Paul McCann: First back-to-back losses of the season… Break Look

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Before I get started, I’d like you to know about the Peterson for Parkinson’s fundraiser happening on February 16th at the Franklin Theatre. It’s called “Songwriters and Storytellers” and will feature performances from some of Nashville’s premier songwriters. Writers of hits for artists like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean… just to name a few. For more information, including how to purchase tickets Click here.

Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm… it should be an awesome show for a great cause.

Also… SlapShot Radio is back tonight at 7pm on 102.5 the Game and the SlapShot Radio Network. Our guests are Aaron Portzline from the Columbus Dispatch to help preview All-Star festivities and the PREDsident himself… COO of the Nashville Predators, Sean Henry to talk a little hockey business. And of course we will have our #7for7 Giveaway! That’s all tonight on SlapShot Radio.

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For the first time this season, the Predators have lost two games in a row… Not bad, considering we are 45 games in and at the All-Star break. Last night’s loss is the kind of loss that doesn’t bother you that much. The Predators dominated large stretches of the game… ran into an incredibly hot goaltender and ended up with a point. Take it… enjoy the break and move on. I’m not even going to get into the home cooking that happened in overtime, sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

Nashville will spend the break in the top spot in their division no matter what happens in play tonight and St. Louis will remain second, and the Blackhawks third, no matter what happens in Pittsburgh tonight. After tonight’s play, the Predators will continue to hold games in hand on St. Louis (1) and Chicago (2) in the Central Division race. The race for the Western Conference finds the Preds a point behind Anaheim for the conference lead with the Ducks hosting the shocking Calgary Flames tonight. At the end of the night, Nashville will hold two games in hand on the Ducks.

In the three games since Pekka Rinne was injured, the Predators have captured 50% of the available points. When the season resumes next Tuesday night, two weeks will have passed since the injury that is quoted as “3 – 5 weeks.” The sky hasn’t fallen, and honestly… this 50% pace through the rest of the season (not just 3-5 weeks) would still put the Predators in a solid playoff position with approximately 102 points. No one expects that to happen, but it is comforting to know that enough of a cushion is built in to survive this tough stretch… and still be in good shape come playoff time.

The hidden blessing in all of this angst… forced rest for Rinne… and not just physical rest, but critical mental rest. Goaltending at the highest level is not only physically taxing, but requires an incredible amount of mental stamina and discipline as well. Don’t underestimate the value of this long term, especially in the months of (hopefully) May and June.

Here are the highlights, from NHL.com

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Random Notes

– Mike Ribeiro was not happy with the OT penalty call last night and was very free and very public criticism of the officials. Open your wallet Mike, sometimes telling the truth will cost you money.

– Speaking of Ribeiro, plenty of nice articles in the Montreal press about his “rehabilitation” in Nashville.

– At one point in the second period of last night’s game, Nashville was outshooting Montreal 26-4.

– Gee… you get a ticket in Toronto for throwing your jersey on the ice? The snark just overflows on this one…

– Crazy one in Philly last night. Zac Rinaldo injured Kris Letang on a filthy hit. He has already been invited for an in person audience with the Department of Player Safety. This one will draw a long suspension… or at least it should.

– Fight filled second period between the Pens and Flyers. The frustration was just oozing from the Pens bench.

– Well, that was quick, Devan Dubnyk came crashing back down to earth last night for the Minnesota Wild in their shootout loss to Detroit. Dubnyk was lifted seven minutes into the second period after giving up four goals on ten shots.

– Tough loss for Dallas last night. They have a tough road if they are going to make the playoffs.

-Six games on the NHL schedule tonight – Maple Leafs @ Senators, Blackhawks @ Penguins, Blue Jackets @ Jets, Bruins @ Avalanche, Flames @ Ducks, Kings @ Sharks.

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You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game! You can also keep up with all the goings on with SlapShot Radio by following the show on Twitter @SlapShotRadio1

Also… make sure to “like” SlapShot Radio on Facebook… here’s the link.

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SlapShot Radio is back every Wednesday at 7pm on 102.5 the Game and the SlapShot Radio Network…. Our Winter Premier is Wednesday night, 1/21… Our premier, day one sponsor is Dr. Jane Bacon at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry … make your appointment at 615-872-7762.

We are also welcoming back The Wine Shoppe at Green Hills and Burger Republic to the SSR fold!

We’ve got room for your business to be part of the SlapShot Radio family with effective and affordable advertising packages for every budget. Be part of the excitement of Nashville hockey… Advertisers… reach out to me to access our activated listener base via email at paul(@)slapshotradio(dot)com

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Our podcasts are posted… Click here to download or listen to any of this season’s podcasts.

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