POSTED ON Friday, 05.04.2012 / 5:52 PM
By Doug Brumley - Nashville Predators / Doug's Playoff Beard Blog
Today marks four weeks since I last shaved. If memory serves, this is the third longest I’ve grown my beard. The longest was from someday in October 2010 till January 1, 2012. The second longest was four months, for an online beard-growing community called Whiskerino.

Photo by Doug BrumleyWhiskerino was a great celebration of beards. On Nov. 1, 2009, 484 guys signed up at and agreed to document the growth of their beards for 120 days. Shave early and you end up in the Hall of Shame. But post a great photo that everyone loves, and you earn the 24-hour honor of "King Beard." (I was crowned King Beard once, for the image at the right.) Over the course of the four months, I made several new friends and was inspired by some amazingly talented individuals—all because of beards. Unfortunately, the 2009-2010 edition of Whiskerino was also the last.

When I heard about the Predators Foundation Beard-a-thon presented by Philips Norelco, I knew I had to join up. As corny as it sounds, I’ve seen what effect beards can have in building a community. Like hockey or beer or music, it’s a commonality that people can congregate around. And impressive things are happening. Not only are there some fierce looking playoff beards showing up, but the combined Beard-a-Thon—all NHL teams—has raised over $350,000 for charity! The Predators currently rank sixth in the league, pulling in over $25,000 to benefit the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. And Predators’ director of corporate partnerships, Rock Upchurch, is ranked fifth overall with over $5,000 pledged. Let’s keep pushing these numbers higher. And don’t forget about the weekly contest among the Predators growers. Raise the most Predators Beard-a-Thon money in the seven-day period ending next Wednesday, May 9, and you’ll win an autographed Preds prize.

If you started growing your latest beard on April 7 when I did, the itch has passed and it’s clear sailing from here. For those who started more recently, be strong. And to those who remain clean-shaven, join the Predators team or pledge toward a Predators grower's beard today. Let’s see just how effective this community can be. All because of beards.


POSTED ON Wednesday, 05.02.2012 / 2:16 PM

At his Wednesday morning press conference, Predators head coach Barry Trotz was still mum as to whom he would insert into the lineup in place of Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostistyn tonight in Game 3, but Trotz expressed confidence in his team’s depth.

“The guys that are out tonight—Andrei and Rad—they weren’t with us for 65 games or so, so the guys that are going in have been together,” Trotz said. “Guys have been—be it a Craig Smith, has been on a power play. We’ve had different people do that. Be it a Wilson, a Smith, a Yip, all those guys. So they’re going to be put in roles. They did it for 65 games. They’ll be fine tonight.”

The Predators’ power play has found a spark this series, scoring three times in the first two games of the series vs. Phoenix. Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn are typically members of the second unit; their absence will require some changes for Game 3. However, it has been the other power-play unit -- with Mike Fisher, Martin Erat and Patric Hornqvist -- that has scored two of the team's three power-play goals this series.

“Our one unit’s going to be the same and the other one might have a couple new guys but our depth is incredible up front,” Mike Fisher said after Tuesday practice. “We’ve got some great players that aren’t playing right now and they’re going to step in and do a good job for us and be ready.”

Playing a better overall defensive game has been the mantra over the past couple of days around the Predators locker room. That sentiment was echoed Wednesday by veteran defenseman Hal Gill, a voice of experience who has won a Stanley Cup before.

“We have to play better as a team,” Gill said. “Focus on our defense. Focus on the little things that have made us successful in the past. And it’s not a big secret. We have to go out there and do it whoever’s in the lineup.”

The team is looking forward to using the home crowd to propel it to a fast start, especially in a series where the Preds have yet to hold a lead.

“We have a good opportunity at home and we know we are hard to beat here,” Patric Hornqvist said.

POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 10:57 PM
By Doug Brumley - Nashville Predators / Doug's Playoff Beard Blog
Playoff Beard. Day 17.
Well done, my fellow beard growers. Since my last post five days ago, the funds raised by the Preds Beard-a-Thon presented by Philips Norelco have almost doubled (over $20,000 now!), we're up to sixth overall among NHL teams, and your whiskers willed the Predators to a 4-1 series win over the Detroit Red Wings. We're on to playoff round 2, meaning our beards will be growing to at least twice their current length.

