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Ho Ho Ho, Two in a Row

The Predators head into the holiday break having ended their five-game losing streak with back-to-back victories over Los Angeles and Columbus, so while nobody should be popping champagne over a 16-16-2 record, things are certainly more hopeful than they were a few days ago. It's good to see Jason Arnott popping in goals again, and Jordin Tootoo's cameo on the top line has been impressive. Saturday's game against the Kings may have been Tootoo's best of the season, and while he only tallied one assist, he made several good crisp passes to set up scoring chances and put a wicked shot through Kings goaltender Jason Labarbera's glove that dribbled just wide of the net.

When the action resumes next Thursday, we'll have to see whether this momentum can be maintained. Personally, I think this team needs a top-six forward desperately, and there's still no definitive sign that Steve Sullivan will be ready soon. By carrying eight defensemen on the active roster, both Kevin Klein and Ville Koistenen have been healthy scratches most nights, which certainly doesn't help them develop as NHL players. Simply put, there's an abundance of some assets and a paucity of others, and GM David Poile is caught in an awkward position. Ideally, a healthy Sully would allow Poile to address other concerns via trade, and I expect that as long as the team stays within shouting distance of the playoffs he won't make a significant move prior to a thumbs-up or down on Sullivan, or the trade deadline forces his hand.

My humblest apologies for a lack of updates lately, but our move into the new digs took longer than expected, and one casualty along the way was my computer desk, so the Forechecking Data Center has yet to rebuilt in our new home. Then to boot, I got hit with a double-wammy case of pink eye and a respiratory infection. I even missed Saturday night's game even though I had tickets, because I wouldn't have hardly been able to see the action anyway. I'm on the mend now, but of course the next couple days will be busy ones, so I hope to pick up with posts towards the end of the week.

Here's to hoping all of you have a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!

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