Paul McCann: Almost to the Halfway Point

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Pred Nation is enjoying the view from the top of the NHL standings after last night’s 3-2 overtime win over the Dallas Stars. Now, that and $3.11 will get you a venti at Starbucks, but it is kinda fun to talk about. Hidden in all the euphoria? Another injury.

Ryan Ellis went down last night, leaving the game in the second period, not to return for the evening.

No more word that “lower body injury” … he will be reevaluated today. Add him to the list that include Eric Nystrom, James Neal, Matt Cullen and Taylor Beck. So… that merits a look at the Milwaukee blueline to see who might be the best call up…

If you are looking for size, Jonathan Diaby is 6’5” 246, Johan Alm is 6’3” 206 or Joe Piskula, also 6’3” and 211. If you are looking for experience… Ian White maybe? Give a kid a chance? How about Jimmy Oligny or Taylor Aronson? Big Jon Diaby may be the right call… the 21 year old is racking up the PIM’s (70 in 22 games) and a little more size in the Preds lineup would be a good thing. Not much from a scoring perspective, but Josi and Weber seem to be handling that part just fine.

Decisions will get made over the next few hours as the team prepares to travel to Minnesota for their Saturday afternoon matinee. The Wild are coming off a loss to the Blackhawks last night and are floundering badly. Their horses are not doing what they are paying them for and their goaltending is mediocre to flat out bad sometimes. Mike Yeo may not have enough rants in him to wake this team up.

And here are your highlights from last night’s game courtesy nhl.com;

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Random Notes

– What is it about sports teams in Dallas and officials just getting the calls wrong? After the ridiculous calls (or non-calls) made on Sunday in the NFL Wild Card playoffs, last night’s wave off of Forsberg’s goal was simply insane. You knew the longer the discussion went, the worse it was for Nashville.

– The stars do seem to be aligning (no pun intended) as Nashville holds the Western Conference lead with two games in hand over Anaheim and a game in hand over Chicago and St. Louis.

– Miikka Salomaki’s first NHL goal was a big one! Nice fundamentals shown by the kid… in almost every sport you are taught to follow our shot… that is what led to his goal.

– The stars were out last night as Chip Esten and Vince Gill sat in with Small Time Rock Stars during the intermissions and more members of the Nashville cast were in the house.

– Nice salute to Roberto Luongo last night in Vancouver.

– Good lord… the Blues have pasted 14 goals in two games on the San Jose Sharks. Cue the “coach is in trouble” stories in San Jose.

– Five games on the NHL schedule tonight – Islanders @ Devils, Blue Jackets @ Maple Leafs, Sabres @ Lightning, Panthers @ Flames, Blackhawks @ Oilers.

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