PHT Morning Skate: Titans QB Marcus Mariota and his offensive line helped fire up the crowd in Nashville

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–Elliotte Friedman came out with a new “30 Thoughts” blog. His main story focuses on Canucks defenseman Jordan Subban trying to model his game after Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis. “It’s the way that he defends. He’s always in great position, always great with the stick. He plays hard and smart, he knows how to use his brain a bit more to slow down the game. I’m always trying to push the pace, so that’s something I’m going to watch.” (Sportsnet)

–Who says making trades is too hard? Each of the remaining teams in the playoffs has made a deal that’s had a huge impact on their team. The Penguins traded for Phil Kessel not too long ago, Ottawa nabbed Bobby Ryan, the Preds landed P.K. Subban and Ryan Johansen, and the Ducks went out and got Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano. (Associated Press)

–It’s clear that to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup, a team needs to have at least one defenseman. The last time a team won the cup without a true stud on the defense was back in 2006 when Carolina did it. Both the Penguins and Ducks don’t necessarily have a true go-to guy on the blue line in their lineup right now, so they’ll hope that they can get it done with a committee of players. (Canadian Press)

–The Edmonton Oilers had a successful year in 2016-17, but that comes at a price. Leon Draisaitl will become an RFA this summer, while Connor McDavid will need a new contract next year. We’re not sure what the numbers on those deals will look like, but we know that they’ll be high. “Cap-wise, we’re OK next year, we could basically stay the same, it’s the following year when Mr. McDavid’s contract will kick in, so I have to be cognizant of that. But we’ve got a lot of different rosters we’ve looked at in the sense, at numbers, numbers for specific guys, term. But the [NHL salary] cap is expected to stay flat or raise a little bit, so we’re working off $73, $74, $75 [million] and we’ll see where it’s at.” (NHL.com)

–The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin continues his division-by-division expansion draft preview. Yesterday, he looked at the Central Division. After struggling last season, Marcus Kruger could be selected by the Golden Knights. The same can be said for Dallas’ Cody Eakin. (The Hockey News)

–We’ve seen P.K. Subban make an appearance or two at Tennessee Titans games, but last night it was some of the Titans players that showed up for a Preds game. Quarterback Marcus Mariota and his offensive line helped fire up the crowd in Smashville. They seem to be having a good time:

–Mariota and company ended up going home happy, as the Predators scored two goals in the third period to win Game 3 against Anaheim by a score of 2-1. You can check out the highlights by clicking the video at the top of the page.