Major props to my fellow Predators employee Rock Upchurch, who is not only leading the Preds Beard-a-Thon in funds raised but currently ranks third among all Beard-a-Thon growers league-wide! He got a huge pledge—to the tune of $5,000—from Fifth Third Bank this week. But there are other growers hot on his heels, and the Philadelphia Flyers' Beard-a-Thon is not far behind the Preds', so let's keep the pledges rolling in and show the league what the Predators faithful can do.

And remember, the first Predators weekly competition ends on Wednesday. The person who raises the most money in the seven-day period ending April 25 wins an autographed Preds prize valued at $250. The next weekly contest runs April 26 to May 2.

And if you haven't started growing yet, there's no time like the present to stop shaving and start raising money to fight cancer via the Predators Beard-a-Thon. Happy growing!


POSTED ON Friday, 04.20.2012 / 2:10 PM
Friday morning, the Nashville Predators seemed well aware of the task at hand, facing the Detroit Red Wings Friday night in Game 5 with a chance to clinch the best-of-seven series on home ice. Around the locker room players told members of the media variations on the same mantra: The fourth win in a series is the hardest.

“If we’re going to beat them we have to match the intensity,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “They’re going to be playing desperate. Obviously it’s a win or die situation for them and we know that. We have to come out and match it.”

Defenseman Hal Gill, who’s recovering from a lower body injury, skated longer than most of the Preds who hit the ice Friday and was not in attendance for the team’s penalty kill meeting. Those indications that he would not be returning to the lineup for Game 5 were confirmed when head coach Barry Trotz said Gill was out during his morning press conference.

In a funny exchange with reporters who were trying to glean any info they could before hearing from Trotz, Gill was asked if he would be able to play if the game were to start in 10 minutes. “I’m starving, so probably not,” Gill replied.

The Predators are confident that a sold-out and raucous Bridgestone Arena crowd can give them an opportunity to get an early jump on the visiting Red Wings. And they don’t want to give the Red Wings—who came back from a 3-0 deficit against San Jose last year to force a Game 7—any life in this series if they can help it.

“We’ve never had a 3-1 lead [in a playoff series],” defenseman Kevin Klein said after Thursday’s practice. “We need to capitalize on it [Friday] and take advantage of our home ice. Really come out in the first 10 and show them that we mean business.

“Detroit’s going to be good. We need to be better.”
POSTED ON Thursday, 04.19.2012 / 7:00 AM
By Doug Brumley - Nashville Predators / Doug's Playoff Beard Blog
Dear Smashville, I have good news and bad news.

The good news first: The Predators Foundation Beard-a-Thon, presented by Philips Norelco, broke the $10,000 mark! That's no small feat, and I'd like to thank everyone who has joined or pledged to the cause. For those just tuning in, funds raised through this campaign will benefit the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. You have taken a stand against cancer.

Unfortunately, there's some bad news. As I write this, the Predators rank just seventh among teams participating in the Beard-a-Thon. We're currently behind the Washington Capitals and ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. The St. Louis Blues, meanwhile, have raised over twice as much as we have, and they only rank fourth! We've got to have a better showing.

So, citizens of Smashville, I implore you. If you haven't joined the Predators Foundation Beard-a-Thon yet, sign up today and start (or continue) growing. Here's how: Follow this link and look for the "Sign Up and Grow" button in the bottom left corner.

So far, only 179 people are participating. That's just 1 percent of a Predators sellout crowd. And of that group, 69 have raised money. While that's an impressive average of almost $150 per beard, imagine if we multiplied that by hundreds more growers who solicited funds from friends and family. And that's not to say that you have to raise $150—I mean look at me, I remain at $20. Just sign up and do your best. The battle against cancer needs every dollar it can get.

But if you still need some incentive to join, the Predators Foundation Beard-a-Thon is starting a weekly contest today, April 19. Through next Wednesday, April 25, the individual who raises the most funds in the Predators Beard-a-Thon will win an autographed Predators prize valued at $250-$300. Not bad for growing a beard, huh?

I hope you'll join me in participating. And for anyone who pledges toward my beard (you can do so on my Beard-a-Thon profile page), you'll get a big public thank you right here on the blog.

