy for the ticket to the L.A. Kings game last week and being faithful followers to the blog. Kudos to Megan Summers to who lets me tag along to games with her as well.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Giant #1 Defeated(Bruins), Giant #2 Tonight(Red Wings)

The Preds got their biggest win of the year Thursday night over the Boston Bruins. In an almost must-win situation, Shea Weber's game winner in overtime gave the Preds a much needed 4-3 victory.

The Preds currently sit in 9th place in the western conference. Good news-8th place Calgary is only 1 point ahead of the Preds and have played 2 more games already. Preds sit 2 points behind Calgary & Dallas, 3 behind L.A.

Will the Preds make the playoffs? It looks as if they will sneak in, but it is definitely 50/50 at this point. The Preds ace in the hole? The last 3 games are Atlanta, Columbus and St. Louis- definitely games the Preds should win and gain 6 points if needed.

Other quick notes:
* Mike Fisher is due for a string of goals. He is too good and too active to only have 1 goal since joining the Preds. His luck should turn soon.
* Erat and Legwand have to continue to score and be aggressive on offense if the Preds are going to make the playoffs.
* Pekka Rinne gives the Preds a chance against any team. He is the MVP and one of the top 5 goalies in the NHL. Stats wise he is # 2.
* I have concerns over Kevin Klein's defensive breakdowns as of late. He has been out of position in several goals for the opposition. He has to play better in these pivotal games.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Preds Finish Road Trip with Overtime Loss to Sharks

What could have been. Preds finish final extended road trip of regular season 1-1-2 for 4 points. The Preds went toe-to-toe with western conference leaders Vancouver and San Jose, but also lost in overtime to last place Edmonton. Hopefully fortunes will change with 12 of the last 15 games in Gnashville.

* If it were not for Pekka Rinne, the Preds would be out of the playoff race. He was incredible tonight against San Jose, especially in the 3rd period. The Preds made turnover after turnover in front of him, yet he got the Preds to overtime somehow. Rinne could sue the Preds offense and defense for lack of support. If they can just get 3 goals per game, they would win 80% of their games.
* Lazy, soft, cross-ice passes in their own zone are an epidemic and something too many players are guilty of right now. Preds have to take better care of puck and clear their own zone better to relieve pressure on Pekka Rinne.
* I know I have said it way too much but the Preds are hanging with everyone they play considering the amount of players out due to injury. I would love to see this team playing with its full complement of players.
* Mike Fisher is as solid as they come. He is so strong with the puck and not afraid to stick his nose in tough spots. He sets a good example for others to follow.
* I feel sorry for J.P. Dumont. I think it is time for him to get a chance again with something other than the 4th line. Other players have been given a chance to score with no success. The Preds have scored 15 goals in their last 9 games. J.P. will capitalize and score if he is paired with linemates who can get him the puck in good scoring opportunities.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

HUGE win vs Vancouver Thursday, GIGANTIC game Sunday night vs. Calgary

After Tuesday's bummer shootout loss at struggling Edmonton, the Preds get off the mat to hand NHL-leading Vancouver a 3-0 loss on Thursday. To say the Preds needed that win is the understatement of the year. Next up we play at Calgary Sunday who sits in 5th place in the western conference, but only 2 points ahead of the Preds.

How tight are the standings these days? After the Preds victory over Vancouver Thursday they were in 6th place. The Preds now sit in 10th place, dropping 4 places in 2 days without playing a game. If the Preds had 3 more points(78), they would be in 4th place. Every game is so important these day. It is also important to win in regulation. You get 2 points and the opponents get 0. The true way to move up the standings is win games in regulation, not O.T. or shootouts.

Other Notes:
* After this 4 game road trip ends Tuesday in San Jose, the Preds finish March with 9 of 11 games at home. April has 4 games with 3 being in Nashville. Schedule is in our favor.
* Blake Geoffrion looks to be adjusting to NHL just fine. 2 goals in 4 games so far with limited ice time. With Preds struggling to score, more ice time looks to be coming.
* Ryan Ellis is doing well in minors, named OHL player of the month. He is on the fast track to the NHL and will probably replace a veteran in a couple of years to save payroll.

Get ready. The finish to March will be awesome. Preds hockey and NCAA basketball. Can't wait.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Preds Snap 4 Game Losing Streak

Until today's 3-2 win over Columbus, the Preds had lost 4 in a row since the 3-1 statement win over the Vancouver Canucks on 2/17. With the tight standings in the western conference, the Preds have dropped from #4 to #9 in the standings in the span of 10 days. They now head out for the last big road trip of the season, 4 games across 7 days into western Canada and San Jose. After playing the last place Oilers, the Preds play the #1(Canucks), #3(Sharks) and #6 (Flames) teams in the west. Preds must beat the Oilers and hope to scratch out another win at a minimum. With the injuries currently as they are, the Preds would settle for 2 wins without leaving Nashville. The Preds really need 3 wins on the trip and then finish strong with 12 of the last 15 games at home.

