December 28, 2013 7:19 am

Good morning, Nashville

What better place to start the post-Christmas slate than Nashville? Among the stops on the Western Conference docket, it’s one of the preferred cities due to the close proximity to the rink, nightlife and dining options. On an open day in the off-season, I’m eventually going to come around to using advanced stats to formulate a metric that ranks all Western Conference cities. This formula will use a weighted rating system to judge the following criteria: Distance from the hotel to the rink, nearby nightlife and dining, length of flight from Los Angeles, distance from the airport to the hotel, in-hotel food options, strength and quality of hotel and arena WiFi, press box view and comfort, quality and comfort of the hotel room, weather and access to in-room instant coffee, amongst other factors. Even though the Predators play in the Western Conference’s easternmost city and return flights to Los Angeles don’t arrive until the wee hours of the morning, it’s likely that Nashville will grade out in the top three or four preferred western cities as defined by the proposed #fancystats guidelines detailed above.

Our hotel is a new hotel. It opened just over two weeks before our mid-October visit and is connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. There is a beautiful, expansive lobby, a library with a fireplace, a bar-slash-concert space that has live music every night and opens up into an outdoor patio when the weather is appropriate. Along with those options, there are restaurants, bars, cafes and general hotel what-have-you. Many of the areas downstairs aren’t really marked by doors, but by wide entrances that allow each space to flow into the space adjacent to it. It’s a good spot for people watching.

To prove we are actually in Tennessee, and that this post isn’t the front for some vast LAKI conspiracy, here is our descent into Nashville International Airport:

Try and disprove this post now, LAKI conspiracy theorists!

It’s a chilly morning that has grown less overcast since these photos were taken. We may see some rain this afternoon – it was rainy here during our recovery day here in October – and the temperature will likely stay on the wrong side of 60 degrees. It was a spectacular early winter day when we stepped off the plane yesterday afternoon, a welcome greeting after the frigid temperatures of our trip earlier this month through Eastern Canada.

The team is scheduled to hit the Bridgestone Arena ice for the morning skate at 10:30 a.m. After losing in Dallas last night, the Predators are not holding a morning skate. More to come throughout the day.

2013-12-28 07.46.38 (640x480)

2013-12-28 07.46.46 (640x480)

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