Neckbeard Update: The neckbeard lives! If you read my previous blog post, you know the itch was giving me second thoughts about keeping the lower portion of my beard. But I decided to stick with a full beard for a couple of reasons.

First, as I said, I'm a purist and don't feel right shaving a portion of my playoff beard. The Predators are up 3-1 against Detroit in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series and who am I to toy with that by altering my facial shrine to the Preds' postseason?

And of course there were the great comments from several of you. The most compelling came from Joshua Pickens: "Don't you dare shave it!" For the rest of you who commiserated with my itching, I hope your beard itch is subsiding. Mine sure is. Or maybe it's just the salve of a few big playoff wins.

Keep growing!


POSTED ON Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 4:15 PM
By Doug Brumley - Nashville Predators / Doug's Playoff Beard Blog
Day 8: The itchy neckbeard
When it comes to growing a beard, I'm kind of a purist.

My wife, on the other hand, might say "hobo." See, if I'm growing a beard, I don't like to shave at all. No trimming, no neck shaving, no razors. Period. However, the last time I had a beard, I wasn't required to wear a suit and tie. And I can safely say that neckbeard growth and a buttoned collar do not mix. So that's got me thinking.

Eight days into my 2012 playoff beard, I am firmly into the "itch" phase. It's the kind of itch that no amount of scratching will ease. And for me the itch is all from my chin down. Through experience I know that it passes with time, but that doesn't really help me right now.

So now I'm wondering: Maybe I should shave the lower portion of my beard?

It is a playoff beard, so could I be toying with the Predators' mojo if I cut any whiskers? I mean, surely my beard is somehow linked to all the other beards being grown by Predators players and fans, and when their collective power is combined and matched against the playoff beards of all Detroit Red Wings faithful, that determines whether the Preds win or lose, right?

OK, so maybe I'm overthinking things here. But my tendancies as a beard purist—or hobo, depending—still give me pause when I think of trimming up my neckline.

If you have strong feelings one way or the other, feel free to persuade me in the comments. And I'm still stuck at $20 in the fund-raising department, so if you are feeling generous, please pledge toward my beard. Or better yet, sign up for yourself. All money raised goes to the Predators Foundation's Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Neckbeard or not, it'd be tougher to find a better cause to grow a beard for.


POSTED ON Friday, 04.13.2012 / 2:31 PM

The big news from the Predators’ morning skate on Friday was that defenseman Hal Gill is once again a no-go for Nashville. The 6-foot-7 penalty-killing specialist missed Game 1 with a lower body injury. Game 2 between the Predators and Red Wings is 6:30pm CT tonight at Bridgestone Arena. The game will be televised locally on SportSouth—Comcast ch 1676 (HD) and 26 (SD)—and broadcast via radio on 102.5 The Game. Nashville holds a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

In his morning press conference, Predators head coach Barry Trotz wouldn’t say which defenseman would fill Gill’s spot. Jack Hillen was tapped for the role in Game 1, finishing a +1 in 8:20 of ice time in his NHL playoff debut. Trotz could opt for Ryan Ellis if he is looking for a bit more offense from the back end.

The Predators will aim to make fewer trips to the penalty box in Game 2, and will try to improve their special teams’ performance. The league’s most disciplined team during the regular season, Nashville was whistled for 10 penalties in Game 1 and gave up two power play goals while going scoreless in six chances with a manpower advantage.

The Predators are already quite familiar with their Central Division rival, but goaltender Pekka Rinne said Friday that a team learns a lot about an opponent over the course of a series. His takeaway from Game 1?

“They are never out of the game,” Rinne said. “You have to respect that team but not too much. You have to be aware of the situation at all times. Really strong team in the beginning of periods, at the end of the periods. Lot of experience. All those things. You can’t let down at any time, at any point of the game. You have to be aware when their top guys are on the ice because they are obviously really strong individuals who can change the momentum of the game in seconds.”

Immediately following Game 1 and again Friday morning, Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock claimed that his team let Rinne off the hook Wednesday by not crashing the net enough. Trotz, on the other hand, felt the Wings interfered too much in the goal crease—enough to disallow any potential goals that might have been scored as a result. For his part, Rinne knows he’ll see more of the same in Game 2.