Other Notes:
* You hate to use injuries for an excuse but the Preds have been hit extremely hard this year. Lombardi, Sullivan, O'Reilly, Suter, Bullion, Erat, Legwand, Tootoo all have missed at least 12 games. The Preds have really done well to stay in the race when you consider the injuries to the center position.
* I predict Steve Sullivan has played his last game with the Preds. His body is not recovering due to his age. His game has always been about speed because of his lack of size, but his groin issues are not getting better and slowing him down. He was not playing great before the groin injury and his contract ends this year. The Preds have younger, better two-way players on the way.
* Trade deadline- rumor is Preds may make another move for a veteran defenseman or offensive help because of injuries. I think David Poile will stand pat on defense since Jonathan Blum is playing solid defense and pitched in a goal today. He has impressed the coaches so far. I also predict J.P. Dumont will be traded. He can still produce offensively with solid linemates and would have some value to playoff teams. He has a large salary for next year ($3-$4 million) and the Preds need that cash to sign Shea Weber. Assuming everyone returns healthy next year, he is expendable. David Poile can get another center or some draft picks in the later rounds plus free up the money.
* Blake Geoffrion's call up was significant for several reasons. He is the first Nashville native and Tennessean to play in NHL. He is also the first 4th generation player in NHL history. If he is half the player his grandad and great-grandfather were, then we will have a solid player for years to come.

All for now with another post after tomorrow's trade deadline. One rumor with legs is J.P. Dumont and top defense prospect Ryan Ellis to Toronto for their top scorer Clarke MacArthur.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Preds Sandwich 2 Detroit Wins Around a Loss to Edmonton

Do you get excited about the 2 thumpings we gave the Red Wings or look at the loss to Edmonton and ask yourself how in the world that happened? I choose the Red Wing victories!!! It is exciting for me to see that we are as even with the Red Wings as a team than at any point in our franchise history. We took the attack to them. Detroit didn't spend huge amounts of time in our zone whipping passes around us like rec-leaguers. I am excited about this time, especially when all are healthy.

Other Notes:
Welcome back Steve Sullivan- he will need time to get back into "game" shape, so let's hope he gets back quickly and starts contributing. Especially on the power play where the Preds struggle.

Tootoo close- he has been cleared to practice with the team, so his return is getting closer.

Lombardi progress- although it is a very small step, Matthew is now getting light conditioning work going. Still a long way to go but good, small, first step to returning.

Boom-Boom. Blake Geoffrion is lighting up Milwaukee and the AHL. The first back to back player of the week award given in a long time. I doubt he gets a shot this year as long as Preds are playing well, but you never know.

Cody Franson- seems like every time out he gets better and better. I love that he eats up and cross-ice pass coming out of the opponents zone. He is starting to use his size to his advantage as well, putting unsuspecting forwards into the boards and on their back if they are not careful.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Road Warriors are Hanging In So Far.....

Happy New Year, Preds are 8-2 so far in 2011 after the win over the Avalanche tonight. With 7 of the 10 games being on the road, the Preds are setting themselves up for a great finish to a season backloaded with home games in February/March. Preds are sitting in 4th place in the western conference, but only 3 points ahead of the 9th place Minnesota Wild so a 2 or 3 game losing streak could mean a big drop in the standings.

Other developments as I see them:
* Colin Wilson is developing superstar #1. Watch his control of the puck in tight spaces. He can get his shot off in traffic and he has tremendous skills. He will be a 30-40 goal scorer before long.
* Pekka Rinne is developing superstar #2. Big, agile and a good controller of the puck. Combine him with a strong defensive core and you see why the Preds are #3 in the NHL in allowing the least amount of goals.
* Cody Franson is developing superstar #3. With what seems to be the wingspan/reach of Wilt Chamberlain, he is combing solid defense with an awesome wrist shot and now is the Preds 3rd best defenseman and improving every week.
* Joel Ward, Jared Smithson, David Legwand all playing some of the best hockey of their careers right now.
* With Nick Spalling, Chris Mueller, Matt Halischuk, Franson, Wilson and others the Preds have some solid young talent to anchor the team for years to come.

Got a question to leave you with? Where do you put Steve Sullivan, Jordan Tootoo, Cal O'Reilly, and Matthew Lombardi when they return? Preds are now that deep and playing that well right now.

You heard it here first- JP Dumont and Steve Sullivan could be dealt at the trade deadline. Experienced guys with quality offensive skills would have value to playoff teams needing to add offense. We have younger players ready to play and at cheaper salary numbers.