Knockoff Neale's Notes: A Chat with Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck

Let's see a couple of these Corey. - Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It's a quick turnaround from last night's glorious win over some guys dressed as the Detroit Red Wings, so Nashville Predators blogger, Dirk Hoag gets us caught up on tonight's opponent.

It's an optional morning skate today in Smashville, so we'll just have to bask in the glory of beating the Red Wings in Detroit, regardless of how depleted their lineup was, last night.

I doubt there will be any lineup changes from last night, mostly because I don't think Boudreau trusts Jeff Deslauriers to step in. It's possible that Nate Guenin could go in for Toni Lydman in the second of back to backs as Lydman was given a maintenance day healthy scratch earlier in the season and he's had a few iffy plays as is, but we probably won't know until very shortly before the game starts.

Earlier in the week Jen had a little chat with Dirk Hoag of SBN's Pred's blog, On the Forecheck, about this year's version of the Predators. Here's the link to OTF's pregame coverage and here's what Dirk had to say.

Jen: Would Barry Trotz ever consider firing himself from one of his two positions if the Preds don't - at least - win the West in the next three years?

Dirk: I doubt it, Trotz has a good gig going here, and the external pressure to win isn't anywhere near what you might see in a Toronto or Montreal. Heck, he benched two Top Six forwards in the playoffs for an extra game for what's been reported as a curfew violation, and took almost no criticism for it.

Jen: At the time of writing this, the Preds have more overtime losses than regulation losses at 6-3-4. Any reason you can point to as to why this is?

Dirk: Pekka Rinne. Some of the early games were downright ugly, but Peks kept them from getting blown out. He's been the team MVP, and it's not even close.

Jen: What's going on with Shea Weber? Mo' money, mo' problems?

Dirk: Replacing your defense partner from the last several years isn't easy, so I'm not surprised to see a dip in Weber's production, but the good news has been that the defensive side of things is being taken care of. A few games ago his partner was switched from the offensively-talented second year player Roman Josi, to the veteran stay-at-home guy in Scott Hannan. This allows Weber to jump up into the play with more of a comfort level that Hannan is playing safety net for him, so we'll see how that works out.

Jen: Now that he's gone, cleanse your soul and admit Jordin Tootoo was a flopper to the worst degree. He made soccer players look good.

Dirk: Oh, Toots is definitely a flopper, there's no question about that. He knows his job is to get under opponents' skin and draw penalties, but I think you're just upset that those undisciplined Ducks couldn't help but take the bait!

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