“You expect you’re going to have bodies in front of you and you’re going to have people kind of interfering with you a little bit,” Rinne said. “I think you try to mentally prepare for it. Don’t get rattled by it. Just do your best finding the puck in whatever situation it is. That’s the biggest thing: Just try to find a hole where you can see the puck and be able to do your job.”

Red Wings center Darren Helm, who suffered a forearm laceration in Wednesday’s game and had surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is out for the remainder of the playoffs. Babcock said Wednesday morning that he didn’t like the way his third and fourth lines matched up against Nashville’s with Helm out of the lineup. Nashville’s third and fourth lines proved to be the stars in Game 1, producing all three Predators goals.

POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.11.2012 / 6:11 PM
By Doug Brumley - Nashville Predators / Doug's Playoff Beard Blog
April 11, 2012: Four days of growth
OK everyone, razors down. The season of the playoff beard is upon us, and I shaved for the last time Saturday morning. Opinions vary as to when one should start a playoff beard: As soon as your team clinches a playoff spot? The day the playoffs start? I opted to shave up to and including the final day of the regular season before setting down the razor.

Now, after four days of unfettered growth, I may not be on track for the fiercest or fullest beard out there, but I'm solid. And I do know a thing or two about growing facial hair. On January 1 of this year, I shaved a beard I had been growing since October 2010. Trust me, you approach messy foods—and even marginally messy foods—differently when you have 14 months of hair on your face. It's a commitment. On January 1 I just felt it was time for a change.

Now I'm working for the Predators as the interactive marketing coordinator. (Some of you may have met me during the Find Doug contests we run on Facebook and Twitter.) Now I have a reason—a really good reason—to grow a beard once again. Not only are the Predators beginning what promises to be a thrilling playoff run, the Predators section of the Beard-a-Thon website allows growers like me can help raise money for the Nashville Predators Foundation. Specifically, all proceeds from this fund-raiser go toward the Nashville Predators Pediatric Cancer Research Grant.

So If you haven't started your playoff beard, guys, there's no time like the present. The playoffs begin tonight and you can still be in on the ground floor. It takes about 5 minutes to sign up. And the site is not exclusive: Women are welcome to sign up too and gather pledges—crocheted beard, no beard, whatever.

If you don't want to join, consider pledging toward me and my beard, or one of the other charitable fans supporting their team.

Here's hoping for some long whiskers, Preds fans.


POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.11.2012 / 3:06 PM

The Nashville Predators had an optional morning skate Wednesday, just hours before the puck drops on their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Detroit Red Wings. Game time is 7 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena. The game will be televised on SportSouth in the Nashville area (Comcast Nashville channel 1676 (HD) and 26 (SD)).

Defenseman Hal Gill, who missed Monday and Tuesday’s practices with a lower body injury, was not among those on the ice Wednesday. Trotz confirmed at his post-skate press conference that Gill will be a game-time decision.

Regarding Gill’s possible absence from the lineup for Game 1, captain Shea Weber said, “We’ve got a lot of depth. I think we’ve talked about that. We’ve got guys that can step up and guys that have played well for us this year. So it’s no big deal if he can’t go, and we’ll be ready.”

Speaking of ready, players were even more anxious to get going than they were Tuesday. “Obviously it’s that time of year we’ve been waiting for,” Nick Spaling said. “It’s exciting. I’m sure there’s a little bit of nerves and that comes with it. It’s a game day, so now it’s time to focus in and it’s here. It’s time to be ready to go.”

“I think everyone’s prepared,” said Craig Smith, one of four Predators rookies. “We’re kind of composed right now and ready to jump into the game and let it all out. I think everyone’s got a lot bottled up right now. We’ve just got to manage that.”

Perhaps engaging in some head games, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock told media during his morning skate press conference Wednesday that he was glad his team was starting on the road, that it would allow the Red Wings to play the game simply, pressure the home team and watch as your opponent tightens up.

Predators forward Smith, for one, likes starting the series at Bridgestone Arena. “You’re somewhere where you’re familiar, and you’ve got a lot of fan buildup to give you some momentum right off the bat, which is going to be huge in this series,” he said.

Babcock also said forward Darren Helm will return to the Red Wings’ lineup for Game 1. Helm has missed almost a month with a sprained MCL.





1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67


S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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