This week... lets find out in the first "The Week in Preview"!
The Preds enter this week in tied for 6th place in the western conference. Remember at the beginning of last week when some power rankings had us as high as 3rd in the league... ah, the good old days.
On the injury front, it appears that Joel Ward and Marcel Goc need maintenance days. Replacing them will be Cal O'Reilly and (maybe) Colin Wilson. I hope we get to see Wilson play at least one game. Wilson showed some flashes before his groin injury slowed him down. Big presence with the ability to score... who doesn't love that. Everytime a player gets a maintenance day, I think to myself: well heck, I'd like to take one of those. I'm currently thinking I'd want Jack Bauer as my replacement. He'd definitely get more done in 24 hours than I ever could. On the other hand, Nashville might teeter on the brink of a Nuclear/Bioterrorism/Disease-ridden apocalypse... which might make me have to miss the Thrashers game on Saturday. I digress.
Goalie Rotation: Head Coach Barry Trotz is signaling that his every-other-night goalie rotation may be coming to an end. A reversal from his statement that there was no shutout rule this season, but probably good news none the less. If nothing else, I think this gives the message of "hey goalies, one of you is going to get traded, and the other is going to start for us in the playoffs. Who's going to step up?"
Games This Week: The line-up this week is perfect for a post-three-game-slump rebound. The Preds (61 pts.) are at division Rival Columbus (49 pts) Tuesday, and that game is a must win simply because Columbus is so bad right now. A win there will go a long way in boosting the Preds confidence and in the standings, because Friday the Preds play at Detroit (58 points), currently in 9th in the West. That game is of course critical for positioning in the Standings. Saturday the Preds come home for a Black-and-Blue night against the Atlanta Thrashers (52 points).
So to recap, we play three teams below us in the standings. Three wins goes along way in making up for last week and keeping us in the hunt of home-ice advantage during the first round of the playoffs. Three losses put us out of top 8.
Fearless, Perhaps Reckless, Prediction: The Preds go 3-0 this week to rebound from a miserable dads' trip outing.
Outside of Hockey: The NFL pro-bowl is Sunday. Congrats to Vince Young on being