Keith Tkachuk has confirmed his retirement, and also that last night's home game was his last. He will not be in the lineup tonight. Ty Conklin has also been confirmed as the starter. I was a big Chis Mason fan when he was here in town, but have come to dread seeing him in net when we face the Blues. For some reason, he seems to become superhuman, even though we have gotten the best of him recently. You never see him let in easy wraparounds or "lay eggs"(as my family calls the phenomenon of pucks trickling underneath the goaltender's pads undetected, and on into the net) the way he was prone to doing while here. So that at least is some good news, going in.
For the Predators, I've not seen a starter confirmed yet, but I do suspect that it will be Peks, who likely wants to atone for a game that he admits wasn't his best, last time out. Hornqvist and Grebs remain sidelined, and if practice lines are any indicator, Spaling will be re-inserted into the lineup in place of Horns. The complete lines were as follows, with a hat tip to John Glennon:
- Dumont-Boyd-Tootoo (Cal O’Reilly rotated at center here)
*Feed off the crowd
It was against these same St Louis Blues that the first chilling, unprovoked 3 minute TV timeout ovation occurred, helping to carry the Preds to the playoffs back in 07-08. The Preds can gain a huge advantage from that same sort of energy in the crowd. Consider this a playoff warmup for both the team and fans!
* Take the shot
The Preds have fallen back into old habits when it comes to trying to be too "cute." Those tendencies cost the Predators any chance of getting back into the game, last time out. In addition, Ty Conklin's reputation as a rebound-machine is well-known, so a high amount of shots is key here.
Finally, congratulations to Brentwood's Blake Geoffrion for winning the Hobey Baker. Colin Wilson finished second to teammate Matt Gilroy last season. Geoffrion becomes the third person to have played in the Preds organization to win the award, preceded by Tony "The Circus" Hrkac and Paul Kariya. Interestingly enough, Tennessee has now produced a Hobey Baker Trophy winner, but has NEVER produced a Heisman winner(thanks to cellblock303 for that greatinfo) Geoffrion looks to complete his NCAA career tonight with a national championship against the Boston College Eagles.