The Predators are abuzz.

Fresh off the acquisitions of Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Music City franchise fancies itself a contender. And contend they must to persuade Shea Weber and Ryan Suter to stay for, without them, they are another one of Gary Bettman’s failed experiments.

What makes Nashville special may be Dean Lombardi’s wet dream – a team built from the back-end out with star power on defense and a deep roster of forwards who are not great, but good enough. This is not to compare Nashville’s general manager, David Poile to Dean Lombardi because one is a great GM and the other is Dean Lombardi. Poile, with strangling financial restrictions, has built a team that consistently makes the playoffs and competes though it has yet to contend. He also chose an excellent coach and stuck with him. There is a culture in Nashville and it doesn’t just come with cowboy hats and boots. Necks are for losers.

And what of our Kings? 4 goal per game are suddenly the rage and L.A. better be careful because our fans’ expectations evolve quickly. If goals are our crack, we’ve spent most of the season in rehab but we’ve since broken out, have cash in our pocket and are only interested in winning. Whatever Jeff Carter is selling, we’re buying.

Will Jonathan Bernier start. Notice I did not place a question mark at the sentence’s end. I will not ask and not just because this isn’t baseball but rather Darryl Sutter has an unhealthy lifeblood of Terry Murray that runs through his veins on goaltending rotations. I refuse to hold out hope of pleasant surprises. It’s easier to scowl and wait.

Nashville is 9-13-3 against us on their ice. That will mean exactly nothing tomorrow as the Predators are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and 21-7-5 at home this season. They’re hot. They’re good. We must be better.

This is your open forum.