MONTREAL - After two years out of the NHL playoffs, there is new optimism among the Nashville Predators. Jim Plunkett Womens Jersey .A stunning turnaround aided by a coaching change, the addition of veteran forwards James Neal and Mike Ribeiro and the emergence of 20-year-old forward Filip Forsberg have put Nashville in first place in the Central Division going into the all-star break.Now they believe theyve got enough pieces to keep up their strong play through the second half of the regular season and do some damage in the playoffs.Absolutely, veteran centre Mike Fisher said Tuesday. We really believe in this group.We believe were a top team in this league and we are. Weve shown it thus far. Were really confident in the group we have, that we can win any night against other top teams.The Predators had not lost twice in a row this season going into a game Tuesday night against the Canadiens in Montreal, where they were without star goalie Pekka Rinne for a third game due to an injury expected to last three weeks.Backed by Rinne and an impressive defence group led by Shea Weber, the Predators are the NHLs stingiest team, allowing only 2.25 goals per game. But Nashville has been known as a tight defensive side in recent years.The surprise is that they are tied for fifth in goals scored per game at 3.0.Part of that stems from the decision last summer to let the conservative Barry Trotz go after coaching the team through its first 15 NHL campaigns and bring in a more attack-minded Peter Laviolette.Trotz is now performing wonders in making the Washington Capitals a winning, two-way club, while Laviolette will also be a coach of the year candidate for doing much the same in Nashville.Its good for both sides, said Weber. You see the success theyre having (in Washington) and that were having.There was a different feel coming into training camp this year with a new face and I think the guys have responded very well.The second part of the season will determine if the Predators are for real, but it looks like it so far.They certainly have the goaltending with Rinne, considered one of the best in the world.With Weber, they have the big No. 1 blue-liner every team wishes it had, and he is backed by a group that can defend and move the puck. Among them is emerging talent Seth Jones, the fourth pick in the 2013 draft.Only a few months ago, they didnt appear to have much up front, but then Forsberg turned into a nearly point-per-game player and a strong two-way player on the top line with veteran Mike Ribeiro, who so far has shown a new commitment to discipline after being bought out by Arizona due to behavioural problems.Hes been an excellent addition to our team, Laviolette said of Ribeiro, who is on pace for his first 70-point campaign since 2010-11. Terrific in the room, terrific teammate, terrific on-ice play.Forsberg, playing his first full NHL campaign, was acquired from Washington in March 2013 for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in what is looking to be a spectacular steal for Nashville.Fisher centres James Neal, a one-time 40-goal scorer picked up in a trade with Pittsburgh in June, and Colin Wilson, who is having a breakout season and will soon top his career high of 35 points.Veteran Olli Jokinen, signed from Winnipeg, is playing on the fourth line. Another reclamation project, defenceman Anton Volchenkov, brings his stay at home style to the third defence pair and being dumped by New Jersey.Fisher likes the teams chances.With the goaltending we have, and look at our back end: everyone can handle the puck and skate, he said. And you look at the mix, the young guys, the leadership, energy, the way we play.Were all excited about what we can do. Its a tough league and the playoffs are tough, but we feel weve got a lot of pieces and character and we can be successful.The Predators have won only two playoff series in their history, the last against Detroit in 2012.The optimism now stems from adding some offence to a team known for tight defence. That comes from Laviolette.Id say were more aggressive, said Fisher. We want to be hungry for pucks, to forecheck really hard.The way our defence can move the puck helps us offensively. And defensively, we want to be hard to play against. He wants us to play both ends. He wants us to make plays and be creative, but be responsible.It has worked so far, but Weber, the captain, knows there is a lot of hockey still be played.I was on this team a while back when we were in first place for a while too, he said. Weve had good teams since Ive been in Nashville.Its just been tough the last couple of years. Theres still a lot of season left and we have to keep it up. Tim Brown Womens Jersey . - Whether its because of her improved play or the reason for it, Michelle Wie appears as comfortable on and off the golf course as at any time in her career. Isaiah Johnson Raiders Jersey . Solomon Elimimian did not make the trip with the team after suffering what appeared to be a right leg injury in the teams regular season finale against the Calgary Stampeders. http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Charles-Woodson-Elite-Jersey/ . LOUIS -- Russell Martin wanted a better fate for his starting pitcher and helped deliver a happier ending.MADRID - Andres Iniesta scored once and provided two assists to help Barcelona romp to a 4-0 rout of third-tier Huesca in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 12th minute when he struck a free kick into the top left corner beyond Huesca goalkeeper Daniel Jimenezs reach.Iniesta, who returned from an injury sustained in his teams 3-1 loss at Real Madrid on Oct. 25, netted four minutes later after he latched onto Rakitics pass.Were confident in what we do and I think this will take us closer to success, said Iniesta. Our effectiveness and the way we played this game made us feel quite relaxed, he said. Whats important is that the players who are in the squad are well equipped to play because titles arent won by just five or six, but by a whole team.Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an athletic save from Tyronne del Pino in the 32nd and looked solid throughout the match.Pedro Rodriguez controlled Iniestas pass, ran forward and unleashed a powerful shot inside the near post in the 39th before Rafinha deflected his shot off Alex Garcia into goal for Barcelonas fourth in the 72nd. Bo Jackson Womens Jersey. Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid swept to a 3-0 victory over third-tier LHospitalet.France midfielder Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock in the 67th minute of the first leg match when he headed home defender Jesus Gamezs cross from the right.Gabriel Fernandez converted a penalty in the 81st after Atleticos attacking midfielder Alessio Cerci was held by Agustin Fernandez as he advanced in the area.Cristian Rodriguez struck the third from outside the area in the second minute of stoppage time.Malaga drew 1-1 with Deportivo La Coruna. Ignacio Camacho scored the opener for Malaga in the 11th from an assist by Luis Alberto and Deportivo forward Jose Verdu equalized in the 68th.Also, Granada beat Andalusian rival Cordoba 1-0 thanks to a goal by Colombian forward Jhon Cordoba in the 24th.In another match, Sevilla routed Sabadell 5-1 with striker Iago Aspas scoring a four-minute hat trick. ' ' '