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Barry Trotz


C - Darren Turcotte, Greg Johnson, Jeff Nelson, Patric Kjellberg, Sebastien Bordeleau, Cliff Ronning. LW - Andrew Brunette, Blair Atcheynum, Scott Walker, Denny Lambert, Ville Peltonen, Jeff Daniels, Vitali Yachmenev. RW - Sergei Krivokrasov, Brad Smyth, Tom Fitzgerald, Patrick Cote. D - Joel Bouchard, Bob Boughner, John Slaney, Jamie Heward, Jayson More, J.J. Daigneault, Drake Berehowsky, Jan Vopat, Kimmo Timonen. G - Mike Dunham, Eric Fichaud, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason.


Ville Peltonen, lw (separated shoulder, 4-8 weeks); Eric Fichaud, g (separated shoulder, season); Jayson More, d (post-concussion syndrome, day-to-day); Darren Turcotte, c (knee, 4-6 weeks).




2/23 Dallas          L 4-3
2/24 at Dallas       W 2-1
2/27 at Colorado     L 3-1
3/02 St. Louis       L 5-1 
3/04 at Los Angeles  W 4-3
3/05 at Anaheim      L 3-2
3/07 at Phoenix      L 4-3


Central Division    GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA  
  Detroit           64  32  26   6    70  191  163 
  St Louis          62  26  26  10    62  173  160  
  Nashville         64  22  36   6    50  151  208 
  Chicago           64  18  37   9    45  142  198


by Jeff Middleton, Nashville Correspondent


The wedding I attended was great, unfortunately I neglected to submit a report for the previous issue. Therefore, without further ado - the Cliff Notes version of my last report.

Detriot Red Wings - Got smacked.
New York Islanders - Yes! Road win.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Tied the game with one minute left . . . lost in OT.
New York Rangers - First 30 minutes very bad, last 30 minutes better - not good enough to come all the way back.
Colorado Avalanche - Built up lead, gave up two goals in last six minutes and wound up kissing their sister.
St. Louis - Division win on the road. Good job.

Sorry for the lapse.


So I'm back in the saddle again. The Preds didn't really improve their chances of getting into the playoffs, but they didn't look too bad either.


When the Predators looked at the schedule, they must have looked twice when the saw a home-and-home slated for March. After Dallas has pretty much had their way with most of the league, it must have looked even tougher. Interestingly enough, the Predators played the talent-laden Stars to a 1-0 loss on the road in their first meeting, so they could certainly build on that.

In the first game, Dallas' first visit to Music City, the Predators continued down a road they need to avoid to make themselves contenders in the future. They held a multi-goal lead going into the third period, which for most teams is a good place to find yourself. The Predator way is to build up that lead and then give it away. It happened against Colorado the week before, when Joe Sakic scored a hat trick to tie the Predators. This time it was Mike Modano scoring a hat trick to give his team a win in the third period.

The next night, the Predators kept up their strong road play. A sweet goal by Sergei Krivokrasov stunned the Dallas fans with less than 25 seconds left in the game, giving the Preds a 2-1 victory. Think the Stars are rooting for the Predators to miss the playoffs?


The Predators came into Denver with a 1-0-1 record against the Avs, and were trying to remain undefeated against a team that had picked things up considerably from the first half of the year. The Predators left Denver 1-1-1, defeated, but still .500 against a significantly more talented team. Not much to talk about here, one questionable goal allowed by video replay, but them's the breaks.


In their last meeting of the year, the Predators were trying to bring their record to .500 against St. Louis. Not gonna happen. In an ugly effort, the Preds got smoked. Kelly Chase had his first two-goal game of his career, and Patrick Cote was pounded by Tony Twist. This was a bad night to be a hockey player in Nashville.


Its a darn good thing that the Predators decided to play better on the road in the second half of the season, as the schedule was home-heavy up front. In journeying out to see some teams in their Conference, they were looking to pick up some ground in the playoff hunt. They tried and tried and built up a lead going into the third period, but they just couldn't give it away. Sebastien Bordeleau, a force on the face-off and a great penalty killer, had two goals against L.A. and the Predators escaped with a 4-3 win. Mike Dunham played reasonably well, though there are still concerns that he is getting through the tail end of his recovery from groin injury.


They were not done in by Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne. The were done in by Jeff Neilsen, who doubled his output for the whole season in this one game. Cliff Ronning scored a goal with 12 seconds left in the game to give the Predators a slim chance, but they did not have enough time to get any more good chances. On to Phoenix.


The Predators have become very generous to the league's superstars lately. In the past two weeks they have provided hat trick defense for both Joe Sakic and Mike Modano. Sunday night's game in Phoenix turned into another headwear affair when Keith Tckachuk scored three times and gave the Coyotes all they needed to put away the Preds. Scott Walker continued his strong play, scoring twice in the second period, but the Predators could not break through in the third to score the equalizer.


Not much going on in Nashville, no trade rumors to speak of . . . .they don't really have anything to give anyone except Cliff Ronning, and I don't think they will trade the Rat . . . .Patrick Cote leads the league in fighting majors . . . . the playoffs don't look as feasible now that teams like the Flames, Ducks, and Sharks have picked up their play while the Preds have not.

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