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September Previews - Pittsburgh ... and Game Night

September 23, 2009, 9:30 AM ET [ Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Preds are back on the ice tonight in Atlanta as the Thrashers look for payback after the 5-0 shellacking the Preds put on them last Thursday.

Groin injuries continue to plague the Preds as Colin Wilson, Ben Eaves, Wade Belak, Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward will not play tonight.

Expect to see '09 1st rounder Ryan Ellis in the lineup tonight... I wouldn't be surprised to see him with the team for a couple of regular season games before being returned to Windsor.

Game coverage is at 6pm on 104.5 the Zone.


Installment 23 in my month long series of previews of every team in the NHL. Today Pittsburgh… tomorrow, San Jose.


Pittsburgh Penguins – An up and down season for the Pens, or may be better stated a down and up, then up again season. A rough start led to questions which led to discontent which led to change. In mid-February the team stood in 10th when GM Ray Shero decided to change coaches. Enter Dan Bylsma, who took the team on an 18-3-4 run, from 10th to 4th in the conference and all the way to a Stanley Cup.

Last Year’s Record – 45-28-9 99 points. 2nd in the Atlantic Division, 4th in the Eastern Conference… won the Stanley Cup

Key Additions – Jay McKee, Chris Conner, Mike Rupp, Wade Brookbank

Key Subtractions – Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Mathieu Garon, Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan

Division Match Up – The Atlantic Division saw four teams make the playoffs, packing New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Philly into the 3-4-5 seeds along with the Rangers in the 7 seed. I expect change at the top of the division this season with either Philly or the Pens taking it.

Outlook for 2009-2010 – If you’re head coach Dan Bylsma you are asking yourself, What do I do for an encore? Winning the cup in your first half season as coach does set your personal bar rather high. This is a deeply talented team, led by a pair of superstars in Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and solid in net with Mark-Andre Fluery. The only question I see in Pittsburgh is how to fill the holes in the blueline? The loss of Scuderi and Gill takes two of their best defensive d-men out of the mix. The add of Jay McKee fills one of those holes… who fills the second? A youngster? A late camp add? The other question becomes, how does the team react to its’ second consecutive short summer? I expect Pittsburgh to contend for the division and the 1 seed in the conference.


You are invited to follow me on Twitter @PredPAPaul Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates… I’ll also be updating during Predator home games with information and explanations from the PA box, starting lineups before they are announced in arena and interesting things as they happen in-game.


HockeyBuzz Radio cranks it up again on Wednesday Sept. 30th with a detailed preview of the NHL season. Pete Weber is joining the show as co-host. We'll be talking to Bill Clement to break down the East and Peter NcNab to break down the West.

The season premier is Wednesday September 30th at 6pm on air at SportsRadio 560 WNSR, on line and on podcast at our newly relaunched website… www.HockeyBuzzRadio.com.

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