1. Every Game is Freakin' HUGE!!!!
Seriously. Nashville finds itself.in a rather familiar position: "just in" the playoffs, with almost no breathing room. In March, the Preds play 17 games in 29 days. (Chris Burton at On the Forecheck provided a great preview this morning). This is a very compressed schedule, though fortunately for the Predators have 10 of those games at home. The result is that every game is going to be an absolute battle, and that every point is absolutely invaluable.
For those of you who have not been to a Predators game in March, its a different atmosphere than any previous month. The energy is electric and the crowds are tend to sell out. Can you tell I'm excited already?
2. The Very Important Trade Deadline Approaches (Wednesday)
In Football, the week 6 trade deadline passes with an annual whimper. Its absolutely a different story in the NHL. March 3rd is the NHL trade deadline, so expect the Preds roster to look a little different between now and then. Goalie Dan Ellis and defenseman Dan Hamhuis are two names from Nashville that my be traded, in exchange for some scoring power. (John Glennon has a good summary this morning on the trade situation).
GM David Poile tends to be a touch conservative at the trade deadline, so don't hold your breath for a superstar player. However, the Predators were reportedly just beaten out for young all-star Phil Kessel earlier this year, so I suppose anything is possible.
3. The Other Off Ice
With the exception of parking, which will be a bit more difficult due to the Music City Center, March (and April) will hopefully result in several of the off ice issues being put to rest for good. In reality, there aren't any real issues that need to be resolved... all looks to be well in PredNation. However, I know that given the teams past troubles, the casual fan can still equate the Predators to a shaky franchise. To the extent that such an association is a good one (and its not), the next few weeks will hopefully go a long way in purging those negative thoughts. Why?
- The New Brigdestone Arena is a huge win for the Predators.
- Ticket sales will likely hit the magic 14,000, as the playoff push nears.
- Any playoff revenue is pure profit for the franchise, as the main expense (player salaries) have been fully paid.
Other Random Quick Hits
Section 303, who got a National shout-out by NBC for hosting a gold-medal viewing party on Sunday, did a great job of compiling other quick hit questions.
In my opinion, the most important question to the casual fan is this: Assuming the Preds make the playoffs, do they finish in #6 or above. A yes to that question makes the odds of the Preds moving past the first round for the first time in history look MUCH better. So IMHO, #6 or above is the spot to root for, hockey fans!
Want discount tickets to Preds games in march? Click here for the post or the form. Tickets are for select games in March. Why buy them? Games are awesome. also, if you do, my club team gets to play at the Bridgestone Arena immediately following the 3/16 game vs. the flyers. If you want to learn how to play hockey, watch the Flyers. If you want to learn how NOT to play hockey, stick around for my game!